latereader, October 13, 2008 (view all comments by latereader)
I found this book totally delightful. The perfect length for that not-often-gotten alone time I need. It reads somewhat like a daytime drama (commonly known as the soap opera) in that there are characters you identify with, characters you want to dislike and somehow can't really, characters that seem very familiar and others you wish you could get to know. Yes, our heroine, Ellen does seem a bit neurotic, but who hasn't wanted to burn their house down out of love and desperation..? Is that why I love the ambiance of candles? ;o)
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readerthinker, August 24, 2008 (view all comments by readerthinker)
Even a "readerthinker" enjoys some time away from books that expect to be taken very seriously. House and Home is a quick, fun summer read with a BEAUTIFUL cover and an outstanding first paragraph. It was exactly what my vacation needed.
Unexpected benefit: at times the main character is so neurotic that she made me feel really together by comparison.
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Portland Reader, July 29, 2008 (view all comments by Portland Reader)
This book has one of the best first paragraphs I've ever read in a novel. The rest of the book kept the promise of the first page, and I couldn't put it down. Ellen's quest to keep her beloved house, or at least keep it away from the uber-annoying buyer (Jordan), was at varying times sad, ridiculous, funny, logical, and manic....which made for very entertaining reading. I think there's a bit of Ellen in every homeowner, and a bit of Jordan too. Quite an enjoyable summer novel.
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2002, July 21, 2008 (view all comments by 2002)
Kathleen McCleary’s novel “House & Home” is a delightful book. She describes places and people in such detail you feel you are there. The dialogue flows easily. If you are afraid of seeing yourself in the various characters of the book, you won’t like it. If you are not afraid to examine and relate to the characters in the book, you will love it and keep thinking about it. Don’t be surprised if you forget that it is work of fiction and not a true story. If you like to laugh and don’t mind a good cry you won’t be disappointed. It is a must read for all us 40ish Moms living in Portland, Oregon, and a great read for the rest of you.
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"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"After initiating a separation from her husband — whose repellently named invention, the splotch-catching 'hot dog diaper,' has bankrupted them — Ellen Flanagan, faced with supporting two young daughters, makes the levelheaded decision to sell the family home in the suburbs of Portland, Ore., to pay off debts and keep her business (a smalltown coffee shop) afloat. One daughter takes the change in stride, another plots to disrupt the sale, and Ellen soon finds herself struggling with her own deep feelings for the house. Obnoxious buyers make things worse, and lurking behind all her preparations to move is the possibility — alternately tempting and unsettling — of reconciling with husband Sam, who seems blindsided and bewildered. HGTV.com columnist McCleary's tale of real estate woe (plus a little entrepreneurship gone wrong) will resonate with unhappy homeowners, as will her portrait of a regular woman pushed to extremes trying to do the right thing for her family. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
by Joanna Scott, author of Liberation and Everybody Loves Somebody,
"At the center of Kathleen McCleary's impressive debut novel is a woman who risks destroying everything she has lovingly arranged just so someone else can't have it. House and Home is a riveting book, packed with wit, dramatic twists, powerful consequences, and pitch-perfect details."
"[One] of the most engrossing books this season."
--O at Home
"Altogether so superior it's hard to believe that it's a debut."
"This novel is a delight. It grabs you from the opening paragraph . . . and holds you with its cathartic exploration of home and family."
Ellen Flanagan has two precious girls to raise, a cozy neighborhood coffee shop to run, terrific friends, and a sexy, if irresponsible, husband. And she adores her house, a yellow Cape Cod filled with quirky antiques, beloved nooks, and a million memories. But as her eighteen-year-roller-coaster marriage heads toward divorce, she's about to lose it all--her house, her husband . . . and her sanity.
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.
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.