by Judy McConnell


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Dreamhouse is the story of marital conflict, family tragedy, and mystery, interwoven with a tale of friendship among a group of women navigating the dawn of the women's liberation movement. Part family drama, part recent history, McConnell traces one women's journey from her role a giddy new bride steeped in the conventions of the early 1960s to a seasoned, mature woman who understands that compromise is not a dead end, but a doorway to a new understanding.
Radley and Sam Gallagher are a golden couple in the world of the1960s and '70s. They have moved from New York City to Minneapolis with their two young children so that Sam could start a new job. Attractive and educated, their success seems assured on all fronts. Sam will steadily climb the corporate career ladder and Radley will become a happy mom busy creating an ideal home. They've even found their dream house in an upscale suburb that offers the best of everything.
The Gallaghers throw dinner parties, take the children boating, and attempt to lead the conventional life that couples sought after the horror of WWII. But as the Vietnam War drags on half-a-world away, disillusionment settles in closer to home. The marriage is threatened by the rising tide of civil protest and feminism that sweeps society in the late sixties. Radley is frustrated by the endless work of mothering and homemaking, and Sam doesn't really like traipsing off on weekends on family outings. He'd much rather stay home with his family and his highball.
Radley becomes more and more discontent as she struggles to manage two unruly toddlers and come to terms with a silent, sedentary husband. A lingering interest in the political scene, left over from her former hippie days in California, leads her to the lecture of a local political activist, which in turn leads to the formation of the West Suburban Council for Women's Liberation. Here she teams up with women with similar needs struggling against the tight conventionality of the times. After a period of consciousness-raising, the group decides to take up social action. They mount a successful public demonstration against the city's flagship department store for women's right to obtain credit cards in their own name.
Confronting her lack of domesticity and her desire for personal fulfillment, she strikes out to forge a new path in ways that threaten to destroy the marriage. As her involvement in the women's movement deepens, Sam retreats, too. Deeper into alcohol.
Only when an accident nearly claims one of their children are Radley and Sam shocked into looking at what they've become-and what they've lost through their idealized expectations. Radley is forced to reevaluate her core values. She is torn between the emerging sexual and legal freedoms that have become her passion and personal attachment that more and more seems to lie within her devoted family. But it could be too late.
Set against the backdrop of the social movements of the '60s and '70s, Dreamhouse is realistic and disturbing, while offering a promising ray of hope. It simultaneously looks at both the light and dark personal sides of the struggle for needed social change in a period that changed our society forever. The final resolution signals the heart of the story-that anything is possible if we can look deeply into our motives and learn to grow up.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780692612101
Publisher: Judy McConnell
Publication date: 12/12/2017
Pages: 306
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Judy McConnell was born in Charleston, West Virginia. As a young child, she moved with her family to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she grew up. During her life she dabbled in poetry and short stories, but it wasn't until after marriage, children, and a career in education and training that she took up creative writing full time. Her first book, a memoir, took four years to write. She has recently completed a sequel memoir.

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Dreamhouse 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
JodyGood More than 1 year ago
I couldn’t put this book down! Ms McConnell has the art of the “soft cliff hanger”: I spent two afternoons on the couch, reading fast and hating that it was going so fast! I was invested in Radley’s family. Her characterizations are so full and rich that when the plot takes a character somewhere the reader feels an “aha!” - the reader is invested. That’s good writing. Sure, the story of a woman finding that she’s not happy with the perfect house, spouse and two kids has been told, but Ms McConnell makes it fresh, captivating. And as I said, the reader is sold! Unfortunately there are other books with the same title - but this by Judy McConnell is a fabulous read. This is McConnell’s third book, but her first novel. If you’re needing more from this author, search out her autobiographical books, A Penny a Kiss and Just Keep Shooting. But I think fiction is her future. Let’s hope she’s a fast writer!