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Home Making: Book summary and reviews of Home Making by Lee Matalone

Home Making

by Lee Matalone

Home Making by Lee Matalone X
Home Making by Lee Matalone
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2020
    208 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

From a talented, powerful new voice in fiction comes a stunning novel about the intersection of three lives coming to grips with identity, family legacy, and what it means to make a house a true home.

Cybil is a war child—the result of a brief affair between a young Japanese woman and a French soldier—who at a young age is transplanted to Tucson, Arizona, and raised by an American officer and his rigid wife. After a rebellious adolescence, she grows up to become a successful ob-gyn. 

Chloe, Cybil's daughter, is adrift in an empty house in the hills of Virginia. Her marriage has fallen apart, and her estranged husband is dying of cancer. Room by room, Chloe makes her new house into a home, grappling always with the real and imagined boundaries that limit her as a single, childless woman in contemporary America.

Beau, Chloe's closest friend, is in love with a man he's only met on the internet, who lives across the country. Shepherding Chloe through her grief, he is often called back to his loud, humid, chaotic childhood in Southwest Louisiana, where he first reckoned with the intricate ties between queerness, loneliness, and place.   

Through each of these characters Matalone weaves a moving, beautiful narrative of home, identity, and belonging. Home Making is a somber, yet hopeful, ode to the stories we tell ourselves in order to make a family. 

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"In measured prose, Matalone draws out connections between past and present to illuminate the mother and daughter's shared sense of ambiguity toward motherhood. Matalone's cool reflections on art and architecture will appeal to fans of Chris Kraus." - Publishers Weekly

"An intricate exploration of family and home, of mother and child, of friends, of women and written with both precision and style." - Weike Wang, author of Chemistry

"In this remarkable novel, Lee Matalone fashions a world of rich and nuanced characters. Matalone has created something original, almost kaleidoscopic, as she constructs the interwoven tales of the characters who each strive to form a home. She writes skillfully about relationships, living and dying, and love. Cleverly and beautifully rendered, this is the work of an author plunging beneath the surface, into the very heart of what fabricates our inner and outer lives. This is a smart, uncanny, and ambitious debut." - Nina McConigley, author of Cowboys and East Indians, winner of the PEN Open Book Award

"Home Making is subtle, funny, and original. An enormously moving novel about learning to make a home and, ultimately, a life." - Erin Somers, author of Stay Up with Hugo Best

"In Home Making, Lee Matalone has written the debut novel of the year. Structurally bold and metaphorically rich...[she] provides a rich, new blueprint of how we find meaning in the places we inhabit, the people we know, and how ultimately we continue to build that home which is our self. Brilliant." - Scott McClanahan, author of The Sarah Book

The information about Home Making 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

Lee Matalone

Lee Matalone writes about death and loss for The Rumpus. Her fiction has been featured in the The Offing, Denver Quarterly Review, Hobart, Joyland, Jellyfish Review, Nat. Brut, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, the Austin Review, and Cosmonauts Avenue. Her essays and reporting have appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, the National, and Flavorwire, among others. She has been a contributor to the Tin House, Bread Loaf, and Sewanee writers conferences, and has been awarded residencies at the Arctic Circle program, Pocoapoco and Art Farm. Home Making is her first novel. She lives in South Carolina where she is a lecturer at Clemson University.

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