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Building a Home with My Husband: A Journey Through the Renovation of Love

3.38 of 5 stars 3.38  ·  rating details  ·  249 ratings  ·  67 reviews
The bestselling and highly acclaimed author of Riding the Bus with My Sister returns with an illuminating and tenderhearted memoir about the unexpected ways a home renovation can change a life.

Rachel Simon's historic home on a charming tree- lined street was hardly ideal. It was too small, too dark, and there was a gaping hole in the dining room ceiling. So when the house
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published June 11th 2009 by Dutton Adult (first published March 24th 2009)
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Janice Williams
I had first read "Building a Home with My Husband: A Journey through the Renovation of Love" when it was published in hardcover under that title. It was released in paperback under the title "The House on Teacher's Lane."

Recently, I had a long drive ahead of me, and settled in to listen to the audiobook version of "Building a Home with My Husband." I had listened to Simon's "Riding the Bus with My Sister" on the drive to Philadelphia and absolutely loved it (also having read the book years earl
There were parts of this book that were enjoyable and funny but it was a bit too preachy at times. I think if I knew Rachel, I'd find her annoying and exhausting. I felt as if she wanted this book to somehow be incredibly deep and meaningful instead of simply telling her story and letting the reader find the meaning for themselves and how it applied to them.
Seldom has an author irritated me more! I thought this would be a nice account of home renovation and instead got the most self-absorbed whiner I've come across in a long time. I just find most of it hard to believe. First clue: she claims when she met the man that would become her husband he asked "May I be so brazen as to ask for your number?" Seriously? Nobody talks like that in real life, if he did say that she should have run the other way. Another time when they are building a stone wall i ...more
As the second book of Rachel Simon's I've read, I can say I'm now a fan. Her style and ability to paint word pictures pulls me right into the room - or renovation - with her. After reading her tales of the journey to a "new" old house and her insights into her life and those around her, I would hire her husband as my architect and his general contractor without seeing a single photo. Her descriptions has me bundling up with them in the winter and enjoying the sunlight dancing in the rooms.

Elizabeth Hunter
I requested this from the library after hearing part of a review on NPR about it and in the first chapter I thought I was going to have difficulty liking this woman. She does a lot of things that I have little patience for--looking for a Life Purpose and taking nineteen years (including a six-year break) to figure out that she had a great guy and there's no such thing as True Love, whining about her First World Problems (oh noes, they'll have to cut their renovation plans back to only $130,000!) ...more
Ann Pietrangelo
Rachel Simon's tender memoir, Building a Home with My Husband, is not something you should rush through, or read in small doses. It's one of those books where you want to set aside a good block of time, curl up in your favorite chair, and savor a leisurely read.

Any couple that has survived a home renovation can attest to the utter chaos that ensues during that process, putting the best of relationships to the test. As Rachel and her husband forge through the process of blueprints and paint chips
Ms. Okes
I'll admit that I haven't read Riding the Bus with My Sister, so I wasn't entirely sure what to expect when I picked up this book. The idea, using a home renovation as a metaphor for building relationships, is a good one. There are many parallels that can be drawn between the two; Simon pointed out the need for understanding, allies, and good structure to name a few.

However, I never fully embraced the book. The author uses high vocabulary, appropriate for her job as a professor, but lending a fo
Jul 05, 2009 Jackie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jackie by: July 2009 IndieNext list
It's a wonder that Rachel and her husband Hal are together at all--they are very different people. Rachel is a writer and an advocate for people with disabilities with an admitted problem with physical things like the third dimension. Hal is an architect who designs the physical world and a musician who creates his own world. These two dated/lived together for 13 years, broke up for 6 years, and then, finally, got married. Then their house got burglarized, prompting at first the need to move, bu ...more
Kristin Cruz
Before I tell you about the book, throw on your shoes and RUN not walk to your local book store and buy a copy of this fabulous book. Or, click on over to Amazon and buy a copy of The House on Teacher's Lane. Go ahead and buy a digital copy while you are at it. I'll wait.

Are you back? Good. Now I can tell you all about why you need to read this book NOW. The House on Teacher's Lane tells the story of the adventures and misadventures Rachel Simon and her husband go through while remodeling their
Sue Campbell
One of the best books read this year. Like walking a labyrinth the author goes through a transformative experience. Her sharing it with the reader brings us with her.
Having also renovated a house with my husband, the title caught my eye first. But this book is about so much more than how a large scale home renovation changes you and your marriage forever. If you are continually fascinated by how your relationships work and how to improve them, then this one's for you. I had many "aha" moments. Here's one: "There is a kind of relationship that transcends all others...rarely discussed except in terms of warfare, yet it can be found anywhere and get us through ...more
Building A Home With My Husband is a well written memoir. It is a nice blend of HGTV and Lifetime television. Although, I would have loved to see Before & After pictures. How cruel is it to write a book about home renovation and not include Before & After pictures?

If you can forgive that minor oversight, you will find Building A Home With My Husband to be one woman's insightful look at unconditional love, and how hard it is to give and receive it.

The first book read for 2014.

A thoughtful, sincere, lovely memoir focused on approximately 2 years in the author's life.
If you think this is a story about living through a renovation you would be wrong. The renovation simply provides the frame for the memoir.

Our ordinary lives and experiences create endless opportunities for introspection, growth and change.

Simon, who had a childhood disrupted by her parents' choices, shares her journey of reattachment, forgiveness and love. As an adult, she com
I love memoirs and I had high hopes for this one. I figured if anyone could relate to the subject-it would be me. Truthfully, the writing didn't pull me in and I frankly stopped caring about the home. I had to force myself to finish it.
my favorite of all of Rachel's books.
i admit, i am getting mighty sick of writing these reviews. so, in sum, this book follows the journey of a couple's adventure renovating their home using sustainable materials & environmentally-conscious design (the dude half of the couple is an architect who specializes in sustainable design, & he came up with the renovations, although the wife signed off on all of them & they were implemented by a contractor). the book follows along throughout the entire renovation process & th ...more
B Dittrich
The House On Teacher’s Lane: A Memoir of Home, Healing, and Love’s Hardest Questions by Rachel Simon is not a story of disability per se. This new release by the author of Riding the Bus with My Sister: A True Life Journey looks more at the handicaps of our souls.

Set in the New England home that came with her marriage to her long-time sweetheart, Hal, Simon shares the travails
of a crisis that leads her and her husband to commit to an extremely involved renovation. While the construction stories
This was a introspective book that I will read again as it makes you stop and look and listen to your own relationships with family and friends. The author might be very hard to live with but she tries to be genuine and real and sensitive; All aspects of my own character that need a bit of work. My sister will LOVE this! :-)
Melissa Lee-tammeus
I initially was a bit skeptical about this book, but I thought the writing was truly sophisticated and I was intrigued what all this building talk was leading to. Come to find out the literal renovation, although interesting, was not what kept me reading - it was the metaphor of said renovation. The writer's exploration of her own life decisions in the midst of picking cabinets and paints - deciding against having children, her relationship with her mother, her interpretation of feelings within ...more
This is really a 3.5 star book. I adored Riding the Bus with My Sister by Rachel Simon. I adored meeting her in person and listening to her talk. I liked this book. I found it beautiful and poignant in places and rambling in places. Although, I may not necessarily be giving this book a fair shake because I'm in a reading rut right now. I loved how the renovation of Rachel and Hal's house was really a metaphor for the renovation of a life. As Rachel and Hal embark on a total home renovation, she ...more
Rachel certainly knows how to whine. Sometimes things just are and there is no reason why they happen. About half way through I began to read only the first sentence of every paragraph. I just couldn't listen to her anymore. I have to wonder if Rachel and Hal are still together?
The writer does drone on and on at times with certain topics. However, there were many insightful observations she made that I wanted to copy to save and think about later. I listened to this on audio CD…enjoyed the reader very much.
Eleanor Scott
This book has been re-titled "The House on Teacher's Lane". It was a quick read as it was a fun book. Ms. Simon tells her story with humor, along with thoughtful ideas of her own journey through life.
Pamela Grandstaff
Their project may have been renovating an old house, but the process they underwent included emotional, mental, and spiritual renovations as well.I was entertained by the book, but also appreciated the author's (and her husband's)thoughtful insights into what keeps us from connecting to our closest loved ones in a meaningful way, and the many ways in which we make ourselves (and everyone else) miserable by stubbornly resisting change and holding onto the selfish demand that everything happen jus ...more
Leanna Aker
This was an enjoyable read. The premise is that a 40-something woman renovates her home with her husband, and is reluctant. Through the process, they encounter snags and difficulties that test their patience, and force the woman, Rachel, to evaluate her own life and tendencies in the process.

At times, the book made me think about something in my own life, and at times, it seemed a little too contrived (I mean, does every bump in the road to home renovation lead to personal discovery? In here, i
Elizabeth  Higginbotham
Interesting reflective book about relationships as well as homes, families, and of course renovations of an old home in Wilmington. Interesting that I know the neighborhood.
I really liked this book. I read it because the author and person the book is about, Rachel Simon, wrote Riding the mus with my Sister - one of my favorite books.
This was entertaining and full of life's wisdom. Makes alot of things make sense. Would have been good to read many years ago.
One thing that I remember is when Rachel had to go through all her stuff and get rid of some due to space - instead of throwing or giving to a thrift shop etc. she found comfort in giving items to people she kne
This was a tough one to get through due to Simon’s whine fest extraordinaire. Yes, home renovations can–and often are—stressful, and hers was no different. But her over-analysis of her past with the various stages of her home reno really stretched beyond a reasonable point for me. Also, unlike many who go through home construction, Simon’s extremely unfunny husband--maybe he's just a nerd, but I could have done without her relating his jokes throughout--is an architect and is hands-on throughout ...more
I knew there were two books by Rachel Simon on the same topic, but I loved the first one, so got the second. It turns out that she just reformatted the first book and edited it somewhat, but it is still that same story. it says in tiny letters on the cover, "Previously published ad Building a Home with my Husband." So I bailed about half way through, although I do love her stories and I also love the way she and her husband interact and work through their problems. I may finish it someday, but n ...more
I was drawn to this book because of the author. I had seen a movie made from a previous book and had put that book on my "to read sometime" list. This book dealt with feelings and ideas just as much, but the subject did not appeal to me as much. I had thought it would, as my husband and I are slowly renovating our house, but it was too close to home. When she discussed arguments and her husband not listening to her ideas because he knew more, I felt it in my own heart.
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Rachel Simon is the author of six books.

The Story of Beautiful Girl
The House On Teacher's Lane
Riding The Bus With My Sister
The Writer's Survival Guide
The Magic Touch
Little Nightmares Little Dreams

In 2005, Hallmark Hall of Fame adapted Riding The Bus With My Sister for a film by the same name. It starred Rosie O'Donnell as Rachel's sister Beth and Andie MacDowell as Rachel, and it was directed by A
More about Rachel Simon...
The Story of Beautiful Girl Riding the Bus with My Sister: A True Life Journey The Writer's Survival Guide The Magic Touch: 2a Novel Little Nightmares, Little Dreams

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“Yes, we can all cart our fractured selves along as we move through our lives. But we can choose whether we keep plodding along the same rutted road, or take a turn we'd never thought was ours to take.” 3 likes
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