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The Dream House [Paperback]

Rachel Hore
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)

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The Dream House The Dream House 4.1 out of 5 stars (99)
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Book Description

3 April 2006
Kate Hutchinson and her husband Simon are Londoners, performing the balancing act of raising two young children in a cramped terraced house whilst holding down stressful full-time jobs. When everything starts to come apart at the seams they decide to uproot and move to the Suffolk coast. Sacrificing her career, her friends and her independence, Kate battles to make a new life for the family under her mother-in-law's roof - while they search in vain for the perfect home. Months later, with Simon still working all hours and the strains of living with his mother beginning to tell, Kate is questioning the wisdom of their move. Then one evening, out walking, she stumbles upon the house of her dreams, a beautiful place, full of memories - but tantalizingly out of her reach. It belongs to a frail old lady, Agnes, and the two women become close friends. As Kate unravels the dying woman's story she is amazed to discover how much it echoes her own. And as past and present intertwine, Kate is given the strength and inspiration to reforge her own life.

Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; 1st Paperback Edition edition (3 April 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416510990
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416510994
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 217,349 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rachel Hore worked in London publishing for many years before moving with her family to Norwich, where she teaches publishing at UEA. She is married to writer D. J. Taylor and they have three sons.

Visit Rachel at, or follow her on Twitter @rachelhore

Product Description


'A beautifully written and magical novel about life, love and family' -- Cathy Kelly

'Brilliantly evocative, wonderfully romantic' -- Daisy Waugh

'What a treat! I devoured it over the weekend. It's so very real and utterly unputdownable' -- Chris Manby

You won't be able to put it down (five stars) -- Closer Magazine

About the Author

Rachel Hore worked in London publishing for many years before moving with her family to Norwich, where she teaches publishing at UEA. She is married to writer D. J. Taylor and they have three sons.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
87 of 88 people found the following review helpful
By Vince
The Dream House is a truly great read which had me chuckling one moment and crying the next. It's a book which, in the lightest and most enjoyable of ways, compares the predicaments faced by two women living a hundred years apart. One minute you are busy empathizing with the modern day dilemmas of Kate as she seeks to juggle being a successful career woman and a successful mother. The next, when Kate finds her dream house in the country, you are being whisked back in time to witness the Victorian predicaments once faced by its now elderly inhabitant Agnes. Agnes' story is both tragically gripping and fascinating in its detail - can you imagine watching the first traffic lights being put up on Oxford Street??! The two eras are cleverly linked in a story that is intricately woven and keeps you guessing to the very end. I really couldn't put it down.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
By Rachel
I'm a fan of historical novels and family-sagas so this book was right up my street. I was a bit cautious when starting this novel as it was a gift from my mum and I've sometimes found some of her favourite books to be a bit flat and predictable. Thankfully, this book exceeded my expectations as I really found myself connecting with the protagonist and was completely immersed in the story.

Kate is eight years into her marriage to Simon when they decide to move to the country to rekindle their love and reconnect with their children. While Kate leaves her high-flying publishing job to become a stay-at-home mum, her husband commutes to London during the week. Eventually they begin to see less and less of each other, and although Kate and the kids are settled in Suffolk, making friends with their neighbours and creating a new life for themselves, Kate and Simon's marriage still seems to be on the rocks. I think that any woman would sympathise with Kate's situation, and it even made me - a nineteen year old, unmarried university student - realise how difficult "commuter marriages" are. Her life also struck a chord with me as I'd love to work in publishing, but know that ultimately, I'd want to stay at home when I have children. My long term boyfriend is also called Simon...spooky!

While exploring her new home area with her children, Kate discovers a beautiful old house - one that she thinks she's dreamed about - which belongs to a long lost relative. Whilst dealing with her new life and the difficulties with her husband, Kate also discovers a long-ago unsolved mystery surrounding her new-found Aunt Agnes that she is determined to solve.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars an easy read but a bit predictable 20 Jan 2010
By SusieH
The Dream House

This was an interesting easy read, but maybe there were too many disasters fitted in to be very realistic - dead babies, dead teenager, major bouts of depression, philandering husbands and wives, lost and found relatives

Add to that recurrent dreams of a house in days past, miraculously found in the present. It was sometimes very obvious what was going to happen - and who was going to end up with whom

Having said all that I did quite enjoy this, but I doubt I will re-read it
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 7 May 2013
This could've been quite an enjoyable story - I'm prepared to go along with some incredible coincidences, but this is also littered with cheesy cliches and ugly Americanisms which are really aggravating. The writing is pretentious (although the parts set in the 1920s seem better), and so are the characters.

The writing is also fairly bland, partly because there is no sense of place, other than 'placename-dropping'. The author mentions the 'landscape' and 'light' of Suffolk once or twice, but does not actually describe them, and there are very few references to architecture - despite the book being called 'The Dream House', there is no real description of what this is, other than 'the sort of house you draw as a child'. It was quite disappointing to finish this book having virtually no idea of the style, period, architecture, or even general appearance of Kate's dream house.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Derream House 19 Feb 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Always enjoy Rachel Hore's books and this is no exception amd looking forward to The Memory Garden as haven't read it yet.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too Contrived 18 Jan 2013
I enjoyed reading this book but guessed straightaway the outcome so little of suspense there. The end was so contrived that it really spoilt my enjoyment - and they all lived happily ever after.....
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! 17 Jun 2007
I never thought I would like this book. But it actually turned out to be one of my favourites! I read a lot of books, all kinds of books, and this one really took me into its story, charachters and wonderful world! I wish I'd written it, that's how much I love it! Buy it because of its amazing story and very affordable price! A perfect summer read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book 21 Feb 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Wonderful easy reading. I will definitely be purchasing more Rachel Hore novels. Good holiday or bed time book. 4 stars
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Took this on holiday and really enjoyed it. Good story and very readable - a feel good book! Give it a try.
Published 5 days ago by Vardy
5.0 out of 5 stars Rachel Hore at her best
I love Rachel Hore's books but was really enchanted with this one. Will she, won't she live in her dream house? It kept me guessing and with hopes rising and falling throughout.
Published 24 days ago by Mary Chipping
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book
I really enjoyed this book. I loved the way it flipped from the present to back in the 19th century. There was a little bit of romance, a bit of mystery and a bit of history. Read more
Published 1 month ago by ldal0
3.0 out of 5 stars Good
I did not find this as good a read as Rachel Hores other books which I have always enjoyed thank you
Published 1 month ago by lizzyann
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read, keeps you wanting more
Really enjoyed this book, nice twists in the tail until the end. Characters are well developed & the unrevealing of Agnes story is carefully done to keep attention
Published 1 month ago by Ulstergirl
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant
Brilliant I couldn't put this book down. Good story with many twists and turns. Rachel Hore never fails to please!
Published 3 months ago by Mrs. G. J. Hodges
5.0 out of 5 stars another great
I love Rachael Hore's books , and this did not fail to impress , could not put it down .
Published 3 months ago by jenny mason
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommend this book.
Enjoyed every page, such a clever tale and beautifully written, I couldn't switch off my Kindle I am now reading another Rachel Hore novel
Published 4 months ago by Mrs S Wrenn
3.0 out of 5 stars Not My Dream Book
It was o.k. but did not really keep my attention. You just kept on reading it to see the outcome.
Published 5 months ago by Iris Cookson
1.0 out of 5 stars The Dream House by Rachel Hore
The writing was childish with the sort of sentence construction one would probably find in the cheaper ladies magazines. Read more
Published 5 months ago by JPB
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