Dream House (Hardcover)

A Novel

By Valerie Laken

Harper, 9780060840921, 352pp.

Publication Date: February 3, 2009

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (1/26/2010)

List Price: 24.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Description

“The perfect haunted house story for these unnerving times.” —New York Times

Dream House, the riveting debut novel from Pushcart Prize-winning author Valerie Laken, tells the story of one troubled house—the site of a domestic drama that will forever change the lives of two families. Embracing volatile issues such as race, class, and gentrification, while seamlessly mixing genres as diverse as crime fiction, suspense, and home renovation, Dream House is a “sexy, sharp-eyed, deeply haunted, [and] wonderful book.” (Charles Baxter, author of the National Book Award finalist The Feast of Love)



About the Author

Valerie Laken teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her first novel, Dream House, was named of one Booklist's Top Ten First Novels and Kirkus Review's Best Books of 2009.



Praise For Dream House: A Novel

“Laken is masterful at character construction as she explores issues of race and class and conveys the wreckage of individual lives and the emotions evoked by a house that is the source of joy and dreams as well as the site of tragedy.”
— Booklist (starred review)

“A disaster occurs, but the human bonds that link these appealing characters are frayed, not broken. . . . Laken handles the fraught subjects of class, race, and family bonds with equal candor and sensitivity in this powerful book.”
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Offers insights into the fragility of home, family, and neighborhood. . . . [A] thoughtful debut. . . . Compelling reflections on broad issues such as neighborhood gentrification and the American dream as well as the personal struggles involved with marriage, family, and the creation of a home.”
— Publishers Weekly

“A perfectly plausible and rational ghost story: sexy, sharp-eyed, and deeply haunted all at once. The past never goes away. It is still there, inside the walls of this wonderful book.”
— Charles Baxter, author of The Feast of Love

“A psychologically engrossing novel about the homes we make—in our houses, in our neighborhoods, and in the hearts of our loved ones. Laken takes on that great unspoken American subject—class—and does so with frankness, acuity and surpassing feeling. DREAM HOUSE is a memorable debut novel from a fully mature talent.”
— Peter Ho Davies, author of The Welsh Girl

“In DREAM HOUSE, Valerie Laken has built for us an elegantly constructed novel with quietly polished yet dazzling lines, and she has peopled it with heartbreakingly convincing characters.”
— Eileen Pollack, author of The Rabbi in the Attic; Paradise, New York; and In the Mouth

“DREAM HOUSE is a novel of great reckoning. . . . Laken’s deft, generous, and brave debut will stay with you long after you’ve closed its covers.”
— Nancy Reisman, author of The First Desire and House Fires

“DREAM HOUSE tells the compelling tale of those to whom a roof means more than merely shelter. . . . It’s a complex story—and Valerie Laken tells it with great skill. From first to final page, hers is a beautifully built novel and an astonishing debut.”
— Nicholas Delbanco, author of What Remains, The Vagabounds, and The Count of Concord

“The perfect haunted house story for these unnerving times.”
— New York Times

“An interesting, worthy debut. It’s not every book that will appeal to people who like old houses and those who love a shivery story; this one does. For that, kudos.”
— Buffalo News