Peggy Adler talks to debut novelist Valerie Laken about the inspiration behind her first book and her process in writing it. Dream House, a. Dream House by Valerie Laken – book cover, description, publication history. In Laken’s debut novel, a young couple tries to salvage their shaky marriage by buying a rundown house in a gentrifying Ann Arbor.

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The novel also has crazy obvious symbolism – broken house, broken relationships. She does not relate well to Stuart or her well-to-do glossy family.

Book review: Valerie Laken’s *Dream House*

This is a wonderful story of healing, relationships, race, family and the meaning of home. I love a mystery, but more than that, I love a good character driven novel and I definitely found that in Dream House.

There are various plot lines going on at once and they are all crucial to the outcome of this novel. What kind of people could live in such a house? There’s a marriage at increasing risk, a history of violence, issues of class and race and secrecy and the stubborn compulsion to make of a nightmare a dream.

The mystery behind the house’s history is haunting and intriguing, and you’ll have a hard time putting this novel down! It is a story about healing. Winner of the Anne Powers Award. I’m not sure how much of this is off marketing and how much might be the book taking a different turn than the author expected once they got half-way through the book, but the fact remained: Most of all we scrutinized the previous owners. I wasn’t confused but I didn’t fully understand either.


She takes it to a German colleague at the school where she works, it gets wet and While the house remains a powerful allegory for shattered lives, the climax results from an unexpected accident.

I was amused by her husband, mired in the good ole’ days of college, not quite ready to grow up. Yes, she’s a bit self centered, and a bit obsessive, but who isn’t? Anyone who likes to read for fun. If it wasn’t marketed the way it was, I’d have gone 3 stars. I randomly picked this book up at the library without knowing anything about it. The circumstances that led to it becoming illegible were just stupid. This book drew me in from the start – with its creepy prologue.

Instead they discover that their home was the scene of a terrible crime many years ago—a revelation that tips the balance of their precarious union.

Dream House is a novel of great reckoning, and as its characters grapple with family legacies and the meanings of home, we too confront the destruction falerie dreams, the fragility of peace, and the complex nature of resilience.

I can’t wait for her next book.

Dream House

She would find out that she would be better off without him. It goes for both literally the cover of this book and the characters found within it. Four or five things made that possible.


Laken takes on that great unspoken American subject—class—and does so with frankness, acuity and surpassing feeling. She dreams up a story about the letter, about what it could entail, but that’s it.

She taught me to show, not tell, something she does beautifully in her novel ” Dream House. Walker’s story is sad, tragic, in some sort of way it’s beautiful. A murderous event jumpstarts this tightly bound literary thriller where dreams are shattered and a group of people find themselves overwhelmed by circumstances beyond their control, their lives forever linked to a ramshackle house situated on a quiet street in a suburb near Ann Arbor.

Dec 11, Jennifer Collins rated it liked it Shelves: Thursday Dream House by Valerie Laken. What was his purpose for returning?

The young man daydreams of reclaiming the family home his pops and moms filled with love and hard work before his father’s untimely death. Kate and Stuart Kinzler buy a rickety old house with ohuse horrible history – someone was murdered in the house. It just goes to show you that sometimes it’s not bad to step out of your comfort zone. Top Ten First Novels of