Thursday, October 25, 2012

Keeping The House by Ellen Baker

KEEPING THE HOUSE came to me recommended by one of my very favourite authors, Joshilyn Jackson. It's a sprawling saga (elegantly sprawling, beautifully sprawling, sprawling with a purpose, you could say) of the family who lived in the beautiful big house on the hill in a little town. Legend has it there's a curse on the house and all who live in it, but even without that extra bait, it's an extraordinary novel.

Here are a few random things I love about the book:
  • The beautiful yet readable language.
  • The 1950s setting - oh, how I long to be a housewife with nothing better to do than record the yearly dinner menu (and read books, and write books, and mess around on Facebook, of course)!
  • The plot that twists and turns in a way I couldn't predict.
Interesting enough, it wasn't about the characters. Normally, characters make or break fiction for me. In KEEPING THE HOUSE, I didn't really have a favourite character, one I liked above all others, one whose fortune I'd be happy to put ahead of another. There wasn't a single character I found totally heroic, totally admirable, totally lovable. And yet, I wished them all good luck as I raced through he book, turning and turning those pages.

A must read.

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