Due to the heavy TV schedule I have this week, I’m not rushing out to see a movie although I will be soon as there are some really good ones out there. Instead, I watched a lot of TV and managed to read a nice little book.
A friend gave me a debut novel by a friend of hers entitled “Dream House” by Catherine Armsden. I wasn’t expecting much but given that I have a lot of respect for people who write a book after doing something different for their entire career, I thought I’d give it a try. I mean, how great is it that this architect turned author took the risk to write a novel? I would never have the guts to do it. Not surprisingly, the main character (Gina) is an architect and there are a lot of architectural references including the title. The story begins with Gina who goes back to the house she grew up in on the coast of Maine when her parents are killed in an automobile accident. She struggles with coming to terms with who she is and the loss of her parents while clinging to the house and all it’s memories.
The book has several themes including discovering what “home” really means; dealing with the death of parents; self discovery etc. The author uses beautiful language to describe Gina’s life and the Maine house and it is easy to picture every little detail. I found the book an easy read and it kept my interest. Armsden uses the technique of flashbacks, which apparently is being taught in every writing class these days because there are a great number of authors employing it. I do get tired of so many books using the flashback/flash-forward technique but it didn’t really get in the way here. It’s a good book – as my friend says, “very visual” – and I enjoyed it. It is a little long for the plot and the emphasis on some historical letters becomes somewhat distracting, but those are minor points. Goodreads gives it a 4 out of 5, and I give it a B leaning towards a B+. It is definitely a “chick” book but for women looking for a nice little read, I don’t think they will be disappointed