The Holidays and Bright Night and January and Life have knocked out a lot of the wind beneath our blogs sails– I am going to make a more concerted effort to write more often. Of course, it is the season of confounded resolutions.
In the meantime, here’s the book that I wish our blog had morphed into and the book I wish I’d written (although with a clown focus of course, and moving all the action from Cleveland to Yonkers. And maybe a little less romantic or something) Still, this guy writes very eloquently, and honestly, and I think our readers (that means you) will enjoy this book.
THIS IS FROM THE DUST JACKET:
“I had the key in my pocket…. The old brick house on the shady suburban street was ours.”
In the summer of 2001, Michael and Donna Ruhlman purchased a century-old house in one of Cleveland’s oldest suburbs. Its main systems having deteriorated over the decades, and its floor plan seeming incompatible with contemporary lives, they set out to make it their own.
House is Ruhlman’s description of the events that followed this emotional rather than practical decision, and in recounting the story of his family’s life in intimate and compelling detail, he explores questions that swirl around our country’s often contradictory domestic impulses.
We are a land of itinerants in love with the idea of home, the truth and sentimentality of it intertwining so tightly they are almost indistinguishable. What does a house and home mean anymore to us generally in this country? Why do we idealize it? Why do we long for a home of our own? What is the source of and reason for this longing, which runs counter to the American spirit of renewal and reinvention, the open road, flight?
These opposing thrusts, the yearning for permanent home place and the increasingly common need to relocate, make us a confused culture on some levels. Are we depleting ourselves by moving so frequently, by raising out families in a series of homes and unconnected places? How are these forces shaping our landscape, and how does the family home, in that changing landscape, shape the life of a family? What is the place of a house in the evolution of a marriage? What exactly does a house mean? How and why does the quest for a house compel us to act in such a seemingly irrational manner.
With a novelistic attention to detail and story and a journalistic compulsion to record actual events, House is as entertaining as it is informative.