Synopses & Reviews
Journalist Amy Haimerl and her husband had been priced out of their Brooklyn neighborhood. Seeing this as a great opportunity to start over again, they decide to cash in their savings and buy an abandoned house for $35,000 in the murder capital of America, Detroit.
As she and her husband restore the 1914 Georgian Revival, a stately brick house with no plumbing, no heat, and no electricity, Amy finds a community of Detroiters who, like herself, aren't afraid of a little hard work or things that are a little rough around the edges. Filled with amusing and touching anecdotes about navigating a real-estate market that is rife with scams, finding a contractor who is a lover of C.S. Lewis and willing to quote him liberally, and neighbors who either get teary-eyed at the sight of newcomers or urge Amy and her husband to get out while they can, Amy writes evocatively about the charms and challenges of finding her footing in a city whose future is in question. Detroit Hustle is a memoir that is both a meditation on what it takes to make a house a home and a love letter to a much-derided city.
“Surprisingly full of practical advice and always entertaining.” Library Journal
“With humor and incisiveness, Haimerl shares the journey of turning a house into a home …. As a financial journalist, she adeptly reports on the city's financial situation and its newest entrepreneurial efforts…This book is about more than the blight of Detroit; it is also about making a new home and community in a rapidly changing city.” Publishers Weekly
“A love song sung to a house and a city, but it's also a money memoir, one marked by ignorance at the outset and a triumph of feelings over financial facts.” The New York Times
Detroit Hustle is a a love letter to Detroit, a working class city that is largely misinterpreted and forgotten, and realistic look at the bruised state of the American Dream. Complete with personal anecdotes, interesting characters, and fascinating history, Haimerl tells how she turned a dilapidated Detroit house into a home. Haimerl's emphasis on DIY renovation on a house that didn't have heat or electricity for six months is sure to strike a chord with anyone who is buying a house and trying to transform it into a home, while exploring how a poor girl from Colorado can find hope and identity in the hard work and resiliency of the city that built and lost the American Dream.
About the Author
Amy Haimerl is the former city editor at Crain's Detroit Business, where she used personal stories to help readers understand difficult financial concepts. Previously, she was an executive editor at Gotham and Hamptons magazines, a senior editor at Fortune Small Business, and the personal finance editor for CNNMoney. Most recently she was a Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan. She lives in Detroit, Michigan with her husband, a pit bull, and two cats.