From Author's Website:
The story of a woman who loves her house so much that she'll do just about anything to keep it. Ellen Flanagan has two precious girls to raise, a cozy neighborhood coffee shop to run, terrific friends, and a sexy husband. She adores her house, a yellow Cape Cod filled with quirky antiques, beloved nooks and dents, and a million memories. But now, at forty-four, she's about to lose it all. After eighteen roller-coaster years of marriage, Ellen's husband, Sam--who's charismatic, spontaneous, and utterly irresponsible--has disappointed her in more ways than she can live with, and they're getting divorced. Her daughters are miserable about losing their daddy. Worst of all, the house that Ellen loves with all her heart must now be sold. Set in the gorgeous surroundings of Portland, Oregon, Kathleen McCleary's funny, poignant, curl-up-and-read debut strikes a deep emotional chord and explores the very notion of what makes a house a home.
Pages: 272 (hardcover)
Rating: 8 out of 10
I won this book from Books and Cooks a long time ago and it took awhile for me to start reading. When we returned from Thailand, we were at Partner's apartment for a few days before moving into our new place. I had brought the book with me on one of my previous trips and it was on his bookshelf. I started reading one morning when I was waking up slowly. The story drew me in immediately and I felt like I wanted to love a home as much as Ellen, the main character, loved hers.
Partner and I have moved into our new place. Right now, we are living in the midst of boxes. I loved all the details of what Ellen did to make her house feel homey. It made me feel inspired to make our own print on our new place. I liked reading about the complicated relationship she has with the house and how it grows to represent major milestones in her life. Through her memories, I liked hearing how her relationship with Sam developed. The kids were also great characters. I loved Sara's spunk and Louisa's sweetness. I remember crying when my parents got rid of their cars, so I could not imagine how sad I would have been to leave my childhood home in the midst of childhood.
I cried pretty much through the last two chapters of the book. I found it ironic that the house did end up burning down and I was glad that Ellen had the chance to be reminded of what is important to her. The scene inside the burning house and after her family comes out is very moving. However, I thought that it became a bit melodramatic and wrapped up a bit too neatly. The end of the book wrapped up a little too quickly for my preference. I wanted to know more about the process of Ellen's reconciliation with Sam. Overall, I really enjoyed the book. I would recommend it to anyone who is in transition and trying to figure out how to make a house a home.
I am using this book for the What's in a Name Challenge Two.
Other reviewers of the book:
(If you have a read the book, leave a comment or send me an email and I will add you to the list)