Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Home Girl

Title: Home Girl: Building a Dream House on a Lawless Block
Author: Judith Matloff
Pages: 290
Genre: Memoir, Travel, Home Repair, Urban Living
Yearly Count:6

Starting off as a travel memoir Home Girl really captured my attention in the beginning. Judith is a traveling world journalist who has been at it for 20 years and loves the whole deal. I couldn't help but relate to her gypsyish dreams of travel and adventure. A time comes though, when life's goals change and it is time for Judith to move into the dreams of family, consistency and not living each day in extreme danger. She and her hubby decide to purchase a house. They have no idea that their adventures overseas only were the tip of the iceberg!

I could relate to the desire to travel, to see things, experience and to live all over. Half way into the home-remodel Home Girl just lost interest for me, I tried to enjoy the rest but it was just too much detail on the freaky street that they chose to buy on and not enough about the little details that make the story relatable. I do see though how many others could relate to this story better than I did. After the initial couple chapters I just didn't feel that strong of a connection because she was so much different than me, in a different stage of life and searching for different things.

Why were Judith and her hubby there in the first place? I don't get it. There are so many, SO MANY, much better places to live than across the street of the crack capitol of the whole east coast!!! Seriously, I willed them to move so many times. What would you do if you found out after buying your home that it was the mecca of drugs and dealers??

It was very amusing though, how she and her husband John paid the drug dealers off the streets to help them renovate their home. I found most of those encounters very touching, humorous and to me they seemed pretty realistic. Judith and her husband kept rooting for these guys to get out of their situations, and it showed just how embedded they were that even after being given chances and time they still often felt the need to scurry back to what they knew and where they were comfortable. I get wanting to be someplace familiar, not even caring what it looks like, familiar makes me happy too. I got it.

All in all it was interesting, but not really my type of book, I just couldn't relate. But, if you are middle aged, just settling down, dealing with miscarriages or into remodeling homes...this could be perfect for you!

Have you ever dreamed of living somewhere to move there and find out you just couldn't wait to get out? Did it grow on you or did you flee like cat thrown in water?

Did you read this too?
They did:

Library Queue
Booking Mama


bermudaonion said...

I'm middle aged, so maybe this one would work for me.

S. Krishna said...

I totally agree with you - I don't know WHY they chose to stay there, but the book was amusing!

Alyce said...

The only time I've moved somewhere and it wasn't what I thought it was going to be, was in college when I moved into the dorms. I think most of that was culture shock since I grew up isolated in the country and suddenly I was in the middle of (what I considered to be) a big city with tons of pavement and people around me.

ANovelMenagerie said...

Wasn't my favorite, either. Here's my review:

Bybee said...

I'm in love with the gypsyish life at this time, so I wonder how I'd like this book.

Corinne said...

I keep seeing this one and wondering if I'd like it. I still don't know :)

Rose City Reader said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rose City Reader said...

Well, I'm middle aged and remodeling a home. But I don't think I would have such patience with crack neighbors. Still, it sounds pretty interesting. I enjoy random memoirs by non-famous people.

Great blog, by the way. Thanks for visiting mine. I will come back here often!

(I wish there was a way to edit a comment without having to delete it, since I usually only catch typos after I post the comment. Doh!)