After an itinerant suburban childhood and countless moves as a grown-up—from New York City to Lincoln, Nebraska; from the Midwest to the West Coast and back—Meghan Daum was living in Los Angeles, single and in her mid-thirties, and devoting obscene amounts of time not to her writing career or her dating life but to the pursuit of property: scouring Craigslist, visiting open houses, fantasizing about finding the right place for the right price. Finally, near the height of the real estate bubble, she succumbed, depleting her life’s savings to buy a 900-square-foot bungalow, with a garage that “bore a close resemblance to the ruins of Pompeii” and plumbing that “dated back to the Coolidge administration.” From her mother’s decorating manias to her own “hidden room” dreams, Daum explores the perils and pleasures of believing that only a house can make you whole. With delicious wit and a keen eye for the absurd, she has given us a pitch-perfect, irresistible tale of playing a lifelong game of house.
From the Hardcover edition
The title was the most clever part. I was thinking this would be right up my alley since in our house we watch a ton of House Hunters and we love to drive through pretty neighborhoods "just looking" and dreaming out loud. Not sure what happened here. I found the prologue humorous and appealing but every other chapter of this book felt like a whole lotta nothing going on. I was anticipating this book to be a humorous and maybe sometimes touching look at her real estate obsession, her experiences, maybe some commentary on what seems to drive our collective impulses as a whole, why we seem to obsess over the things we do. Much of that kind of thing was lacking here. Aside from the prologue, I found virtually nothing that made me laugh or even smirk and by the end, I didn't really take away much of anything except a headache from all the (what seemed like) mindless rambling and ongoing story of "let's repeat the same mistakes a million times and never get a clue from any of it".