“House”, Tracy Kidder
It is said that in spring a young man’s fancy turns to love…and it’s not long afterwards that the “nesting” urge rises. Spring is also the time of renewal; the time when established couples think about what has commonly been called their “dream home”. At some point in our lives, many of us may buy an existing house. Some venture to build. And the rare and courageous, rise to have a home designed to express themselves in all the manifestations of their human character.
“House”, a 1985 New York Times Best Seller, by Tracy Kidder, is the true story of a middle aged professional New England couple, the Souweine’s, their architect-friend, William Rawn, and the crew of the local home-building company, Apple Construction along the chronological path from “dream”, through construction, to reality.
What makes “House” an excellent read is the way Tracy smoothly integrates the character of each of the individuals and their relationships as the design of the house progresses, and the influence of the house itself as it comes to life. He is also adept at describing the architectural and construction activities in an understandable and interesting fashion.
The best works of art speak to us through time and “House” is no different. As I re-read the book, I couldn’t help think that the story was as true in 1985 as it is today, and onwards so long as single family homes are with us. Whether you “dream” about a new home, or just enjoy a good story; this work is highly recommended.
“House”, John Tracy Kidder, Avon Books, 1985, ISBN 0-380—70176-6
David Lavender is a local architect with an international practice.