Outskirts Press (2015)
Reviewed by Carol Hoyer for Reader Views (1/18)
Emee Green’s, “Houses and Homes” takes readers on a journey of finding that one place to call home as opposed to just a house. As a military family member, I can certainly attest to the difference in these terms; having moved frequently over the course of 20 years, we always looked for a home.
The author’s journey begins in England where her family lived in a cottage with very few modern conveniences. Her mother having been in a traveling theater group had very little education, but was a talented seamstress and was hired by a wealthy local family to be a maid. It was during this time the homeowner would leave extra coins for her, so she was able to rent the cottage. In the 1900s one had to be able to reconfigure rooms to suit their needs without additional cost which is exactly what her mother did.
As with many families once the family gets too big for a house, they look for a larger one to rent or buy. Many families choose to stay in the same neighborhood or area due to friends, work, school, or cost. Each house has its own character and some, as soon as you walk in, you can feel if this “is it” or just a temporary resting place.
Over the course of the years the author, by chance, began her journey into the field of real estate by renting or purchasing houses or land with just $1,000 investment. She describes each house in very descriptive terms which included “love-stay” or “time to go.” It almost seems she had an obsession that she had to have bigger and better regardless of the cost or changes that needed to be made. However, it wasn’t wealth or huge mansions she wanted, but ones that would accommodate her ever-growing family and guests.
I found it interesting that she called her husband “Husband” throughout the book, her sisters only went by initials, and her in-laws were fa-law and mo-law. I’m questioned whether these were English terms or not, however, my mother who was born in England assures me it is not. I also found it interesting that each of their houses had names such as Delano or the Dunes.
“Houses and Homes” by Emee Green was quite interesting to read, with the author providing lessons learned after buying each house. I did find however, that after three-quarters of the way into the book, the details of buying, selling, and re-doing of each house felt a bit repetitive.