New. 074324964X. Remainder; 14 oz.; 327 pages; New PB unread w/remainder mark bottom edge. 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.
This was a wonderful book. A book I wanted to begin again as soon as I had finished the last page. I read it during my summer vacation. This is a book you can relate to, regardless of your background. His summers were spent in a large old house in New England. Mine were spent in a little rented cottage on a lake in Michigan. But there was just something universal about his story. His family's history was totally absorbing; his writing, compelling. I thought I really didn't like nonfiction. But this book changed my mind. I checked it out from the library, then had to own my own copy after reading it.
Publishers Weekly, 2003-05-12 The epicenter of the Colt family is the Big House, built in 1903 on Wings Neck, a deserted strip of Cape Cod. It's not only an architectural gem but a device to chronicle family, local history and the culture of Boston Brahmins-and it accomplishes that task with charm, style and solid research. For 42 summers, Colt traveled from winter homes across the U.S. to partake in this magical place. It's where he learned to swim and play tennis, and where he kissed his first girl. Indeed, the Big House has seen five weddings, four divorces, parties, anniversaries and love affairs. The Colts, a once venerable tribe, had lost their money-"it is not wealth so much as former wealth that defines Old Money families"-but were determined to keep their ancestral home. Time may have marched on, but the Big House refused to cooperate: "Everything in this house breathes of the past." Gilbert & Sullivan sheet music, rotary telephones and ancient globes grace its interiors. Yet all is not perfect in this palace by the sea. Colt, like playwright A.J. Gurney, is adept at exposing the dark underbelly of WASP restraint, recording the mental illness, alcoholism and despair that have plagued his family. His one comfort? The Big House. This love letter to the past is a quiet delight. Agent, Amanda Urban. (June 3) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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