The House at Royal Oak: Starting Over and Rebuilding a Life One Room at a Time

Overview

An unforgettable story about a couple who follow their dream of converting a run-down country house into a working bed and breakfast, and what they learn along the way from an old home, a close-knit community, and a parade of extraordinary guests

In the spring of 2001, Carol Eron Rizzoli and her husband Hugo bought a dilapidated farmhouse in the tiny village of Royal Oak, Maryland, on the edge of the Chesapeake Bay. They spent two years transforming it into a bed and breakfast, ...

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The House at Royal Oak: Starting Over & Rebuilding a Life One Room at a Time

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Overview

An unforgettable story about a couple who follow their dream of converting a run-down country house into a working bed and breakfast, and what they learn along the way from an old home, a close-knit community, and a parade of extraordinary guests

In the spring of 2001, Carol Eron Rizzoli and her husband Hugo bought a dilapidated farmhouse in the tiny village of Royal Oak, Maryland, on the edge of the Chesapeake Bay. They spent two years transforming it into a bed and breakfast, which took them twice as long and cost three times as much as they had originally estimated (on the back of a napkin). As they struggled to restore the house and open the B&B, Carol and Hugo were also slowly acquainting themselves with the rural community of Royal Oak, rich in custom and culinary traditions, and populated by neighbors with particular views on politics, hunting, wildlife, and of course, newcomers from the big city.

Written with honesty and humor, The House at Royal Oak is a journey to the heart of what it means to start over and chase a dream. Part inspirational account of reinventing yourself at mid-life, part love story about learning what matters most in a relationship, it is above all a book about home—what it means, and the unexpected places we find it.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Organized in an order that follows its own meandering logic (in much the same way one would restore an old house), Rizzoli's tale is full of insights and quiet humor. Along the way she finds time to talk recipes, local resources, habitats, wildlife, small town life, learning a new business, family, friends, and of course, her guests. "A bed-and-breakfast done right is an idealized kind of home, more homey somehow than a real one." As she and her husband learn the ropes of running a cozy B&B, the author finds herself collating wedding programs for a complete stranger, searching for local produce, and learning "safe" and "unsafe" topics of conversation in her new home town. Rizzoli frankly examines her life and her new role in the service industry, questioning how she'll be able to care for her guests when her own life is falling apart. As with any major project (construction or otherwise) things fall apart; after two years and plenty of experience under her belt, they're hit with hurricane, reminding author and reader alike of the unpredictable mysteries to be found in the pursuit of dreams.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From the Publisher
"You may think you've read this story before...but you haven't...This lovely, intelligent memoir is told with clarity and deliberation." — Minneapolis Star-Tribune

This is the kind of domestic travelogue that demonstrates the wisdom of (lines) from Emily Dickinson..." — New York Times Book Review

"Written with poignant honesty, The House at Royal Oak tells (an) endearing story of starting over." — ChesapeakeHome magazine

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781579128401
  • Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/24/2010
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 700,947
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Carol Eron Rizzoli first visited the Chesapeake Bay to interview James Michener as he was starting work on his epic novel Chesapeake.  She taught at Boston University, served as book editor for The Washington Post, and was a managing editor of publications for the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.  Her articles, reviews, essays, and profiles have appeared in Smithsonian Magazine, The Washington Post, Readers Digest, The International Herald-Tribune, The St Louis Post-Dispatch, The Boston Globe, and many other publications.  She and her husband run Royal Oak House (royaloakhouse.org) on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay. 

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