A Home at the End of the World: A Brief History

A Home at the End of the World is a critically acclaimed novel written by Michael Cunningham. First published in 1990, this captivating book takes readers on an emotional journey and explores themes of love, friendship, and the complexities of human relationships.

Plot Summary

The story revolves around the lives of three main characters: Bobby, Jonathan, and Clare. Bobby Morrow, a young boy growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, experiences a life-altering event when his older brother Carlton dies. The loss deeply affects Bobby and shapes his worldview as he navigates through his teenage years.

As Bobby reaches adulthood, he forms an unconventional family unit with Jonathan and Clare. Jonathan, a charismatic and free-spirited individual, becomes Bobby’s best friend and confidant. Together, they embark on a journey to find their place in the world and seek solace in their shared experiences. Clare, a strong-willed woman, also becomes an integral part of their dynamic, bringing her unique perspective to their unconventional family unit.

The narrative follows these characters as they navigate their complex relationships, exploring themes of love, identity, and the search for a place to call home. Set against the backdrop of the ever-changing social and cultural landscape of the 1970s and 1980s, the story captures the essence of the time period while delving deep into the emotional complexities of its characters.

Awards, Critiques, and Praise

A Home at the End of the World received widespread critical acclaim upon its release. The novel was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1991 and garnered praise for its poignant storytelling and compelling characters.

Critics praised Michael Cunningham’s ability to create a vibrant and relatable world, filled with characters that readers could deeply connect with. The novel’s exploration of unconventional family dynamics resonated with many readers, and its honest portrayal of love and human relationships struck a chord.

Cunningham’s beautiful prose and his ability to evoke strong emotions through his writing have been widely applauded. The novel’s thematic richness and its thought-provoking exploration of complex topics such as sexuality and personal identity have made it a beloved work of contemporary literature.

Notable Characters

1. Bobby Morrow: The protagonist of the story, Bobby is a deeply introspective and sensitive individual. Through his journey, readers witness his growth and transformation as he navigates love, loss, and the search for self.

2. Jonathan Glover: Bobby’s best friend and ultimate confidant, Jonathan is a charming and free-spirited character. His infectious personality and unwavering support for Bobby add depth and warmth to the narrative.

3. Clare Sheehan: A strong-willed and determined woman, Clare becomes an integral part of Bobby and Jonathan’s unorthodox family unit. Her presence brings a unique perspective, challenging the traditional notions of love and relationships.


In conclusion, A Home at the End of the World is a captivating novel that explores the complexities of human relationships and the search for a sense of belonging. With its well-drawn characters and evocative storytelling, the novel has received critical acclaim and praise from readers worldwide. Michael Cunningham’s masterful writing and thought-provoking themes make this book a must-read for anyone intrigued by the intricacies of love, friendship, and personal identity.

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