By October 18, 2010 0 Comments Read More →

Possible Pick: Keeping the House

Ellen Baker’s Keeping the House is a story-within-a-story, told with a deft hand and smooth pace.  Baker tells the story of a weathy Wisconsin logging family family from 1896 through the end of World War I, and the parallel story of a woman named Dolly bucking convention in the 1950s.

Free-spirited Dolly doesn’t have anything in common with the quilting circle women in the small Wisconsin town her husband has dragged her to live in.  To pass the time, she becomes obsessed with the abandoned mansion on the hill and the family secrets hidden there.  When she discovers one of the family members is secretly living in the house, Dolly transfers her attentions to him, with scandalous results.

Both stories showcase fine detail of their respective time periods and the social mores of the day.  Baker is an excellent writer and I was captivated by both story lines and the interesting characters.

Discussion questions can be found at




About the Author:

Rebecca Vnuk is the editor for Collection Management and Library Outreach at Booklist. She is also the author of 3 reader’s-advisory nonfiction books: Read On…Women’s Fiction (2009), Women’s Fiction: A Guide to Popular Reading Interests (2014), and Women’s Fiction Authors: A Research Guide (2009). Follow her on Twitter at @Booklist_RVnuk.

Post a Comment