Consuelo Saah Baehr’s 100 Open Houses was not what I was expecting. I chose this book because the description intrigued me: “Rebecca Haas, like all of us, is being tortured to death by the sameness of her life, her thoughts, her weight, the incessant self review of life choices, her indecision, her stalled writing career. Can a change of space really change her life and finally give her the authenticity she needs? Take this trip with Rebecca through all of the open houses and the lives lived in them – is one of them yours?” Reviewers frequently mentioned Baehr’s sense of humor and the main character’s witty commentary on life. So this is what I was expecting: a fun look at all these open houses, emphasis on the properties and their quirky sellers.
What I got instead was a story from the perspective of a buyer who’s looking for just the right home—in this case, the perfect apartment to buy in New York City (which is practically its own character in the book)—and all the emotions that come with that change. She’s an older woman, divorced, with grown children, who’s looking for an apartment but ends up finding herself.
That sounds rather sappy, and I almost stopped reading the book when I realized it wasn’t going to be a funny look at the real estate business after all. But I’m glad I kept reading. In fact, it was easy to keep reading because Baehr is a great writer, and her sharp, witty observations on people and life are just wonderful. This is the kind of book that made me want to write down and share the funny or profound quotes that seem to fill nearly every page. In short, I loved this book.
Will 100 Open Houses help you be a better real estate agent? Probably not. But if you are looking for an amazing, beautifully-written book that speaks to the human need to find a place where we feel at home, then give 100 Open Houses a try.
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