Homemaker Ella Casey is circling the middle-age drain. Her once adventurous life is now measured in loads of laundry, her grand dreams of changing the world diluted with each rinse cycle. When she flies to the enchanting California estate of her best friend Teri for a Peace Corps reunion, the accomplishments of her peers threaten to soak up the last drops of Ella's floundering self-esteem.
Teri Flores is everything Ella is not: glamorous, wealthy, and fearless. Her sprawling mansion, La Casa Del Alma, serves as both artists' retreat and modern day salon to Teri's eclectic entourage. Teri entertains her guests with lavish meals, outrageous activities, and impassioned debates, but the weekend sours when old grievances mix with new ambitions.
As past and present collide, Ella struggles to redefine herself, but will her growing need to validate her life end up destroying it?
THE HOUSE OF THE SOUL is a spiritual journey of love, loss, and friendship, and a treasure map for anyone brave enough to embark on the precarious voyage of self-discovery.
|Product dimensions:||5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.73(d)|
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An incredible journey of self-discovery. Once in the Peace Corps, Ella Casey’s life was so different. She was helping make a change in the world and enjoyed seeing the smiles on the people’s faces that she was helping. After she left the Peace Corps, she got married and raised her family in New Zealand. But she kept thinking something is missing from her life. When Ella’s best friend Teri invites her to a Peace Corps reunion in California, she questions whether she should go as she felt she didn’t have anything in common with the others anymore. But in the end she goes as a plane ticket has already been purchased for her. While Ella spends time with Teri and her friends, she does some soul searching about her life and the choices she has made. What will it take for Ella to feel she has a purpose in life again? I enjoyed the way the book was written with the present time and the flash-backs to the past. It gives a good insight as to who the characters really are. The writer has a way with words and spun a memorable tale that won’t soon be forgotten. Having been in the Peace Corps herself, she had all of the facts to make this story feel very real. Sometimes an author will write a book and research facts but they don’t always carry across onto the pages where it seems real. Entertaining yes, but real, not always. The scenes were easy to visualize. The secondary characters had such strong roles in the story that I would love to find out what happens to them.
STORY LINE THE HOUSE OF THE SOUL: Author Annie Dawson's novel, The House Of The Soul, an intense thought-provoking novel of discovery and self-validation will grab the reader in the first paragraphs. Ella Casey's life is humdrum and very ordinary. Raising 2 boys, laundry, cooking, cleaning, and loving; what happened to the up and coming woman working with the Peace Corps? Once upon a time, Ella had big dreams and ambitions? Ella will set out on a journey of discovery when she travels to her best friend Teri Flores' home for a Peace Corps reunion. Teri is Ella's opposite; she is rich, famous, and accomplished. What will Ella find on her journey of discovery? Will she find answers in the past and will her future become clear? Can Ella reconcile the life she has with the life she wants? Grab a seat, my contemporary women's fiction novel review of The House Of The Soul follows. CHARACTERS, PLOTTING, AND DEVELOPMENT: First let me say, I found The House of The Soul an enjoyable and entertaining novel. Filled with discontentment and the desire for more, the readers drawn into Ella's life as Dawson detailed her journey. Drawing on life experiences, Dawson skillfully wove the many story-lines together to form a cohesive novel. Also, Dawson gives the reader an in-depth look into the Peace Corps and how it functioned in Africa. Furthermore, Dawson skillfully portrayed the doubts, fears, and insecurity Ella felt as the reader follows Ella's journey of discovery to its conclusion. Everyone has at some point in their life wished for a different life, as well as wishing they made different decisions in the past; Ella faces decisions that will forever define who she is. This is a thoughtful look at what really matters in life. Riches, fame, fortune, are they really what is important? Dawson skillfully shows the readers that feelings, goodness, family, and love trump all the riches and fame one can garner. In concluding my contemporary women's fiction novel review of The House Of The Soul, I found a solid book with believable well-developed characters. Also, the pace of the book was smooth and steady without bogging down or lagging. Filled with life questions and insecurities, Dawson causes the reader to think and evaluate their own life. THE HOUSE OF THE SOUL RECOMMENDATION: STARS 4 Additionally, I gave The House Of The Soul 4 well-deserved stars. I look forward to more from Dawson. I would not hesitate to buy this novel for my self or a friend. FINALLY, PLEASE NOTE: Additionally, I received this book from the author and chose to voluntarily review the book with an honest contemporary women's fiction novel review. Lastly, book reviews of any novel are dependent on the book review author’s opinion. Consequently, all book reviews on-line and on my blog, are my opinions. In addition, the ARC did not affect my voluntary contemporary women's fiction novel review.
The House of the Soul is a captivating story about a woman’s struggle to find fulfillment. Ella had once felt as if she was making a difference in the world. She thought that being a wife and mother would have been enough for her, but it wasn’t. Although she loved David, their two boys and even their fixer-upper home in New Zealand, she was restless. Ella missed her best friend Teri and the life that they once shared while in the Peace Corps. She longed for the gratifying feeling of changing lives. So when Teri invited her to a reunion at her home in California, Ella was elated. Tara was surprised though to find that David had already packed her bags. Once Ella reached the states, the book filled with drama. Although Ella was catching up with friends and enjoying herself, she couldn’t rid her mind of the sleepy woman’s voice she heard when she rang David. Feeling insecure and as if she didn’t measure up, Ella was tempted when an actor began to flirt with her. But what really had Ella questioning her commitment to her family, was when Robert Blakeman, offered her a job traveling with him, and she said yes. My favorite characters in this book were Teri and Sachi. They both suffered huge losses, but instead of wallowing in self-pity, they used their energy to help others. Teri opened her home to aspiring artists from all over the world, and Sachi sprinkled words of wisdom and love everywhere she went. I found the inspirational messages in this book amazing. Although I had unanswered questions at the end of the book, and didn’t find Tara’s relationship with her husband to be even a little bit realistic, I still found the novel enjoyable and entertaining.