House and Home is the story of a woman obsessed with her home and the meaning it holds for herself and her family. Ellen's husband has lost their life's savings in an inventor's investment gone wrong and her marriage is over. She can live with that, but not with the fact that she and her two young daughters will have to move across town to a perfectly nice home that doesn't hold the same appeal. Not only that, but one of the new owners irritates her, and for this reason she decides to burn the house down.
In order to enjoy this book, you have to get over the fact that the main character is throwing a mid-life tantrum because she doesn't get to live in her perfect house.
Underneath that, though, is an apt commentary on the emphasis that American culture puts on the perfect home creating the backdrop for the way we want to see ourselves and to be seen. We know that the joy of life is made up of far more important things than hardwood floors and big windows, and yet how much do we covet lazy Sunday mornings with Fiestaware cups of coffee and patches of sun on a beautiful hardwood floor? Ellen's story puts it all into perspective in a big way.
The Soundtrack: An old favorite of mine, Our House by Crosby Stills Nash and Young, which probably better reflects my own attitude towards home than Ellen's.
Our house is a very very very fine house
With two cats in the yard
Life used to be so hard
Now everything is easy 'cause of you.
This review is part of a promotional book tour, which I am participating in as a volunteer. The opinions are my own, and have not been endorsed or approved by TLC Book Tours, the author, or the publisher. Other stops on the tour can be found at the TLC Book Tours site.