“Sometimes you own houses. Sometimes they own you.” I am 42 and living at the moment in the 8th house of my lifetime. I never actually counted the places I’ve called home until now. It’s something interesting to do, stirring up memories and emotions, branding each dwelling with quick adjectives: one or two in sadness. Another recounted for its consoling wallpaper remodel days after 9/11, when we all sought comfort, security, and control within our rooms when the world outside had none. A few I wish we’d kept just for their beauty and grace alone. The majority filled with blessed, fun, unforgettable, proud memories of milestones in time, family gatherings, births, and the forever echo of children’s laughter and footsteps.
“Content, secure, settled, grateful, peace” define our hopeful final resting place, Home 8. Lord, just let us pay it off, build a guesthouse, do a little remodeling, and pass it on… Too much to ask? I guess you can call me a dreamer.
When a book inspires so many nostalgic thoughts, memories, desires, and hopes, well, it’s a great one. Who cares that I’m a shoe-in lover here due to my HGTV addiction of Hawaii Life and Selling LA. Bias aside, Houses is a wonderful sleeper of a book, a novel, although flowing like a graceful, honest memoir and entirely different than anything I’ve read, with pages embracing Lacey Winters’ life lived through her vividly expressed pages of memories and visions unforgotten while living in all the places she’s called home.
A favorite quote: “This, chickadees, is the thing about happiness. You must take it where you find it. Don’t question or second guess or wish for minor modifications. Laugh, eat, joke. Bounce the baby on your knee. Don’t look forward or back. Keep your eyes focused on the faces around you. One of them may be missing come next year. Come next year everything may be entirely different. Memory may have to darken your perfect day with its tincture of melancholy and the happiness will never seem so clear and real again. Should you find yourself happy, as happy as I was that Thanksgiving day, don’t even think. Just be. And if the dressing this time should turn out perfect, too — not too dry, not too moist, perfectly seasoned like Grandmother made it, eat a lot of it. Eat all you want.”
This book is more than just happy houses, love, family, and the ties that bind us whole. Houses showcases living with simplicity, reflection of our lives, quiet changes within our hearts and souls, ultimate glorious growth in us all…. And that one character who helplessly stole my heart: “Dying isn’t so bad. It’s like getting tuned in to a super special frequency. Where you can hear everybody. Everybody you love.” | Sophie
5 out of 5 stars. Relax and read slowly. Take some time. It’s an easy read… with great rewards. ~ k