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Houses: a novel

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4.27  ·  Rating details ·  37 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Through the turbulent '60s, the psychedelic '70s, the materialist '80s, and the booms and busts of the end of the century, Lacey Winters will find herself house proud, house poor, even homeless, and she will learn a great deal about how our homes confer status, hide our secrets, even become our prisons. This is a story for anyone who has ever loved, or lost, a house.
Paperback, 362 pages
Published November 13th 2009 by Leigh Walker Books
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Lisa
Nov 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is a very soft, very subtle book. It reads like the memory of a fireside chat you once had with your favorite aunt or a special neighbor . An easy read, you'd tell your bookclub. Piece of cake. But this one haunts you. The narrator's voice gets in your head and surfaces when you're standing at the kitchen sink, in the carpool line, microwaving your lunch at work. The gender issues and problems that this ordinary character confronted twenty, thirty years ago are the same ones that women,and ...more
Missa
Jan 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
I grew up in an old Tudor-style house on an acre of land in a country club grounds outside of Chicago. There was a long driveway, a hundred trees and a creek running down the length of the property. The houses in my neighborhood were big, majestic and proud. My house held three levels, 5 bedrooms, (only 2 baths!), and a child’s imagination. They brought me home from the hospital to that house, and that is where I discovered everything life had to offer until I was 13. That is when my parents ...more
Deborah
"Houses" is about the many beautiful, enduring and literally earth-shattering epidodes that women and men experience in life. It's how the locust-like numbers of "baby boomers"...in our gusto for living, for challenge and change, helped bring about impassioned awareness, and long standing, meaningful new ways of living in our generation...not just social unrest, mindless war, entitlements and greed. And, we continue to effect social, spiritual, political and cultural change even today.

Ms Parks
...more
Kristi
Mar 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013
"Sometimes you own houses. Sometimes they own you." I am 42 and living at the moment in the 8th house of my lifetime. I never actually counted the places I've called home until now. It's something interesting to do, stirring up memories and emotions, branding each dwelling with quick adjectives: one or two in sadness. Another recounted for its consoling wallpaper remodel days after 9/11, when we all sought comfort, security, and control within our rooms when the world outside had none. A few I ...more
Betty
Jan 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
This simply titled book was a pleasant surprise to me. It is written as a memoir and I had to keep reminding myself that this is a novel, not Cynthia Rogers Park's memoir, although I'm sure there is a great deal of herself in the book. "Houses" is the memoir of Lacey Winter. It is also a snapshot of historic moments of the U.S. through the 1950s, 60's, 70's and on toward the millennium; the growth of changes after WWII, through the Viet Nam era, the deaths of President John F. Kennedy, Ted ...more
Diane Barnes
Mar 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
As part of the baby-boomer generation myself, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, written as a memoir. Lacey Winters was born in 1950, and like the rest of us who came of age in the 2nd half of the 20th century, remembers her personal life interwoven with the cultural and historical events happening during important times of her own history. Her childhood, while not idealic, reminded me so much of my own, with kids leaving the house every morning in the summertime to roam the neighborhood with ...more
Angela
Nov 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I generally agree with the other reviews I’ve read but I’d have to add that this is a very funny book in many ways. Certainly HOUSES is not a comedy, but the narrator in the book is very down to earth and incredibly witty at times. I actually found myself laughing, and crying, in the same chapter. I don’t go for genre fiction usually. Dan Brown doesn’t do it for me and I don’t really care about Vampires or girl detectives. I just like a good story, well told, and I’d rather connect with a book ...more
Amy
Jan 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
Loved this book, and the beautiful story told through the houses in which our narrarator has lived.
Marsha
Sep 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Engaging read. I found myself reflecting on many of the same types of friends I grew up with in my childhood neighborhood. Parks path of houses was an interesting take on a life lived. I could relate for her love of houses completely. The relationships took second to the homes...interesting.
Beth
Jun 10, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I could relate to the author moving lot in her lifetime. I liked the book but I got tired of the author calling the readers...."chickadees" It seemed out of place. I could have done without that the 50 (seems like) times she said it.
Kristina
Sep 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
We all mark milestones in our lives in different ways. Some of us remember specific events by our jobs or gauge time by our children, but Lacey calls her memories up by houses.
In Cynthia Rogers’ novel “Houses,” we enter the mind of Lacey Winters and travel back in time with her as she reveals to us her life, the many historical issues of that time that shaped life as it was, and the various dwellings that have kept her through her journey. She begins by remembering living with her Grandmother
...more
Kathy
Aug 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Quotable:
Be careful when you pick your first job. Life has a way of making that first one really stick. The world is full of salesmen who meant to be bankers, bankers who planned to become chefs, school administrators who only wanted to teach, accountants who only meant to earn enough to start a poultry farm… I’m not suggesting, mind you, that all these paths were the wrong ones and the journeys weren’t worthwhile. That taking an unplanned or expedient path will necessarily leave you
...more
Terri
Mar 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Lovers of historical fiction
This was a fascinating read, written like a memoir, though it is fictional, of Lacey Winters, a southern girl growing all the way to middle age and how she views her life through the years. It's written almost like your neighbor telling you her life story.

Houses took me from the early 1950's all the way into the year 2000, with political and social commentary the whole way through. I found that I could really relate to so many things the author, Cynthia Parks, had to say, particularly when it
...more
Candy
Mar 13, 2013 rated it liked it

This book just seems to brush over the top surface of the boomer life experience. I think it's popularity relies on the fact that the reader can flesh out the stock characters from their own experience.
Cultural references bring back the reader's memories, so the feeling of satisfaction with the book is a mix of the story and the reader's experiences during the time frame referenced.
For example, I had a lot of memories around the mention of Pound Puppies. We had a Pound Purrie-and it HAD to be
...more
Kurt
Oct 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. I think it would be MOST appealing to female baby boomers. I don't think those under 40 would appreciate it as much. I had a similar feeling to the one I had after seeing the movie "The Butler", of a review of my life and times.
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Cynthia Parks
Oct 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
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“That is the flip side, you see, to laissez-faire parenting. It succeeds or not, throughout the animal kingdom as it does with humans, in direct relationship to the strength of the offspring. Some of us don’t need very much. Some of us need a lot.” 3 likes
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