Rachel prepares herself for the disagreements and disasters that can accompany a major home renovation. But what she isn't prepared for is the emotional journey that will blow open the seal around everything she thinks she knows about herself, about family, and about the misunderstandings and resilience of love. From Hal's first design sketch to the last stroke of paint, memories of a difficult childhood, friendships left behind, challenges with siblings, and an improbable path to marriage come bursting out.
Once the dust settles, Rachel is astonished by the many gems revealed along the way---and comes to discover profound insights about the construction, demolition, and renovation of personal connections.
Featuring beloved characters from Riding the Bus with My Sister and written with Simon's signature breathtaking prose, Building a Home with My Husband is a wise and poignant reflection on love's endless possibilities and the extraordinary endurance of the human spirit.
Sometimes the right book comes along at just the right time, with lessons to teach that the reader is ready to learn. So it was for me with Rachel Simon’s “Building a Home with My Husband.”
I chose this book because my own husband and I are considering purchasing a home that would need renovating. I have never renovated a house before, and I wanted to get an idea of what it was like. Or, as I put it to my husband, I was hoping this book would help me “get into it.” I was not disappointed.
Simon teaches the reader that home renovations take time – and lots of it. When undertaking such a project, one should be prepared to devote months and months toward the betterment of the home in question. There will be set backs along the way. One should avoid getting frustrated. As Simon’s husband Hal, the Buddhist architect, would tell you, these things are going to happen. No use getting upset about it.
Another lesson of Simon’s is that while your home is being renovated, life happens. There are visits with siblings, parents and neighbors. There are health scares, business trips and work projects to complete. The renovation is an important part of your life, but it is not the sum total of your life. The rest of the world moves on whether you are renovating or not.
Finally, Simon does not presume to tell you that the renovation and the headaches that went along with it will be “worth it,” but she does express that the end result is a home you crafted out of your own imagination. Each part of it is yours, reflecting your taste and bearing your stamp of approval. In the end you have a place that may be more “home” to you than any other place you have lived – because you made it.
While I have no complaints about the performance by Laural Merlington, I would have liked it very much if this book had been narrated by author Rachel Simon. I have found that most works of non-fiction are enhanced when narrated by the person who lived the experience. However; if there had to be another narrator, Merlington did a stand up job.
If you plan to renovate a home and would like some help “getting into it,” this book is an excellent choice. Listen to it with the loved one with whom you’ll be renovating, and learn together.
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