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Red House: Being a Mostly Accurate Account of New England's Oldest Continuously Lived-in Ho use

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  • Posted December 18, 2010

    A gift

    To be honest I have not even finished the book but every night as I read it
    - I am amazed at Sarah's talent and the story. Anyone needing a wonderful
    Christmas present should buy this book for a friend, sibling, mother, father.......anyone! Sarah Messer is able to take us on a journey of her time in Marshfield and at the same time enlighten us with the history that stood behind her. Someday I would love to see this book brought to life in a movie - it would be incrediable!
    My best to Ms. Messer and my thanks to her for the gift she has given me in this story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2007

    The most boring house in New England

    Ugh. This one took me about 2 months to read, so I was reading a few books simultaneously. At first, I liked Messer's style of writing, but as the book dragged on, it would appear that her writing would be better suited to poetry than prose her sentences are often weighed down with multiple similes, metaphors, and symbols. Also, the feeling of superiority and self-importance that seems to accompany owning a really old house got pretty tiresome. For dozens of pages, Messer explains the meticulous process of dating the house. Experts are called in just to determine whether the house was built in 1646, as vehemently claimed, or later. I would suggest this book only to a person deeply interested in history/houses/New England.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2007


    Messer's prose is fluid and academic. However, too often she stretches for metaphors and meaning to coincide with an extraordinarly old house. The historical aspect of the book is well done. However, the personal aspect leaves much to be desired.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2004

    Rich prose and facinating details of everyday life

    I couldn't put the book down. I love how Messer toggles back and forth between the past and present; revealing the repeated patterns of inhabitants. She has such a way with words, giving the reader a visceral impression of the house, the surroundings, and dead people¿s secret thoughts. It's as if she belongs to a class of long time story spinners. I'm left unsure knowing what is myth or fact. She buries rich prose in-between an anthology of life in early New England. Can't wait for her next book! Who knows what she'll dig up.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2004


    I can't get enough of this book. I think in some way we are all haunted by the homes we are raised in and the stories we don't know from the previous owners. What a treat to have this living history and what a privlege to be the care taker of such a remarkable and historic home. I love how at times the book reads like a novel- I hope we will be hearing much more from Ms. Messer and I would love to see more people get turned onto this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2004

    More than the story of an old house

    Red House is set in the town where may family has lived for centuries, and my family name (Hall) is mentioned briefly in it, so right off the bat I had an interest in this book. But I believe it is a very good read for anyone interested in history, old houses, and families living and changing through the centuries.

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