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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Turns out, it was a domestic homicide, and though it was sad and wholly regrettable, the story she told was not one of random violence. For a genre of book I never would have bought, I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would.

Dream House

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. The Story Behind the Book: The book cover and first few pages seemed to imply that was where it valerje going.

It wasn’t what I was expecting. Want to Read saving…. May 06, Jane C.

Book review: Valerie Laken’s *Dream House*

After 18 year old Walker Price kills his widowed mother’s abusive and drug addled boyfriend, he is sent to prison for the next decade and a half. Dresm, it’s sort of a sad story, and what not, but I just think it was OK. A disaster occurs, but the human bonds that link these appealing characters are frayed, not broken. But the stranger who has returned to this house—once his own childhood home—is in search of something Kate may never fully understand.

Apr 15, Bookmarks Magazine rated it liked it Shelves: Jul 19, Judy rated it it was ok. So, what’s the problem?

DREAM HOUSE by Valerie Laken | Kirkus Reviews

The main character seemed too uptight for my tatse. Gap-jawed and wordless, we stood staring up at our dark, broken house, while our new neighbor scratched his head and waited, then drifted back across the street.


It is the story The quote on the book cover describes this book as a ghost story. I love these kinds of books. Still, the book did have a certain magnetic pull and did draw me into it.

I enjoyed reading it, but I can’t figure out why it didn’t make a greater impression on me. Of course he never thought about this being her way of trying to not only reconnect their slowly dying marriage, but as a way to find a place where she truly belonged.

The details here in terms of home renovation and family dynamics are believable and engaging, as are the characters. Just seven years out of college, Kate and Stuart purchase the house with the best of intentions, hoping that it will somehow help rejuvenate the insecure threads of their marriage.


Not only will readers brightly visualize the physical aspects of the house, but even memories and scents described in the novel are also easily transposed through Laken’s writing. Dream House is a lesson for me that I should not judge a book by its cover, as cheesy valwrie that sounds.

What I admire most about this book is its huge range of people– neurotic people, happy people, artistic people, autistic people, people freshly released from prison, children, and people in love– and the way Valerie Laken makes them laekn real and important. It’s not the case. Top Ten First Novels of They find out about the murder at a time when their marriage is already on shaky ground.

A perfect book for vacation, or to pass the time on a long flight. The demise of the house is a total cliche, but I’ll stop from saying anything lakfn to prevent there from being spoilers. For those of you looking for a ghost story – I think you will find one in Dream House, yet it’s not a story about things that go bump in the night.


Otherwise, Laken is a writer to watch. Read more book reviews at http: 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. If you’re willing to stick with the story, the plot does pick up after about four chapters.

Mar valfrie, Mrs. Reviewers agreed that the prologue is a short masterpiece and that the novel as a whole is an excellent portrait of “the stereotypes that distinguish posh Ann Arbor, backwoods Dexter, and Ypsilanti” Detroit Metro Times. Will it be enough to valeriie their shaky marriage? But in the end I wanted more. I read it in about a day and uouse half because it was so hard to put down.

The mystery behind the house’s history is haunting and intriguing, and you’ll lakdn a hard time putting this novel down! She was one of my very favorite professors and gave me the opportunity to learn quite a bit about my writing and what it takes to be a strong writer.

She taught me to show, not tell, something she does beautifully in her novel ” Dream House. I’m still not sure. It was a little suspenseful in parts, but it wasn’t a full blown thriller. May 18, Donna rated it liked it. So often fiction lets me down, but this book did not. This novel is a hard one for me to characterize.