The Household Spirit: Book summary and reviews of The Household Spirit by Tod Wodicka

The Household Spirit

by Tod Wodicka

The Household Spirit by Tod Wodicka X
The Household Spirit by Tod Wodicka
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  • Published in USA  Jun 2015
    336 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

In this remarkable novel, Tod Wodicka, author of All Shall Be Well; And All Shall Be Well; And All Manner of Things Shall Be Well, has crafted a luminous story of a most curious friendship.

There's something wrong next door. At least, that's what neighbors Howie Jeffries and Emily Phane both think. Since his daughter and wife moved out, Howie has been alone, an accidental recluse content with his fishing and his dreams of someday sailing away from himself on a boat. Emily couldn't be more different: she's irreverent, outgoing and seemingly well-adjusted. But when Emily returns from college to care for her dying grandfather, Howie can't help but notice her increasingly erratic behavior — not to mention her newfound love of nocturnal gardening.

The thing is, although they've lived side by side in the only two houses on rural Route 29 in upstate New York since Emily was born, Howie and Emily have never so much as spoken. Both have their reasons: Howie is debilitatingly shy; Emily has been hiding the fact that she suffers from a nighttime affliction that makes her both terrified to go to sleep, and question the very reality of her waking life. It is only when tragedy strikes that their worlds, finally, become joined in ways neither of them could ever have imagined.

A poignant, big-hearted, and often humorous novel about two very unique individuals unceremoniously thrown together, The Household Spirit is a story about how little we know the people we see every day — and of the unexpected capabilities of the human heart.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Wodicka's fluid, expressive prose - dotted with quotable observations often as odd as his players - serves well his weaving of such a convincing, unexpected story from eccentricity, pain, and need." - Kirkus

"Wodicka's story of two eccentrics living a strange coexistence can be jarring, but it's also touching. The accounts of sleep paralysis, grief, and personal demons make for a novel well worth reading." - Publishers Weekly

"When I read Tod Wodicka's novel, it was as if somewhere in its core there was a light that glowed out onto me. It was an extraordinary experience. An extraordinary book." - Douglas Coupland, author of Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture

"Wodicka writes with a winningly idiosyncratic combination of brio and tenderness, and concludes his story sublimely. The Household Spirit is a book to hold dear." - Clare Wigfall, author of The Loudest Sound and Nothing

"The Household Spirit is very special. There's a pleasing familiarity to it but it's also fresh, funny and unpredictable." - Roddy Doyle, author of Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha

"Rarely have I been so captivated by a novel - its compassion, wisdom, warmth. I loved it." - Nathan Filer, author of The Shock of the Fall (Winner of the Costa Book of the Year and the Betty Trask Prize)

The information about The Household Spirit shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Author Information

Tod Wodicka Author Biography

Tod Wodicka was born in Glens Falls, New York, and was educated at Manchester University in Great Britain. His first novel, All Shall Be Well; And All Shall Be Well; And All Manner of Things Shall Be Well was published in the UK and the Netherlands in December 2007 and in the United States in January 2008. He lives in Berlin.

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