Book Review

Carol Clouse, an architect, has written a lovely book, heart-felt and enjoyable to read. Each chapter, in this memoir, deals with important phases of her life, including work,  relationships, and emotional growth.

Although the title of the book refers to houses, I found it somewhat confusing as to whether it was referring to houses she designed or lived in, because there were quite a few of both. To be frank, I think the sub-title is a more accurate description of what the book is all about: “…A story of challenge, creativity, and the heart of an architect”

It was obvious from the way Ms. Clouse approached challenges and life in general that both parents had a profound effect on her. “We were perpetually making things…cutouts, cookies, and dolls. We drew, we painted, we cooked, we sewed, and we did leather work. We played games together.” A lot of bonding went on.

The parts about her mother and father were wonderful. Her relationships with both played a huge part in her love of nature and her innate and nurtured creativity. Especially touching were descriptions about her mother: “Life with my mother was an eyes wide open adventure…she had an insatiable thirst for nature. [she] exposed me to many options, expanded my perspective...” “The confines of a wheel chair did not stop my mother from doing just about anything”

The book describes her educational life and how she became an architect, but I think the most compelling parts were about her relationships. Besides her family, she describes several relationships with the men in her life, a couple of women friends and three dogs. I loved the parts about the dogs. It was obvious they were very meaningful to her. Being a dog lover myself, I know how close those relationships can be.

The book is well written and I would highly recommend it to anyone who just wants to relax and have an enjoyable and interesting read.

Bio: Carol Clouse is a Pennsylvania native and now divides her time between Montana and her eastern home state.

A licensed and practicing architect, Carol has delved into various creative aspirations - in many shapes and sizes - including graphic arts, set design, oil painting, pottery, brain tanning, production design, and ...writing. In all these explorations, nature and spirit have held a prominent point of priority, and she is drawn deeper into the outdoors through hiking, rock climbing, backpacking, and foraging for wild edibles.

Spending the summer in NW Montana, she plans to return east in the Fall to complete her graduate studies at Penn State University. Her studies will include philosophy of nature and indigenous architectural materials. And of course, she is working on another book!
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Awaken Your Muse