Mozart's Piano Quartet no. 1 KV 478 is being performed here.
Cottage for Sale, Must Be Moved: A Woman Moves a House to Make a Home by Kate Whouley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book was not exactly what I was expecting but it still had its merit.
As you've probably read in the blurb. A woman who lives in a Cape Cod house on, where else? Cape Cod sees an advertisement for a colony of vacation cottage homes for sale. For a mere three thousand dollars she could own one of them. She visits the colony, falls in love with one particular cottage, and buys it.
The next several hundred pages contain her adventure in the world of conquering bureaucrats, getting permission to travel with a cottage, getting it to her property, but promising not to disturb the wetlands, which her property borders, arguing that she will not have more than three bedrooms because the cottage is going to serve as her office and what difference does it make anyway?
She also has trying adventures with the various contracters to move, build, paint, pour cement and what not.
In the end it all comes together, a rougher ride than she expected but who can predict these things?
Whouley's writing style is engaging and she makes what must have been a tedious process sound interesting.
My only complaints are that she could have developed the characters more. I realize this was non-fiction and one can only know so much about men who work on your house, but she never really lets us know her friends and family, either. One particular person, Barbara, whose family owned the property, had a lot of potential and I would very much have liked to have gotten to know her better but we only get a glimpse of her in the beginning and at the end when she is bedridden. It seems an entire story took place while we were attaching the cottage, but we never get to learn of it.
The other complaint I have is that the author writes everything in present tense. I cannot emphasize enough how much I hate reading a story in present tense. If you are not writing in second person you have no business writing in the present tense. It drains any color or rhythm her writing might otherwise have had. All the sentences limp along: subject verb. subject verb. subject verb. It's like listening to someone with one of those ugly monotone voices. A voice with no lilt, no lift, no melodic line. As a musician, I cannot tolerate voices of people who refuse to listen to themselves. As a reader, I feel the same way about tone deaf sentences.
On a positive note, I found her yearning for male relationships entertaining, but only because, being single after an ugly divorce, I was that person. With so many males crawling all over your house, surely one of them is The One. I won't tell you in case you like to be surprised.
I could comment on the unrealistic expectations of a forty-something woman who has never married and perhaps that is why she has never married, but you may want to draw your own conclusions.
Is the book worth reading? It's not War and Peace, but it was a fun, if small, rollick.
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