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Cottage for Sale, Must Be Moved: A Woman Moves a House to Make a Home Paperback – April 26, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (April 26, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034548018X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345480187
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 0.7 x 5.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #973,633 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Whouley, a single, 40-something business planning consultant to booksellers and a self-described frugal New Englander, takes on the challenge of moving a vacation cottage a distance of 20 miles so she can attach it to her tiny three-room house at the edge of a bog on Cape Cod to create more personal and professional space. But given the amount of detail she presents on everything from obtaining a permit to selecting decking materials to waiting for the plumber to arrive, it appears she may have been thinking of getting a book out of the experience, too. Her meticulous account chronicles the joys and frustrations of the yearlong project that began in December 1999, when Whouley saw a classified ad in the local paper announcing, "Cottages for Sale. $3,000 each. Must be moved." By book's end, a year later, she hosts a Christmas dinner "in the newly arranged living-dining room, at the big round table that is now by the windows... with the view of the birds at the feeder"-a huge improvement over having to consume meals "hunched over the kitchen counter" in her old digs. Do-it-yourselfers will enjoy the exhaustive information regarding budget home construction, including how the lumber at the independent Mid-Cape Home Center stacks up against Home Depot's (Whouley likes "old friend" Mid-Cape better, but grudgingly admires Home Depot's service). Other readers might skim the construction details and focus on Whouley's descriptions of the workers, friends and neighbors who help create her new home. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

A few years ago, the author, a habitual reader of classified ads, saw something that caught her eye. Completely assembled cottages were for sale for $3,000, but, if you wanted one, you had to be prepared to move it yourself. What would the author do with her very own cottage? Well, she ran her business out of her home, and she was desperately in need of more office space. Why not attach the cottage to her house? Cheaper than constructing an addition, right? So began an odyssey of confusion, consternation, and light comedy. On one hand, there is not much to this book--she buys the cottage, arranges to have it moved, and it gets moved--but, on the other hand, there is so much here you will want to read it twice. The book has a cast of characters that range from interesting to eccentric, a series of misadventures that might have come from a comic novel, and a narrative style that makes you keep turning the pages. It's one of those books in which the author has taken something personal and made it universal. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Kate Whouley is the author of "Remembering the Music, Forgetting the Words" the winner of the 2012 New England Book Award in Nonfiction, and an American Library Association "Best of the Best" for 2012. Her first book, "Cottage for Sale, Must Be Moved," was a Book-of-the-Month Club "Memoir-of-the-Month" and a Book Sense Book-of-the-Year nominee. Both titles were selected for the online and print editions of the book group guide, "Reading Group Choices." Kate's personal essays have appeared in Obit magazine, Salon, the Cape Cod Times, Boston Globe, and the book-industry online journal, Shelf Awareness. An avocational flutist, Kate volunteers as a facilitator for the Cape and Islands Arts & Alzheimer's initiative.

Kate lives and writes on Cape Cod, where she also works as an independent consultant in the book industry. Her current Cat-of-the-House is a former feral--a handsome tuxedo cat named Mojo Valentine.

Photographer Copyright Credit Name: Anne Sweeney, 2011.

Customer Reviews

I found the book both enjoyable and informative.
terelou
A fun and fast book to read, even if you don't know your flathead from a Phillips, and especially if you're thinking of enlarging your own home.
Corinne H. Smith
In this day of so much discard, I find it very heartening that Ms. Whouley found a way to recycle a cottage.
Vicki Moyer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Corinne H. Smith VINE VOICE on May 8, 2004
Format: Hardcover
If you think the only thing more tedious than initiating a building project is to read about someone else undertaking one, then you need to pick up this book to change your mind. Kate Whouley shares with us an experience full of excitement, possibility, drama, finance, frustration, spirituality, and above all, friendship and humor.
The first task is to figure out how to move a cottage from one town to another. The second is to take care of the extensive interior work that will unite an existing house to its cottage addition. Woven in and around it all are the plans and official paperwork that must be filed with the proper authorities. Though the originally simple thought of attaching the two structures becomes more complicated as the weeks go by, the author has a support staff of friends and local artisans who keep her spirits high and keep making construction progress. And of course the whole operation is supervised by Egypt, the resident cat-in-charge. The eight pages of b&w photos barely cover all the stages of the project, but Whouley's descriptive prose more than makes up for the lack of additional visuals. By the last page, you know her home almost as well as she does.
A fun and fast book to read, even if you don't know your flathead from a Phillips, and especially if you're thinking of enlarging your own home. An "Under the Tuscan Sun" (the book, not the movie) set on an American shore.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Swissmiss on October 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I was a single woman, I got it in my head to move from Boston to Nantucket, not knowing a soul or really knowing much more than how the island was during the 2 weeks in July I would go there every year. Like the author, I found a little cottage that had been loved long ago, built in the 50's and abandoned. I bought it on the spot when I saw it and proceeded to make Nantucket my home for many years until meeting my husband and being swept off to Europe and marriage at age 45. I felt like I was reading a ot of my own story as Kate swept me up in her adventures of builders and plumbers and the hazards of trying to do a project of this scope as a single woman. This would make a great movie I think! And the next time I come home for a visit I am going to try and find this wonderful little cottage with the cottage attached.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By er on June 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover
In two words, it is irresistibly readable. I was immediately hooked by the author's ease of recapturing the process of the journey, and the vivid dialogue of the story's principal character. Not many of us are so bold as to move a cottage or follow a dream. The author has given us a highly understandable and dramatic account of one woman's commitment, struggle and passion for a dream. I'm personally inspired. This is a woman worth knowing. I highly recommend.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Vicki Moyer on July 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
In these days of building the bigger better home from scratch and everything supposedly having to be brand new, along comes Kate Whouley and her story of the little cottage that lovingly becomes a part of her already established home. It was wonderful to read the process she had to traverse to make this dream a reality. Being a dyed-in-the-wool recycler myself, I found the entire process admirable that even a small cottage could be "recycled" into becoming a part of a home. In this day of so much discard, I find it very heartening that Ms. Whouley found a way to recycle a cottage. I love the idea of introducing the "cast of characters" as one would for a play in the beginning of the book. Upon reading this list, I was hooked. Also, being a cat person, I understand Ms. Whouley's cat's role in supervising every process of the joining of structures. They really need to do that, you know. thanks to Ms. Whouley's experience, I now have a bit more courage to forge ahead with my own dreamt-of projects.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Bill O'Neill on January 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I didn't expect that the best book I'd read in 2004 would turn out to be a tale about moving a cottage across Cape Cod, but Kate Whouley's memoir is almost impossible to put down. This is a surprisingly suspenseful story of one person's effort to make a dream come true -- despite obstacles ranging from small-town bureaucracy to good old-fashioned mud. Whouley has the rare gift of being able to say a lot with a few well-chosen words. By the end of the book, you feel like you've hung out with the diverse crew of workers who helped move and renovate the cottage and you feel like you know her house well enough that you could walk around it while blindfolded. Along the way, Whouley mentions that she's working on a novel. I can't wait to read it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By excelwrite on March 25, 2009
Format: Paperback
Cottage for Sale,Must Be Moved is a unique insight into the character of the New Englander. While this type of book is not my usual fare, I found it to be totally delightful, insightful, and witty. My wife recommended "cottage" after reading it twice. I resisted reading it at first because I thought it is a "chick book". Now I'm happy I did and I give copies as gifts to my less fortunate non-new england friends. Kate's humor warms our Maine winter.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Joan Call on October 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
My husband and I never read the same books, until now, and I think we were both surprised. I enjoyed the trips to the hardware store bargain box as much as heart-swelling descriptions of a single woman living her life her way. And my guess is that most of the men who read this book, including my husband, have a crush on Kate. She has her own business,gardens,cooks, belly dances AND reads blue prints. Kate may be looking for a man, but it would be very hard to find one who is good enough for her. On top of all that, she writes like an angel. I loved this book.
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