Dream House: Book summary and reviews of Dream House by Valerie Laken

Dream House

by Valerie Laken

Dream House by Valerie Laken
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2009
    352 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

One terrible night. One outraged act. What price will people pay to hold their homes and dreams together?

When Kate and Stuart Kinzler buy a run-down, historic house in Ann Arbor, Michigan, they're looking for a decent remodeling investment and a little space in which to rekindle their troubled marriage. Instead they discover that their home was the scene of a terrible crime many years ago—a revelation that tips the balance of their precarious union.

When a mysterious man begins lurking around her yard, Kate—now alone—is forced to confront her home's dangerous past. Hers is not the only life that has crumbled under this roof. But the stranger who has returned to this house—once his own childhood home—is in search of something Kate may never fully understand.

Featuring a diverse cast of characters and building to an unforgettable climax, Dream House embraces the volatile issues of race and class to chart the concentric effects of one fateful decision—a moment of rage that will echo forever within these four walls.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"For the most part ... Laken avoids foundering in obvious symbolism, instead offering compelling reflections on broad issues such as neighborhood gentrification and the American dream ... " - Publishers Weekly.

"The atmosphere of the house is entrancing, but the meetings of the main characters seem forced, as though they are all starring in their own separate novels." - Library Journal.

"Starred Review. Laken handles the fraught subjects of class, race and family bonds with equal candor and sensitivity in this powerful book." - Kirkus Reviews.

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Valerie Laken received her MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including Ploughshares, the Chicago Tribune, and the Antioch Review, and she has received a Pushcart Prize, the Missouri Review Editors' Prize, and two Hopwood Awards. She teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

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