“House Lessons – Renovating a Life” book review

By page 10, I was completely hooked!

I can’t recall a time when our homes have been more significant than during the Year of 2020 Sheltering-in-Place Across the Globe.

Depending on your perspective or situation, all the time at home can be a blessing or a curse.

It’s not such a mystery the topic of homes or houses would be of interest to me.

Our daughter is a realtor. My in-laws are retired, real-estate brokers. My brother is a licensed general contractor. I love to look at, read about, and watch TV shows like Fixer Upper and Rehab Addict. I love driving through neighborhoods, and I’m especially interested in renovation and restoration, but mostly I’m interested in how people use and enjoy their homes – especially front and back porches!

We told our realtor exactly what we wanted & where we wanted to move and did the opposite.

If you are like me and love the idea & image of “home” and what it means, you’ll love this book in which Erica Bauermeister documents her family’s search, purchase, and renovation of their 1909 American Foursquare in Port Townsend, Washington.

If you’re interested in architecture, renovations, real estate, or DIY-ing I think you’ll appreciate it too.

“Houses are made of wood and glass, but they are also made of the events that happen within them. The dining room was dark, but it was also the setting for candlelit family dinners and evenings when Ry’s friends would spread out their board games and play late into the night, their laughter bouncing up the stairs. The kitchen had been our Grand Central Station, full of high chairs and dog bowls, and during its own renovation – – while the walls were still studs and the floors plywood – – it was where we hosted my favorite birthday party for Ben, using sawhorses to make a table, covering it with a white linen table cloth, and surrounding it with friends.”

Erica Bauermeister, House Lessons – Renovating a Life

House Lessons isn’t just about the renovation of a home, but it also examines marriage and parenting, within the context of renovation and restoration. The experience of renovating is a fantastic lens through which the author ponders her most important relationships.

Erica Bauermeister is a former realtor and has written several novels, including The Scent Keeper, which was a Reese Witherspoon book club pick for February 2020. She and her family spent two years living a much more intentional and slow-paced life in Italy before moving back to the states and taking on the house renovation project, which resulted in this beautiful, little book.

In addition to being a great memoir-in-essays, the publisher offers some unique book club extras here.

What are you LOVING about your home during this unusual time? I’ll answer first: my front porch!

Happy Reading!

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