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Keeping the House par Ellen Baker
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Keeping the House (édition 2007)

par Ellen Baker (Auteur)

MembresCritiquesPopularitéÉvaluation moyenneMentions
3433159,345 (3.75)11
When newlywed Dolly Magnuson moves to 1950's Pine Rapids, Wisconsin, she discovers that making marriage work is harder than it looks in the pages of the Ladies Home Journal.
Membre:BookConcierge
Titre:Keeping the House
Auteurs:Ellen Baker (Auteur)
Info:Random House (2007), 544 pages
Collections:Votre bibliothèque
Évaluation:*1/2
Mots-clés:audio, concierge, family, historical fiction, library, secrets, war, Wisconsin

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Keeping the House par Ellen Baker

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Affichage de 1-5 de 31 (suivant | tout afficher)
Digital audiobook read by Christine Williams
1.5*

From the book jacket: Set in the conformist 1950s and reaching back to span two world wars, [this] is the story of a newlywed who falls in love with a grand abandoned house and begins to unravel dark secrets woven through the generations of a family.

My reactions
The novel begins with a prelude set in 1896, when a young married couple come to Pine Rapids, Wisconsin, then moves forward to 1950, as newlywed Dolly Magnuson struggles to fulfill her role as the perfect wife to Byron. She’s young, somewhat naïve, and eager to join the nearly closed society of this small town.

I was interested in Dolly’s storyline and was hoping for more insight into her maturation process. But Baker’s choices in the plot made me unsympathetic to this young woman. I found her easily swayed, overly romantic, and almost hopelessly immature. The additional “secret” behind the Michelson property, and the constant moving back in time to tell that family’s story, did nothing for me. It seemed like a melodramatic soap opera. It’s a pretty tangled web of intrigue and betrayal among a group of family members that … in my opinion … deserve one another. Okay … that was possibly too harsh as Anne and Elissa seem more victims than perpetrators, and Harry proves his mettle at the end.

Anyway .. I disliked the bunch of them and finished the book only because it satisfied a challenge.

Christine Williams did a fine job narrating the audiobook. She sets a good pace and her diction is clear enough to be understandable even at double speed. Too bad she didn’t have better material to work with. ( )
  BookConcierge | Oct 25, 2021 |
This book is very hot and cold for me.

I appreciate the historical fiction component of this book. It's interesting to hear about roles of particular groups--women, vets, daughters, moms. But I do find all the decade switching to be a little distracting and difficult to follow ( )
  knittinkitties | Aug 23, 2021 |
I nearly gave up on Keeping the House very early because the reader on the CD version is SO irritating. She overdramatizes nearly every line. Nevertheless, I stuck with it because I have a fairly long commute and need long audiobooks.

Well, this one is unnecessarily long. The author really strings us along. She alternates between several time periods, and often tells the same scene in more than one section, but without really giving a significantly different viewpoint as such a multiplicity of perspectives should do in order to make that technique worthwhile. This book could have been at least a hundred pages shorter. Was she being paid by the word? At one point she actually writes (I paraphrase): "He got to the top of the stairs. He could take a 180 degree turn left or right, but he always turned right, because his office lay that way." Why even mention this?? Here's another one: "He closed her door, walked around the truck, opened his door, sat down and closed his door." What kind of time-wasting padding is that?

FINALLY, I got up to the climactic moment we've been strung along for, and it's such a melodramatic cliche! *spoiler alert* Why didn't the author mention Florence the southern secretary EARLIER, so we could have had a chance at putting two and two together and solving the mystery ourselves?? I wish I had been this woman's editor. There is some good stuff here, but excessively padded and missing the impact it could have had. ( )
  stephkaye | Dec 14, 2020 |
I really enjoyed this book because it gave perspective on the role of women in America from WWII forward. The life stories of members of a family, and that of an interested party, are nicely put together as part of the history of a house. ( )
  lrquinn | Jul 6, 2018 |
A neglected wife who is obsessed with renewing a house that doesn't belong to her. ( )
  GeneHunter | Mar 13, 2016 |
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Dolly, her brand-new sewing basket hanging from the crook of her arm, set out for Cecilia Fryt's bearing a fresh plate of Lacy Raisin Wafers, clutching a note in her fist that read "412 W. 1st."
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When newlywed Dolly Magnuson moves to 1950's Pine Rapids, Wisconsin, she discovers that making marriage work is harder than it looks in the pages of the Ladies Home Journal.

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