Carolyn Hill's Reviews > Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived in That House

Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived in That House by Meghan Daum
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's review
May 16, 2010

really liked it
Read in May, 2010

This book is a wonderful confessional for a house-a-holics anonymous, if there was such a thing. Coping with the addiction myself, I found the book not so much revelatory as relatable. No, I haven't had the compulsion to continually move like the author did, but I certainly find myself surfing the MLS listings when I'm not in the market to buy and studying the shelter magazines ad nauseam. If you've ever fantasized about living in that certain house down to how you'd decorate and furnish it, or add on to or renovate it, then you'd enjoy this book. Meghan Daum does not go into too much detail about the endless projects involved in buying a fixer-upper. This is not a how-to manual or even a post-housing bubble tale of remorse, but an honest look into her own psyche, where owning and restoring a house (especially a falling-down one) and endowing it with her own personal stamp was her way of defining herself. This is a memoir of her relationship with housing from constantly changing dorm rooms at Vassar and her first dream of a pre-war New York apartment, which she was actually able to realize not long after graduation, to a fixation with a house on the prairie, which she tried out in Nebraska, and then on to apartment-hopping and house hunting in Los Angeles. It's a fun and interesting ride, and Daum ends up coming to terms with what a house can give you and what it cannot.

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