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Extended Audio Sample Building a Home with My Husband: A Journey Through the Renovation of Love Audiobook, by Rachel Simon Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Rachel Simon Narrator: Laural Merlington Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2009 ISBN: 9781400183456
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The bestselling and highly acclaimed author of Riding the Bus with My Sister returns with an illuminating and tenderhearted memoir about the unexpected ways a home renovation can change a life.

Rachel Simon’s historic home on a charming tree-lined street was hardly ideal. It was too small, too dark, and there was a gaping hole in the dining room ceiling. So when the house is burglarized, Rachel and her husband, Hal, agree it’s time to sell. But in a difficult housing market, and with Hal being an architect, they soon realize: why leave when they can renovate?

Rachel prepares herself for the disagreements and disasters that can accompany a major home renovation. But what she isn’t prepared for is the emotional journey that will blow open the seal around everything she thinks she knows about herself, about family, and about the misunderstandings and resilience of love. From Hal’s first design sketch to the last stroke of paint, memories of a difficult childhood, friendships left behind, challenges with siblings, and an improbable path to marriage come bursting out. Once the dust settles, Rachel is astonished by the many gems revealed along the way—and comes to discover profound insights about the construction, demolition, and renovation of personal connections.

Featuring beloved characters from Riding the Bus with My Sister and written with Simon’s signature breathtaking prose, Building a Home with My Husband is a wise and poignant reflection on love’s endless possibilities and the extraordinary endurance of the human spirit.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An intriguing narrative, punctuated by musings on everything from quitting to the definition of design…Inspirational.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “An unsentimental, poetic appraisal of life’s big questions.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pamela Grandstaff | 2/20/2014

    " Their project may have been renovating an old house, but the process they underwent included emotional, mental, and spiritual renovations as well.I was entertained by the book, but also appreciated the author's (and her husband's)thoughtful insights into what keeps us from connecting to our closest loved ones in a meaningful way, and the many ways in which we make ourselves (and everyone else) miserable by stubbornly resisting change and holding onto the selfish demand that everything happen just the way we want it to right when we want it to, or we can't be happy. A really thoughtful, well-written book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beckynovacek | 2/17/2014

    " I think my rating of 3 may be a little high. I really enjoy books with descriptives of renovations or interior design, however this book didn't really deliver in that way. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cherylann | 2/6/2014

    " This is really a 3.5 star book. I adored Riding the Bus with My Sister by Rachel Simon. I adored meeting her in person and listening to her talk. I liked this book. I found it beautiful and poignant in places and rambling in places. Although, I may not necessarily be giving this book a fair shake because I'm in a reading rut right now. I loved how the renovation of Rachel and Hal's house was really a metaphor for the renovation of a life. As Rachel and Hal embark on a total home renovation, she also embarks on a journey to find her purpose in life. It seems as if anything that could have happened during this renovation including an explosion occurred. Anyone who's ever tackled a home repair project with spouse or partner will be able to connect with Rachel and Hal's story. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Alicia | 1/22/2014

    " I love memoirs and I had high hopes for this one. I figured if anyone could relate to the subject-it would be me. Truthfully, the writing didn't pull me in and I frankly stopped caring about the home. I had to force myself to finish it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessica | 1/11/2014

    " Building a Home with My Husband follows Rachel Simon and her husband Hal as they completely renovate their historic row house. Although they don't try to live in the house during the renovation, it still brings a lot of stress to their lives and their marriage. Simon is honest about her feelings during the renovation and how hard the process can be - and they have a relatively easy time of it. An interesting read that highlights the analagy of life as a house. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jennifer | 12/14/2013

    " There were parts of this book that were enjoyable and funny but it was a bit too preachy at times. I think if I knew Rachel, I'd find her annoying and exhausting. I felt as if she wanted this book to somehow be incredibly deep and meaningful instead of simply telling her story and letting the reader find the meaning for themselves and how it applied to them. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lynne | 11/2/2013

    " I would appreciated a little bit of human and much less trite philosophy. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Mia | 8/19/2013

    " I wanted to like it but couldn't. In fact, I made it less than halfway through, I think. She's just too wordy for me. I kept reading sentences and wondering why there were so many words in them. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brigid | 7/3/2013

    " i skimmed a lot of this book "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephanie | 6/10/2013

    " I rad this book in one day. At first I was skeptical of her relationship vs remodeling approach. She is so open though and in tune with her emotions. She's real. I just loved it. This book has inspired me to be a more understanding and loving individual. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laurie | 1/22/2013

    " an easy and enjoyable read, non-fiction, i really like the author (have previously read Riding the Bus With My Sister) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alissa | 12/5/2012

    " Enjoyable and interesting. Thought they were lucky the moved out during the renovation. Enjoyed her insights on relationships. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anne Slater | 3/7/2012

    " Rachel and Hal's report card"s would read "works well with others" "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Alexandra | 12/30/2011

    " Not sure about this book so far. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maryann | 10/15/2011

    " Simon is famous for Riding the bus with My Sister, but as she is disclosed in this book, I think it would be a lot of work to be her friend. She's too introspective for me, yet I did finish the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patricia Poll | 7/28/2011

    " I enjoyed Rachael Simon's book "Riding the Bus with my Sister" so I thought I'd give this book a try. She uses the same writing style, so many profound statements about life. She adds more insights about her family, sister Beth and mother, growing up in such a painful past. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kelly | 4/7/2011

    " This was sooo good. The title interested me as we are trying to do some renovations, as well as being in real estate. Turned out to be just a great life story - you'd be surprised the emotions that come up during this unsettling time. I highly recommend it! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Max | 4/4/2011

    " What appears to be an interesting premise for a story turns out to be a little touchy-feely and annoying when realized in this book. I felt like the story could have gone deeper and had a little more grit. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maryann | 2/6/2011

    " Simon is famous for Riding the bus with My Sister, but as she is disclosed in this book, I think it would be a lot of work to be her friend. She's too introspective for me, yet I did finish the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Natalie | 9/6/2010

    " Surprisingly good.Insightful, and definitely beyond chick lit. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Mia | 4/26/2010

    " I wanted to like it but couldn't. In fact, I made it less than halfway through, I think. She's just too wordy for me. I kept reading sentences and wondering why there were so many words in them. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beckynovacek | 3/24/2010

    " I think my rating of 3 may be a little high. I really enjoy books with descriptives of renovations or interior design, however this book didn't really deliver in that way. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Max | 1/11/2010

    " What appears to be an interesting premise for a story turns out to be a little touchy-feely and annoying when realized in this book. I felt like the story could have gone deeper and had a little more grit. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lynne | 1/5/2010

    " I would appreciated a little bit of human and much less trite philosophy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brigid | 10/26/2009

    " i skimmed a lot of this book "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephanie | 9/21/2009

    " I rad this book in one day. At first I was skeptical of her relationship vs remodeling approach. She is so open though and in tune with her emotions. She's real. I just loved it. This book has inspired me to be a more understanding and loving individual. "

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About the Author
Author Rachel Simon

Rachel Simon is an award-winning author and nationally known public speaker. She is best known for her bestselling memoir Riding The Bus with My Sister, which was adapted for a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie of the same name. Her other works include the New York Times bestseller The Story of a Beautiful Girl, The Writer’s Survival Guide, The Magic Touch, and others. Her books are frequent selections of book clubs and school reading programs around the country. She lives in Wilmington, Delaware.

About the Narrator

Laural Merlington is an Earphones Award–winning audiobook narrator with over two hundred titles to her credit. An Audie Award nominee, she has also directed over one hundred audiobooks. She teaches college in her home state of Michigan.