Dream House: A Novel
Dream House, the riveting debut novel from Pushcart Prize-winning author Valerie Laken, tells the story of one troubled house—the site of a domestic drama that will forever change the lives of two families. Embracing volatile issues such as race, class, and gentrification, while seamlessly mixing ...more
Came across this one in the library (by accident). First it was the title that jumped out, then the cover & then the premise that drew me right in! Well, it wasn't exactly what i was expecting (as some other reviews stated) but I did enjoy the ride. There were a few places that I actually started to skim through a bit but for the most part, Dream House was an okay read. I would be interested to see what the author has in store next...
After 18 year old Walker Price kills his widowed mother's abusive and drug addled boyfriend, he is sent to prison for the next decade and a half. The young man daydreams of reclaiming the family home his pops and moms filled with love and hard work before his father's untimely death. Meanwhile, the Ann Arbor house (converted to a rooming house in the years between the murder and 2005, when the core of the story is told) is sold to ...more
Even though the book's first 50-100 p ...more
On many levels, critics praised Dream House, a domestic drama inspired by Laken's own experience buying and renovating a home in which a murder had occurred. No ordinary ghost story, it offers insight into the troubled human psyche and a deep inquiry into the meaning of home through multiple storylines. Lessons about materialism, self, sacrifices, class, race, and values also emerge. Reviewers agreed that the prologue is a short masterpiece and that the novel as a whole is an excellent portrait...more
A lot of the reviews I've read have tended to focus on Kate, and while you would probably consider her the "main" character, I found myself connecting to and understanding Stuart way more that it seems others have. Here was a man, who's biggest flaw was the lack of any real sense self es ...more
Oh no. It's not the case. At all.
I think it's this disappointment that initially made me find it difficult to really become grabbe ...more
Dream House is incredibly moving, and the best feature of the novel is Valerie ...more
The main characters, Kate and Walker are both obsessed with this house. Kate - has always felt that she's been a disappointment to her family and feels that by immersing ...more
This novel is a hard one for me to characterize. Cover states "ghost story", not really. It is not a "thriller" or "mystery" because the altering event of the story is the premise of the book. It is a page turner - I couldn't put the book down as the author mingled the three main characters. It is a story about healing. The novel also has crazy obvious symbolism - broken house, broken relationships.
The strength of the novel is how the author is able to authentically develo ...more
Kate and Stuart Kinzler buy a rickety old house with a horrible history - someone was murdered in the house. They find out about the murder at a time when their marriage is already on shaky ground. Stuart can't handle the stress and Kate's full attention to the house she wants to remodel, so he leaves. She meets Jay and Wal ...more
I enjoyed reading it, but I can't figure out why it didn't make a greater impression on me.
I liked the main character, in spite of (or maybe because of) her flaws. Yes, she's a bit self centered, and a bit obsessive, but who isn't? (What, that's just me? Oh, sorry!). I was amused by her husband, mired in the good ole' days of college, not quite ready to ...more
It is the story of a young couple who purchases their first home, with the husband only grudgingly agreeing to the purchase. When they find out that the house was the scene of a murder, the husband leaves.
It is the story ...more
The plot keeps the book moving forward, but so does the ...more