The Big House: A Century in the Life of an American Summer Home

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Simon and Schuster, Aug 7, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 336 pages
2 Reviews
Faced with the sale of the century-old family summer house on Cape Cod where he had spent forty-two summers, George Howe Colt returned for one last stay with his wife and children. This poignant tribute to the eleven-bedroom jumble of gables, bays, and dormers that watched over weddings, divorces, deaths, anniversaries, birthdays, breakdowns, and love affairs for five generations interweaves Colt's final visit with memories of a lifetime of summers.

Run-down yet romantic, The Big House stands not only as a cherished reminder of summer's ephemeral pleasures but also as a powerful symbol of a vanishing way of life.
 

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The big house: a century in the life of an American summer home

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Colt (The Enigma of Suicide) here offers a wonderfully tender yet frank history of his Boston Brahmin family and the 19-room Cape Cod summer house that brought them together-and in some cases ... Read full review

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When I began to read this and saw it was a narrative, I wanted to just save it for another day. But after a few pages, I really got hooked. I love to wonder what it was like in my grandfather's day and the houses that he built. I got a great glimpse of this world with this book. He made the story of the house as personal as it really is and enjoys sharing the history with us. I could not put it down once I got into it...best 'sleeper' read in a while. 

Contents

Winter
1
PART
3
Arriving
5
The Family Tree
20
The Discovery of Cape Cod
42
Rooftree
60
Renovations
79
Fishing
89
Midsummer
173
PART
179
Hidden House
181
The Big Cove
205
Missing Cards
217
Rain
228
The White Elephant
237
Full House
257

The North and South Faces
100
The Barn
117
Plain Living 12 3
123
Money
131
Sailing
142
7eww
158
Florida
272
Leaving
284
Indian Summer
301
Notes on Sources
321
Acknowledgments
325
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

George Howe Colt is the bestselling author of The Big House, which was a National Book Award finalist and a New York Times notable book of the year, and November of the Soul: The Enigma of Suicide.  He lives in Western Massachusetts with his wife, Anne Fadiman, and their two children.

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