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Keeping the House & Giveaway

September 29, 2008

A NovelTwo giveaways in two days! If you missed my post yesterday about Dewey, please make sure to take a look at it and leave a comment if you are interested in winning a copy of the book. Otherwise, take a look at this giveaway below!

When I first heard about Keeping the House over at Planet Books, it sounded like a book I would enjoy. Luckily, the author was gracious enough to send me a copy of Keeping the House for review. Ellen Baker’s novel is really two stories in one. Dolly Magnuson is an unfulfilled housewife of the 50’s. She moves with her husband to the small town of Pine Rapids Wisconsin where he runs a car dealership. While her husband is busy at work and fishing with one of his buddies, Dolly is homesick for her family and joins a local quilting circle in order to meet other women in the town. During the meetings, she learns about Wilma Mickelson, a woman who used to live in the large old abandoned house set on a hill overlooking the town. Wilma came to Pine Rapids as a young newleywed in 1896. Wilma never cared for the new town in which she found herself and didn’t fit the typical mold of studious wife and mother. When tragidy strikes her family during war time, Wilma’s family starts to fall apart at the seams.

Dolly is intrigued by the gossip surrounding the Mickelson family and begins to sneak into Wilma’s house, which becomes a sort of refuge from the hum-drum of everyday life. When a member of Wilma’s family comes back to Pine Rapids, Dolly and Wilma’s stories collide.

Spanning through two World Wars and straight into the 1950’s mid-west, this richly detailed domestic drama is well written  and lovingly researched. I enjoyed Baker’s storytelling and found the plot to be intriguing. My only issue with Keeping the House was the plot twist which was kind of the “straw that broke the camels back” moment for the ill fated Mickelson clan. I felt that the scenario was a bit far fetched. But, if you can suspend belief just a little, then I think you too would enjoy Keeping the House. It also would probably be a good book for discussion for a book club, since it touches on subjects like womens roles in 1950’s America and the way war can change a family.

Make sure to stop by this blog on Wednesday to read a guest post written by Ellen Baker. In the meantime, if this sounds like a book you would like to read, then you have a chance to win a signed copy of Keeping the House right here! If your interested, just leave a comment on this post by 12 noon EST time on Monday, October 6th. For an additional chance, mention this contest on your blog (linking back to this post) and you’ll get an extra entry! Stop by this blog on Tuesday the 7th to find out who won!  

42 Comments leave one →
  1. September 29, 2008 5:50 pm

    I’d love to be entered! Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. September 29, 2008 6:04 pm

    Count me in!


  3. September 29, 2008 6:22 pm

    Thanks for the great giveaway…please enter my name! I will be blogging about this in a post on Blog Giveaways & Contests in the next few days.

  4. September 29, 2008 6:24 pm

    I agree with the straw that broke the back. But I really enjoyed the book so I let it go. Overall, a really good read.

  5. September 29, 2008 8:00 pm

    I’ve seen several reviews of this one – it sounds interesting. I’d love to be entered. Thanks!

  6. September 29, 2008 8:58 pm

    Ooh, I’d love to be entered! This sounds like a great book!

  7. September 29, 2008 9:13 pm

    I picked up a copy of this over the summer (so please don’t include me in your drawing!) and was happy to see your positive review.

  8. September 29, 2008 9:16 pm

    Please enter me! I’d really like to read this book! Looking forward to the guest post.

  9. September 29, 2008 10:31 pm

    I should be in bed, asleep, as I have to get up at 3:30 am (!) for an insanely early flight to the east coast tomorrow, but I’m too wired to go to bed. So what am I doing? Reading blogs! Throw my name in the hat. I love the premise of this book (not to mention that cover!).

    And now, off to slumberland….

  10. September 29, 2008 10:37 pm

    I’d love to read this one 🙂

  11. September 29, 2008 11:29 pm

    This sounds like an interesting read. Please count me in!

  12. September 30, 2008 12:19 am

    I’d love to read this book, sounds very interesting:)

  13. September 30, 2008 1:08 am

    Thanks for the review! I would love to be entered in the giveaway–this sounds like a book I would enjoy!

  14. Ashley permalink
    September 30, 2008 8:43 am

    Sounds great! Count me in!

  15. September 30, 2008 10:11 am

    This sounds interesting; please enter me.

  16. September 30, 2008 11:14 am

    This sounds great! Please enter me if you don’t mind shipping to Canada. Thanks

  17. Gwendolyn permalink
    September 30, 2008 1:09 pm

    Please enter me – your review hooked me! Thanks for the chance.
    geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

  18. September 30, 2008 1:15 pm

    I love the photo at the top of your blog. It reminds me of my childhood when I used to read by the light of the nightlight after my Mom had put me to bed! Please enter me!

  19. September 30, 2008 2:00 pm

    Hi…I’d love to win this book…it looks like a fun read! I don’t have a blog…yet, but someday! Thanks for letting me enter your giveaway.


  20. September 30, 2008 2:04 pm

    Please enter me!

  21. Janel permalink
    September 30, 2008 4:06 pm

    I’d really like to read this one too! Thanks for doing the giveaway.

  22. Elizabeth M. permalink
    September 30, 2008 9:40 pm

    I’d love to be entered for a chance to read this book!

  23. Carol M permalink
    October 1, 2008 8:25 am

    I was a child in the fifties and I’m sure this book would bring back some memories. I would love to read it!
    mittens0831 AT aol DOT com

  24. Karina permalink
    October 1, 2008 9:17 am

    I’ve wanted to read this one! Please enter me!

  25. October 1, 2008 2:32 pm

    i would just love love love to read this one! thanks.

  26. Laura H permalink
    October 1, 2008 4:13 pm

    I just finished reading this book last week and really liked it. I’m wondering if she wrote anything else????

  27. October 1, 2008 9:33 pm

    Ok, please enter me too! This sounds really intriguing. The author interview sold me; how she writes seems as interesting as her book.
    I’ve just posted my first author interview — with a Canadian author, Kate Story, and she’s donated a copy of her book to give away as well. It’s so much fun reading author interviews like yours, and now I know it’s fun to create one too. 🙂

  28. October 2, 2008 1:00 pm

    I would love to be entered to win a copy of this book! Thanks!

    akreese (at) hotmail (dot) com

  29. October 2, 2008 3:40 pm

    Stepahnie – I just scrolled down after reading the guest post. Yes! I’d love to be entered into the giveaway for *Keeping the House* Many thanks.


  30. October 2, 2008 3:55 pm

    I enjoyed reading your take on the book Stephanie. Would love to be entered in the giveaway – thank you!

  31. Lee permalink
    October 4, 2008 9:47 am

    You got me intrigued, sign me up !

  32. Kaye permalink
    October 4, 2008 12:13 pm

    This sounds like my kind of book. Enter me please

  33. October 5, 2008 4:58 am

    I would love to read this one also.

  34. Liz permalink
    October 5, 2008 3:34 pm

    This sounds like a really good read please add me

  35. October 5, 2008 4:36 pm

    You don’t need to enter me for the giveaway, because I’ve already read this one – I thoroughly loved it, however, so encourage everyone to read it 🙂

  36. 'Cilla permalink
    October 5, 2008 10:24 pm

    This sounds really interesting.. I would love to read it and enter in a give-away. Thanks

  37. Janet F permalink
    October 5, 2008 11:12 pm

    Please enter me.

    janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

  38. Judy permalink
    October 6, 2008 12:59 am

    I love these kind of stories so please enter my name. Thanks so much!


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