An Honest House

51COr80Z3tL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_SYNOPSIS: Cynthia Reyes has done it again. Picking up from the early days of her recovery from a car accident, as told in her first book, A Good Home, she shares in this new book intensely lyrical stories of life in her historic farmhouse north of Toronto.

You will hear the birds sing, smell the flowers in their lavish gardens, and taste the red currant jelly and other dishes from plants grown on her property.

You will be challenged as the author immerses you in the reality of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and the courage it takes to live with chronic pain. And you will say a wrenching farewell to the farmhouse as she opens a new chapter in a life still devoted to creating beauty out of the materials that life serves up to her, be they dark and haunting or light and joyful.

REVIEW: This is one of those rare books that you don’t want to rush; One that you want to savour. I speed-read… A lot, but when I come across a work like Cynthia’s with its depth for inspiration through great story telling and references to and from great poets and philosophers that naturally blend with what is being shared, it becomes impossible.

It’s a beautiful memoir full of love and grace, and has a depth that’s so touching you’ll be completely engulfed. Cynthia bears her soul as she deals with the turmoil of PTSD and chronic pain, as well as coming to terms with how it affects those around her, especially her unwavering husband, Hamlin.

There are so many incredible accounts…. happy, hopeful, sad, insightful, delirious, joyful… And yet all are shared in the most sincere manner. Among my favourites are, the episodes in library, the meetings with friends, Hamlin’s unwavering support throughout, (I do love that name) and the depth of knowledge and wisdom that is shared with the help of great poets like, Keats, Whitworth, and great philosophers like Nietzsche, as well as vignettes from the book of psalms.

This is one of the easiest five stars I have given. A truly inspirational account.


18 thoughts on “An Honest House

  1. Sounds brilliant, both her books are on my to read list and to my chagrin and general embarrassment I haven’t read them yet. I might manage to get to them this holidays, I hope.



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  2. Oh, man …. I’ve been SO nervous, knowing you were reading my book, and that you would not let me off easily. And I’m so very thankful for this review, Kev. Because it wasn’t just a review for me. I really hoped you would like it. THANK YOU for doing so.

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    1. I’ve learned over time that it’s best to be completely honest when writing a review, rather than writing to please the author. Your book was easy to write a review for… I had to be careful not to give anything away! I try very hard not to do spoilers, and tend to focus more on structure, grammar, and cohesiveness in most of my reviews. Yours flows beautifully on all counts enabling me to focus more on the content.

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    1. Er, no… I loved it, or rather, it loved me. I forgot to mention it in the review, but it’s one of those works you start thinking about while you’re up and about doing stuff. I’ve been doing this the past few days as I slowly made my way through it. I woke up this morning and started reflecting upon it. I was around 70% through it then. I’ve just finished it this evening. As you know, I also read two or three books at a time to change mood and pace… I’ve been saving this for the final read of the day, each day.


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