All the Way Home: Building a Family in a Falling-Down House

All the Way Home: Building a Family in a Falling-Down House

by David Giffels
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All the Way Home: Building a Family in a Falling-Down House by David Giffels

Finding the perfect house is never easy. Rebuilding one from a crumbling pile—to say nothing of making it into a home—is even harder.

With their infant son in tow, David Giffels and his wife comb the environs of Akron, Ohio, in search of just the right house for their burgeoning family. Running through David's head the whole time are the lyrics of a Replacements song, ". . . Look me in the eye, then tell me that I'm satisfied," and it gives all the more purpose to their quest. But nothing seems right . . . until they spot a beautiful, decaying Gilded Age mansion. A former rubber industry executive's domain, the once grand residence lacks functional plumbing and electricity, leaks rain like a cartoon shack, and is infested with all manner of wildlife. But for a young man at a coming-of-age crossroads—"suspended between a perpetual youth and an inevitable adulthood"—the challenge is exactly the allure.

All the Way Home follows Giffels's funny, poignant, and confounding journey as he and his wife and a colorful collection of helpers turn a money pit into a house that will complete their family. Nothing could prepare them for a home restoration epic that includes evicting squatters (both four- and two-legged), battling an invading wisteria vine, hunting a ghost, and discovering thousands of dollars in hidden Depression-era cash. But the story's heart lies deeper, in an unexpected series of personal hardships that call into question what "home" really means, and what it means to grow up.

Written with the humor and insight of Bill Bryson and John Grogan, All the Way Home is the engaging tale of a young father's struggle to restore a house and find his way . . . without losing himself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061362866
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 05/27/2008
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

David Giffels is an assistant professor of English at the University of Akron, where he teaches creative nonfiction. Formerly an award-winning columnist for the Akron Beacon Journal and a contributing commentator on NPR, his writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine and many other publications. He lives in Akron, Ohio, with his wife and two children.

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All the Way Home: Building a Family in a Falling-Down House 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a book anyone who has owned a house, been married or had kids will enjoy. Mr. Giffels is a talented writer who makes the reader laugh, cry and laugh again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the second time I bought this book. The first time, I thought it was so good that I thought a friend of mine absolutely had to read it, too. So I gave him my copy. I finally missed it so much that I bought myself another copy and read it again. For anyone who has attempted home repair or renovation at any level, this is a must-read. You will feel so much better about your own projects! Giffels has a great sense of humor and his writing style is engaging. Even if you've never lifted a hammer, you will enjoy this tale.
mamowie More than 1 year ago
I was raised on North Portage Path near the Seiberling Mansion in the 50's and 60's. This book brought back so many memories of the homes along that road. They were the most beautiful homes. It is so nice to see that someone wanted to save one of them. It is a shame that the Firestone mansions were torn down and replaced with condos. They should of all been saved and let the public see how it was back in those times. I could not put this book down. I still can't believe that Mrs. Rayner lived in that house until the day she had to move out. Great book. I was so glad that this was recommended to me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Too much self analysis........some parts were barely interesting. I ended up skipping many pages....too much chatter and not enough of a real story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was an easy, keep your attention read. I read it in two days. Very interesting to step into the world of a major house renovation and the relationships involved.