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House of Sand and Fog

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Kathy is a young recovering alcoholic recently seperated from her husband. When her family home is repossessed she is devastated. Her house is sold ... Show synopsis

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Reviews of House of Sand and Fog

Overall customer rating: 2.334
Bean76

Disappointing, shallow characters

by Bean76 on Jan 11, 2012

House of Sand and Fog tells the tragic story of a woman who was wrongly evicted from her home, then fights with the new owner to reclaim the house. Kathy Nicolo-Lazaro is a recovering drug addict, whose husband recently walked out on her. One morning she wakes up to find the police on her doorstep, evicting her from her home by county order. The home is sold at auction the following day. An Iranian exile, Colonel Behrani, uses the last of his savings to buy the house, hoping to secure a better life for his family. As the Behrani family settles in, Kathy is befriended by Lester Burdon, the deputy who evicted her, and a fiery love affair begin between them. Lester is soon drawn in to Kathy's legal plight and they both take drastic measures to get Kathy's house back. One short review I read said this book really tugs on your emotions and sympathies. And in some ways it did for me, but I only had sympathy for the Behrani family. I was a bit stunned to realize this as I read, because Kathy is the one who is homeless and fighting to get her house back. But the further I read, the more I could not relate to this woman and could not agree with the choices she, and in turn Lester, made. To make it cut and dry, Col. Behrani owned the home legally once the county sold it to him. He was fully protected by state law. Kathy's only legal recourse was to sue the county for the full value of the home and get her money back. Kathy is very, very, very bad at handling her emotions. She can only deal with them by using beer, drugs, or sex. Otherwise, she's explosively volatile. Hence, every decision she makes about how to deal with this problem is fueled by unstable emotion. At one point she tries to justify herself and say "I just watched all this happen. It's not my fault." She is so used to playing the victim all her life, that she is incapable of making one reasonable, responsible decision. I hate people like that! Lester is also a vulnerable character. Once he and Kathy hook up, he suddenly decides to up and leave his wife and kids behind, and eventually, his sanity as well. They both act irrationally and irresponsibly throughout the book, and this bad mix ends up costing the Behranis pain and sadness, and ultimately their lives. (Speaking of hooking up - I have to warn you that this book has a lot of sex. A lot. Kathy and Lester are either having sex, thinking about sex, or dreaming about sex. And some of it really made me want to gag. They also use a lot of f-bombs and other crude language.) The second half of the book focuses a bit more on the ethics of the situation, and poses the question "What is truly, ethically, the right thing for Col. Behrani to do?" Legally, he is innocent of his actions to keep claim on the house, but ethically, should he give Kathy the house back? (This question is the basis behind a law in my own state that says if you buy a home from the county, city, etc., you do not own it free and clear for 6 months. This gives the previous owner time to pursue legal recourse, if in fact they have unlawfully been deprived of their home.) So I kept asking myself this question as I read, but I could not untangle my antipathy towards Kathy and Lester, so I couldn't find a good answer. Bottom line-this book is very thought provoking, and the writing style is superb. Thumbs up. The characters of Kathy and Lester are pathetic, unrelateable, and a bit offensive. BIG thumbs down.

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Bean

Disappointing, shallow characters

by Bean on Jan 11, 2012

House of Sand and Fog tells the tragic story of a woman who was wrongly evicted from her home, then fights with the new owner to reclaim the house. Kathy Nicolo-Lazaro is a recovering drug addict, whose husband recently walked out on her. One morning she wakes up to find the police on her doorstep, evicting her from her home by county order. The home is sold at auction the following day. An Iranian exile, Colonel Behrani, uses the last of his savings to buy the house, hoping to secure a better life for his family. As the Behrani family settles in, Kathy is befriended by Lester Burdon, the deputy who evicted her, and a fiery love affair begin between them. Lester is soon drawn in to Kathy's legal plight and they both take drastic measures to get Kathy's house back. One short review I read said this book really tugs on your emotions and sympathies. And in some ways it did for me, but I only had sympathy for the Behrani family. I was a bit stunned to realize this as I read, because Kathy is the one who is homeless and fighting to get her house back. But the further I read, the more I could not relate to this woman and could not agree with the choices she, and in turn Lester, made. To make it cut and dry, Col. Behrani owned the home legally once the county sold it to him. He was fully protected by state law. Kathy's only legal recourse was to sue the county for the full value of the home and get her money back. Kathy is very, very, very bad at handling her emotions. She can only deal with them by using beer, drugs, or sex. Otherwise, she's explosively volatile. Hence, every decision she makes about how to deal with this problem is fueled by unstable emotion. At one point she tries to justify herself and say "I just watched all this happen. It's not my fault." She is so used to playing the victim all her life, that she is incapable of making one reasonable, responsible decision. I hate people like that! Lester is also a vulnerable character. Once he and Kathy hook up, he suddenly decides to up and leave his wife and kids behind, and eventually, his sanity as well. They both act irrationally and irresponsibly throughout the book, and this bad mix ends up costing the Behranis pain and sadness, and ultimately their lives. (Speaking of hooking up - I have to warn you that this book has a lot of sex. A lot. Kathy and Lester are either having sex, thinking about sex, or dreaming about sex. And some of it really made me want to gag. They also use a lot of f-bombs and other crude language.) The second half of the book focuses a bit more on the ethics of the situation, and poses the question "What is truly, ethically, the right thing for Col. Behrani to do?" Legally, he is innocent of his actions to keep claim on the house, but ethically, should he give Kathy the house back? (This question is the basis behind a law in my own state that says if you buy a home from the county, city, etc., you do not own it free and clear for 6 months. This gives the previous owner time to pursue legal recourse, if in fact they have unlawfully been deprived of their home.) So I kept asking myself this question as I read, but I could not untangle my antipathy towards Kathy and Lester, so I couldn't find a good answer. Bottom line-this book is very thought provoking, and the writing style is superb. Thumbs up. The characters of Kathy and Lester are pathetic, unrelateable, and a bit offensive. BIG thumbs down.

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HesterPrine08

This book evicted my attention span

by HesterPrine08 on Oct 24, 2008

So an recovering addict chooses to ignore a little tax bill which she was wrongly charged for and loses her house. Bad choice number one. One of the assisting officers of said eviction is smitten with her even though he's married with children and asks her out. She accepts, bad choice number two. A shamed Iranian immigrant buys foreclosed house to try earn a piece of the American dream and earn his wife's respect again. Bad choice number one. Shamed man spends almost all of his savings on house to fix it up to increase the profit on the resale. Bad choice number two. Said police officer starts to see evicted woman. Bad choice number one. Police officer then tells wife and leaves her. Bad choice number two. Evicted woman starts drinking again. Bad choice number three. Police officer starts harrassing Shamed man. Bad choice number three. Shamed man stands up for himself. Bad choice number three. See where I'm going with this? A bunch of bad choices and the whole thing gets out of control and no one wins. Mix in some hostage taking, and murder, murder/suicide. Not a happy ending. Over all a time waster.

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