Book Review: The House of the Soul by Annie Dawson

The House of the Soul: A Novel

Ok, friends, this book was SO GOOD that I’m seriously embarrassed it took me so long to review. I read this book almost all in one night, while I held my newborn on the couch because it’s the only way she’d sleep…I would have finished it all that night but my Kindle died around 3am and I was forced to watch TV instead. That child is now 18 months old… so, it’s been a LONG TIME. But anyway – the book!

This book was EXCELLENT. Part of the book synopsis says, “THE HOUSE OF THE SOUL is a journey of love, loss, and friendship, and a treasure map for anyone brave enough to embark on the precarious voyage of self-discovery.” And it’s true — but it spoke to me most because the central character is a mother. The book follows Ella as she struggles to figure out if there’s “more” to her than “Mom,” and how to reconcile her past (educated, photographer, Peace Corps volunteer) with her current life (stay-at-home-mom of two). I think any woman who has struggled with motherhood and personal identity will identify with Ella’s struggle.

We follow Ella as she struggles with friendships, her marriage, and herself and ultimately see that it’s only Ella who has lost her ability to see all the varied parts of herself. Her true friends and her husband know and recognize Ella for the woman she was, is, and will continue to be.

I identified David (her husband) with my husband for the care and love he shows Ella both in allowing her to explore her own insecurities and struggles and in the support he shows for her as a person.

Beyond the sort of heavy life themes, the book appears to be semi-autobiographical and gives us some insights into life as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ghana, which is super interesting!

Overall, fantastic book – well-worth a read, particularly for women in the throes of the self-evolution that comes with parenting!

Five stars!

(Sorry, I forgot to mention: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest–though very belated–review. Thank you!)