"...everything in life is writable...if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt."..... Sylvia Plath

Friday, August 10, 2012

Clouse's Houses: Book review

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!
Available at Amazon:
Check out her website: 
Awaken Your Muse

15 comments:

  1. Sounds like a good read. I am always intrigued about relationships, and in a way, we have one with our houses, or so it seems.

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    1. Hi Brenda, I think you would really enjoy this book. It's a fast read and her descriptions of her relationships are stellar.

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  2. Like Brenda, I'm intriqued by relationships. I especially love reading about mothers who loved and inspired her children, stretching their minds with ideas and experiences. Maybe it's envy for something I never had. Her mother has already captured my heart.

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    1. Considering the adverse conditions Carol's mother had to live with, I am amazed that she imparted so much to her daughter.

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  3. Much like Brenda, I'm intriqued by relationships, though not with houses - maybe beds. I've moved a lot. I'm fascinated by relationships with loving mothers who long to share life's wonders with their children, exposing them to new and endless adventures. It may be envy for something I never had and could only wonder about. Good review.:)

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    1. Nancy, One of the most compelling parts about Carol's book is the description of her mother and that relationship. Those were my favorite chapters.

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  4. I made a note, and thanks for the recommend,

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    1. I think you definitely will enjoy this book.

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  5. Intriguing! Can't wait to read this one. Thanks for posting your review.

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    1. Hi Sherrey, Thanks for commenting. It's really an interesting and compelling read. I certainly enjoyed it.

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    2. *Just a note to anyone who reads Ms. Clouse's book, don't forget to give it a review on Amazon. She deserves it and it would be very helpful to sales.

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  6. I bought a copy-- looking forward to getting to read it!

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    1. Oh, good, Teresa. I'm sure Carol will be happy to hear that. I know you'll enjoy it. I did.

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  7. "A face is like the outside of a house, and most faces, like most houses, give us an idea of what we can expect to find inside." -Loretta Young

    I enjoyed reading this review. Thanks.

    Drop by for a visit when you can at http://ruin-and-rum.blogspot.com/

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  8. Miguel, thanks for the interesting quote and nice comment.

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