House Rules

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Overview

"This utterly unexpected book dives straight into the chaos of an American adolescence, echoing the infernal laughter of William S. Burroughs as it probes the messier forms of sexual awakenings."-Details

"House Rules . . . ventures off the map into an uncharted, quite terrifying strip of psychological badlands."-The Village Voice

The narrator of Lewis' amazing first novel is 15-year-old Lee, whose story is both a fascinating and disturbing look...

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1994 Hard cover First edition. 1st printing! New in new dust jacket. $23 New Book! NO marks! Sewn binding. Paper over boards. 321 p. Audience: General/trade. Shipping upgrade! ... Order processed within minutes of your purchase! In business since 1975! Read more Show Less

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Overview

"This utterly unexpected book dives straight into the chaos of an American adolescence, echoing the infernal laughter of William S. Burroughs as it probes the messier forms of sexual awakenings."-Details

"House Rules . . . ventures off the map into an uncharted, quite terrifying strip of psychological badlands."-The Village Voice

The narrator of Lewis' amazing first novel is 15-year-old Lee, whose story is both a fascinating and disturbing look at the dark side of show horse riding. With extraordinary insight, Heather Lewis describes a world she knew from the inside. Since its first publication 10 years ago, House Rules has established itself as a classic of lesbian literature.

Heather Lewis is the author of two other novels, Notice and The Second Suspect. In 2002, she took her own life at the age of 40.


Heather Lewis is that special kind of writer who reports back from harrowing frontiers of experience. She unflinchingly describes a world where the border between pleasure and pain has become blurred beyond distinction in a shockingly authentic first novel about a teenage equestrian's odyssey through sexual violence.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The narrator of Lewis's impressive first novel is 15-year-old Lee, whose story is both a fascinating and repelling look at the dark side of show-horse riding. Lee is kicked out of school for possessing marijuana, a minor offense compared with her other habits: pill-popping, heavy drinking and anonymous sex with men her father's age. Returning home is no option, since her father sexually abuses her, with her mother's connivance. So Lee runs away to Florida, where she finds work riding in horse shows. But she seems compelled to seek out destructive sexual relationships, first with a female rider, Tory, and then with Tory's former lover, Linda, a veterinarian who dopes up both horses and their riders. When Lee starts riding for Linda and Tory's boss, a sadistic voyeur who manages a stable, her descent into a hell of drugs and violent sex accelerates (she becomes addicted to heroin and describes Linda going at her until ``she'd torn me up inside''). The immorality and cruelty of this sordid world, as well as the repetitious drug and sex scenes, may numb readers. Moreover, Lewis is so adept at creating the voice and thoughts of a 15-year-old that Lee's lack of understanding and unwillingness to see the truth about her self-destructiveness becomes exasperating. Even so, this powerful portrayal of the steamy underside of a seemingly respectable world is hard to put down, particularly the compelling passages capturing Lee's thoughts while riding. Be warned, howerver: the story horrifies even as it absorbs. (Apr.)
Library Journal
This novel offers a stark, shocking view of a world of sex, drugs, and violence as seen through the eyes of an insecure but streetwise 15-year-old. Lee is kicked out of boarding school for doing drugs. She's unable to go home because of her father's increasingly jealous and violent sexual abuse. So she heads for the horse show circuit and the trainer who sheltered her during her years of riding. Soon, a crush on top rider Tory Markham lures Lee into joining ``The Ruskers,'' who succeed in part through Linda Rusker's adroit drug management of both horses and riders. Tory and Lee are soon addicted to heroin. Only jumping her horses gives Lee a greater rush than drugs or sadistic sex, until an accident interrupts the cycle. This is a strong and graphic first novel, skillfully constructed and relentless in exposing Lee's pain and her world. For popular fiction collections.-- Michele Leber, Fairfax Cty. P.L. , Va.
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A frenetic and sometimes terrifying mix of drugs, sex, & lesbian coming-of-age against a backdrop of the business of horses & equestrian shows. "Brutal, sensual, honest, and seductive."-- Kirkus Reviews.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385472104
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/1/1994
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336

Meet the Author

Heather Lewis is the author of two other novels, Notice and Second Suspect. In 2002, at the age of 40, she took her own life.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2008

    I dont remember the last time

    I stayed up all night(literaly)to finish this book, it was difficult to read at times yet more difficult to just stop reading. This book covered emotions and feelings hard to describe you could literaly read this book and understand people more ex. Want to know what it is like to be estatic yet disgusted at the same time? read pgs 93-109. There is almost no way to describe this book but to tell you to pick it up yourself, yet be forwarned this book at times is so real it is horrifying, you meet a girl completely understand her yet there is nothing you can do to help her. I suggest almost everyone read this book because it gives you a better understanding to those things it is difficult to describe.

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