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

3.39  ·  Rating details ·  292 Ratings  ·  70 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
Sep 03, 2009 rated it it was ok
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.
Oct 18, 2009 rated it did not like it
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
Ms. Okes
Dec 25, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Kristin Cruz
Jun 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Elizabeth Hunter
Feb 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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.

Dec 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
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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...
“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
More quotes…