Customer Reviews for

Keeping the House

Average Rating 4.5
( 33 )
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(21)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Marriage and a world at war

This book is mainly set in the late 40's and 50's, with some parts of the story going back to the beginning of the Michelson family when a young bride moves in to the family home in 1896. If you like stories of a seemingly simpler time, relationships, and war time, spri...
This book is mainly set in the late 40's and 50's, with some parts of the story going back to the beginning of the Michelson family when a young bride moves in to the family home in 1896. If you like stories of a seemingly simpler time, relationships, and war time, sprinkled with plenty of description so you feel like you're right there in the story, this a great book for you. I will definitely read this authors other book. Her writing is smooth as glass, she keeps me reading. I thought The Help would be the only great book I'd read this year, but I was wrong. This one is great too, and I find they are similar enough in structure and time setting I think fans would like this one too.

posted by EMTgirlNV on September 6, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

I wanted to like this book more than I did!

I thought Keeping the House was such an interesting idea for a novel, but I was a little disappointed by the book. I just never really developed a liking for the characters. I liked the non-chronological order of the chapters and the historical background of the book....
I thought Keeping the House was such an interesting idea for a novel, but I was a little disappointed by the book. I just never really developed a liking for the characters. I liked the non-chronological order of the chapters and the historical background of the book.

posted by suziQTX on January 30, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2012

    Could not put it down

    Its one of those books where you are desperate to unravel its secrets but hate for it to come to an end. It was depressing and heart breaking, yet inspiring and romantic. It is life, as it was then and as it is now. A timeless book. Highy recommend.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 15, 2011

    I truly loved this book!!!

    I bought this book at a used book store a few years ago, put in my library and forgot about it until recently. When I did read it I could not put it down. All I wanted to do was read, but did not want the story to end. I really like Ellen's style of writing and have ordered all of her other books. Truly good story telling.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 6, 2011

    Couldn't put it down!

    I just finished Keeping the House. I thoroughly enjoyed several aspects of the book. I liked the plot a lot (and loved the ending). I really liked learning about the 'times' and especially about attitudes of and about women. I liked how the book showed the effects on soldiers and their families due to war. I loved the theme of 'the curse' on the house and how that actually played out. (don't want to give anything away here.) I loved how the story came together bit by bit from several sources (gossip, re-telling, actual happenings). For the 1st 3/4 of the book, I had no problem keeping up with the time period and which characters I was reading about, but during the last 1/4, I began to have a difficult time keeping the different years and characters separate. I began to get Harry and JJ mixed up, but that problem went away as the time periods converged onto 'present day' 1950. But overall I really liked bouncing around the different time periods and the different 1st person narratives.
    The 'secret' twist was easy to figure out. (and not original, but a basis of many novels, and many true-life events too I'm sure.)
    I listened to it on audio and sometimes the different character's voices weren't very different. but it was ok.
    I found myself unable to take off my headphones - I just couldn't put this book down.
    I would compare this book to 'Angry Housewives Eating Bonbons' by Lorna Landvik, and 'And Ladies of the Club' by Helen Hooven Santmeyer (some of my all-time favorites). and almost as good as 'South of Broad' by Pat Conroy.
    It was a very nice snapshot of the times from a woman's viewpoint (mostly). I highly recommend it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2010

    Really good read

    This is one of the greatest books I have ever read! OK, let me be very up front about this. Yes, I am very prejudiced, you see Ellen is my daughter-in-law. And while I get great pleasure out of teasing Ellen that "Keeping the House" is a chick-book and an obligatory read for me, it really is a great book. While I have always much preferred historical books on war, especially the Civil War, and would love to know more about Byron's time in the Army, this book still held my interest all the way through it and left me with a big "Way to go!" with the ending. The characters are diverse and the details vivid enough to create very good pictures in my mind about both setting and emotions. I recommend this book to anyone, it really is a good read.

    Jim Baker

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2014

    Mademethink

    Amazing

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2011

    Great book!!!!

    This is in my top ten favorite books! I couldn't put it down!

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  • Posted November 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Keeping The House

    I enjoyed this book. I thought the characters were well developed and the author did a great job of telling each of their stories.
    I loved the idea of falling in love with an old house and wondering about the lifes of the occupants. Only thing I thought would make it a bit better is if the author tossed in some ghosts. :)
    P.S. I figured out the twist early on also.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2008

    Read This Book!!

    I am so happy that I bought this book. What a wonderful storyline, beautifully drawn characters, and all around FABULOUS book! I cannot wait to see what Ms. Baker writes next. I highly recommend this book...you will not be able to put it down!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2008

    The BEST Book Ever!!!!!

    I was talking with my mother and she mentioned she had ordered Keeping The House. She then started reading what the book was about. I immediately flew to the library and checked it out. I could not put it down! I have a husband and five children and would fly through my day to get time to sit and read. I finished it amazingly in two days! I NEVER read a book that fast. Usually I am falling asleep in the evening, when I usually read. But not with this book. I also am going to purchase the book to have in my library. I loved it! I cannot wait for her next book. She is truly gifted in writing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2008

    Strongly recommended

    This book was fantastic!! Though the book was 500 + pages, I read it in only 2 days. How the author was able to seamlessly interweave various stories, spanning generations, was amazing. The story goes back and forth between characters and generations but I had no difficulty follwing these changes. I would VERY HIGHLY recommend this book to readers of all types. I am most impressed by the author's writing ability and the story and characters were unforgettable. I read all books by borrowing from the library but am strongly considering buying this for my own personal collection. Read and enjoy!! You won't be disappointed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2008

    Love is blind

    This was the best love story I have ever read. She was in love with the house and thought she was in love with everything (and everyone)about it. What a great story. Only bad thing was that it was her first and you cant buy anymore of her books. I am eagerly awaiting more from her.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2007

    A great read!

    Keeping the House kept me very interested from cover to cover. The different time periods were fairly easy to differentiate, and I thought the ending was well done. I am waiting for Ms. Baker's next book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2007

    keeping the house

    travel into the past with this very enjoyable novel. follow the lives of dolly magnuson and the mickelson family and you will feel like more than an observer. ellen baker weaves her tale connecting the past with dolly's present and you can imagine yourself there beside her in her journey. a grand addition to my library!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2007

    A reviewer

    Ellen Baker has written a timeless treasure! I was fortunate enough to get an autographed copy of this mesmerizing saga involving tales of life, love, and war wrenching heartbreak. You will love this book not only for its multi faceted details of life, but also for its ability to pull from within you emotions for each character therein. Enjoy! Beautifully written! ReBecca

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2007

    Keeping the House - Ellen Baker

    The best part of this novel is that it helped me understand my grandmother and the reasons she does what she does in a way that I have never understood before, but always wanted to. Ellen truly captured the heart and soul of the time. For someone not from that era, it was the best way to help me understand it and embrace it. The novel kept me intrigued, but also challenged my own views unlike any book I have ever read! It gave me an appreciation for the 1950's housewife that I have never had before, only because of how far our society has come from stepping away from that image. It made me incredibly thankful that I am able to have my own opinions and be my own person in our world. But yet, with a loved one over seas right now, it was incredibly applicable to my life and current situation. I would HIGHLY reccommend this reading to all audiences. Because of its depth and reality, everyone will find a connection to this novel in some way.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2007

    great

    A great new author to watch. Loved the way she goes back and forth with past and present. Very entertaining read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2007

    A reviewer

    A young newlywed trying hard to be the perfect wife becomes enthralled with an old abandoned house and it¿s hidden family secrets. Dolly Magnuson begins to neglect her husband, Byron, and their home as she becomes wrapped up with three generations of Mickelson men and women and their family scandals. Ellen Baker has written a wonderful first novel about small town life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2007

    super women, homes and gossip

    KEEPING THE HOUSE by Ellen Baker is such a timely and memorable read. It is always interesting and fun to read and learn about other countries, but sometimes it is just pure joy to read about our own history and foundations of American life!!! Dolly and Wilma feel like my own ancestors. Their lives tell of how women have evolved in out nation. The expectations are different today, but the thoughts, feelings and circumstances of our lives change very little. The chapter headings from the women's magazines set up the stories of the two women and their families in a charming and unexpected way. Our book group is looking forward to doing this book now that I have teased them with a few passages from this book. These women are truly our sisters and friends, through all of their faults and life experiences. Wonderful read from this new author, Look for many more from Ellen Baker!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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