The Hundred-Year House
By: Rebecca Makkai
Some days you crave an easy read, others you find yourself lusting after a deliciously complex and tangled plot that you can get lost in. Well, I finally climbed out of Rebecca Makkai’s new book The Hundred-Year House and I can promise you, that it won’t disappoint. Author of The Borrowers Rebecca Makkai has gifted us with a detailed literary labyrinth that will leave us lusting for more. Set in a 100 year old home, and filled with a colorful cast of characters, an artists’ colony, a wealthy family, a curse, love, the threat of madness and suicide. The home itself becomes a character in this marvelous story which is told in three parts. Over it’s 100 years the house and its inhabitants change as new people come and go, and the role of the palatial home changes. The energy left by the home’s inhabitants, their stories and their lies make the book feel like an archeological dig site. With an air of mystery and lots of shards or pieces of different people’s lives to uncover, Makkai changes the role of the reader from simply a passive listener, to an active and energized archaeologist. Like a true dig site, there is more than meets the eye and even after the excavation, the book is complete there are still thrilling questions left to be answered.
I personally enjoyed this book very much, especially the way that Rebecca has broken it into three parts and told the story from three different points of view, and through different time periods. It made the already great plot even more interesting. The creativity expressed in this work makes me anxious for her to put out another book and to implore her to do so in haste. The Hundred-Year House is refreshingly different and not your ordinary story. Like the mysterious windows of Laurelfield Makkai shatters the boring monotony of our everyday and gives us something to think about. And while I am a proponent that books are always better than the movies, this one I could see being made into captivating blockbuster. The Hundred-Year House is an expertly authored work that is a great fit for a number of different readers, and will make a great gift. I’ve already squirreled my copy away in a safe place. Make sure to get yourself a copy, curl up in your book nook with your favorite tea or coffee and get lost in The Hundred-Year House.