House of Sand and Fog – Book Review


by Andre Dubus III

ISBN 0733618634(978-073-361863-5)
Pub:  September 2008, First Pub: 1999

I couldn’t put this book down and read it in one sitting.   The story was penetrating.  So much so, that I read the book several years ago and am able now to recall most it.  Unusual for me.  I put off reading this because I knew it was going to be heavy going…. it was.  Stories featuring self-destructive behaviour are my least favourite because I’m  an emotional sponge and find it difficult to shake off the melancholies after.  I’m glad I read House of Sand and Fog but Iwon’t read it again.

The story is a tragic one, tracing the misfortune of Kathy Nicolo.  Kathy has dug herself into a deep ditch with addiction and is abandoned by her husband.  This offers up an excuse to fall into a deep depression and she separates herself from the world.  Blocking out the world includes not opening any mail from the tax office.  Soon she is issued an eviction notice  and will loose the house she inheriated from her father.

The house is put up for auction and is purchased by an Iranian former colonel Massoud Amir Behrani and he moves his family into the home.

Kathy feels she has lost the house unfairly and with the help of a deputy who befriends her, she hires a lawyer to try to reclaim her home.

I won’t spoil the rest of the story for you but suffice to say things get desperate for all involved.

The book is well worth reading and was selected by the Oprah Book Club in 2000.

Posted on 25 July '09 by , under Reviews.