Read Leaving the Pink House by Ladette Randolph Online


Ladette Randolph understands her life best through the houses she has inhabited. From the isolated farmhouse of her childhood, to the series of houses her family occupied in small towns across Nebraska as her father pursued his dream of becoming a minister, to the equally small houses she lived in as a single mother and graduate student, houses have shaped her understandinLadette Randolph understands her life best through the houses she has inhabited. From the isolated farmhouse of her childhood, to the series of houses her family occupied in small towns across Nebraska as her father pursued his dream of becoming a minister, to the equally small houses she lived in as a single mother and graduate student, houses have shaped her understanding of her place in the world and served as touchstones for a life marked by both constancy and endless cycles of change.On September 12, 2001, Randolph and her husband bought a dilapidated farmhouse on twenty acres outside Lincoln, Nebraska, and set about gutting and rebuilding the house themselves. They had nine months to complete the work. The project, undertaken at a time of national unrest and uncertainty, led Randolph to reflect on the houses of her past and the stages of her life that played out in each, both painful and joyful. As the couple struggles to bring the dilapidated house back to life, Randolph simultaneously traces the contours of a life deeply shaped by the Nebraska plains, where her family has lived for generations, and how those roots helped her find the strength to overcome devastating losses as a young adult. Weaving together strands of departures and arrivals, new houses and deep roots, cycles of change and the cycles of the seasons, Leaving the Pink House is a richly layered and compelling memoir of the meaning of home and family, and how they can never really leave us, even if we leave them....

Title : Leaving the Pink House
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 23634501
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 216 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Leaving the Pink House Reviews

  • Sue
    2018-10-26 13:17

    In her memoir of leaving a beloved house for a total fixer-upper in the country outside Lincoln, Nebraska, Ladette Randolph provides a memoir of her life, grounding it in the houses she has called home over the years. This story covers her childhood, living in various homes with parents and grand parents, moving to places loved and despised, a childhood and young adult life where fundamental Christian religion figured prominently and shaped her life well into adulthood.The present situation, actually making the decision "to leave the pink house", is made in the wake of September 11th, with the weight of an almost apocalyptic change feeling overhead. "I best understand my life through the houses where I've lived", the author states early on and she then explains her life, her family, her forbears in terms of those houses. This new house is to be the next stage in her life.While we follow the rough course of remaking this country house, we also follow Randolph through her very early years, on to her pre-teen and teen-age years, her avid adoption of the church to which her family belonged and where her father was, for a time a pastor. We see her first brief marriage to a young man who died too early. A second marriage that ends in bitterness and pain. But now she has a new life - a fully new life with her husband Noel, who is in this venture with her. Her children are essentially grown. She can take us back to view her journey.While living in the house at the top of the hill, I began to see there were two worlds, what was inside myhead and what was outside. The things inside were secret things - night dreams and thoughts, ideas, and daydreams with imaginary people and places; outside was everything else. (loc 377)And a mention of her reading in an old library, "no larger than our dining room":I liked it best in winter when the heady smell of the propane used to heat the room mingled with the smellof dusty shelves and old books. This smell, combined with my excitement in the presence of so many books, created a kind of altered state.... Once I'd exhausted all the Nancy Drew mysteries, I turned to what I came to think of as the sufferinganimal stories: Black Beauty, Savage Sam, Old Yeller, and many others of that ilk. (loc 854-859)Another quote from the author:As a fifth-generation Nebraskan, I too have inherited these stories. I have few models otherthan suffering stoically, and I must always question the role such attitudes play in putting up too long with bad situations. (loc 1228)And finally a lesson that is brought home to the author and reader throughout this book, that home really is the people we love and the traditions we carry on. No matter what the difficulties along the way, if we are lucky to find the right people and places in our lives, eventually, we will find our home.I do recommend this to those interested in memoirs, especially of a woman coming of age in the second half of the 20th century on the American Plains.A copy of this book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest review.

  • Vikki Gremel
    2018-10-30 13:29

    Fun to read about this story of renovating a home in Nebraska. Knew a few of the folks she writes about and cringed with her as the inevitable delays and crises happened. An interesting book, weaving the past and present. Enjoyable.

  • Kathy Cowie
    2018-11-12 18:40

    Leaving the Pink HouseBy Ladette RandolphThis book reminded me of Love, Loss and What I Wore, in its ability to evoke not only place, but a mood, a period of time, and a complete cast of characters through the memory of inanimate objects. Unlike clothing, a house does have the ability to almost become a character; and in many books I’ve read the setting becomes more important than the people I am supposed to come to understand.There are many houses in this book, all places Ladette Randolph has called home at some point in her life. But this book is primarily about the pink house, and the farmhouse she is renovating that will cause her to leave it. I say cause with purpose, because it seemed to me that despite all she suggests, she did not leave her beloved pink house willingly. I read this book with a couple of different mindsets. The child in me, as well as the DIY/HGTV-watcher, wanted to see some photos of these houses and the renovations. Maybe they are in the printed copy, I read a kindle ARC from NetGalley. I also read it as a home-owner who has been through two separate periods of renovation, so yes, I felt her pain. What disappointed me was the lack of enthusiasm she seemed to have toward the house they were renovating. There was a lot of talk about it being her husband’s dream, his project, etc. I cannot imagine tackling a job like this dilapidated house without a unified front – i.e. both spouses 100% vested in the final results. Because of this, there are some cringe-worthy moments where I felt there was just a little too much disclosure. I don’t mean this in any racy kind of way, but I think that if it were me, I wouldn’t call my husband out on mistakes he made if I still want him to be my husband after the book is in print. There are moments, where Randolph seems to be rethinking her entire relationship, that I found awkward and uncomfortable, and an unnecessary part of the story. Sure, I get it, projects like this cause stress even in a great relationship, but at times this did not even feel like a good relationship, or one I particularly cared about. Aside from that, I have to say that this couple had some extremely nice and generous family and friends, who put a lot of time, effort, and, in many cases, professional skills into the house. When they implied these were given in exchange for a nice meal, etc., I found it annoying later when they bragged about how they stayed on budget. Hope your friends don’t mind reading that either, but maybe that’s just me. I did find the writing compelling, and the stories of the author’s childhood in Nebraska interesting.

  • Susanne
    2018-11-01 16:39

    Even if Ladette had not been my editor at the University of Nebraska Press, and even if I had not read and admired all of her other award-winning books, especially Sandhills Ballad, which I have been teaching at UNK every semester, I still would have been interested in Leaving the Pink House. I am in the process of writing my own memoir/family history, and I knew it would be a good model. She told me that she had tried a unique way of organizing the book, and since my work in progress, “Placebound,” is rather eclectic, I pre-ordered the book so that I would have a copy while the ink was still damp.Since I was most interested in the structure of Leaving the Pink House, I will start there. Ladette begins her memoir with a description of the trip that she and her husband took to look at a farmhouse on an acreage outside of Lincoln, Nebraska, to fulfill her husband’s dream of living in the country. They had been searching for some time, and each dilapidated or poorly remodeled house made the prospect of a rural resettlement seem unattainable. The remainder of the first part of this chapter describes the decision to purchase of their “dream house.” Here, too, Ladette sets up her unifying idea for her book: “I best understand life through the houses where I have lived” (2). The second half of the chapter flashes back to her childhood, focusing on the house where she grew up in Custer County, Nebraska, and some family history.This first chapter serves as a template for those that will follow. Each chapter follows the month by month process of remodeling their country home and then a flashback to the different houses in which she lived until she and Noel moved into the pink house in Lincoln. The last chapter ties both story lines together by aptly documenting the couple leaving the pink house, auctioning unwanted household furniture and goods, and moving to the country.

  • Dewitt
    2018-11-16 19:22

    Novelist and editor Ladette Randolph’s new memoir LEAVING THE PINK HOUSE, celebrates her mid-life marriage and centers on renovating a Nebraska farm house with her husband. From that she flashes back to her personal history in earlier houses: hard working mother, sketchy father who owned a failing gas station and was ordained as a Church of Christ minister; young first marriage and husband’s death in an accident; treatment for melanoma at age 22; work in a nursing home; twelve-year second marriage to a minister, parenting three children, divorce; career at U. of NB Press, while she wrote fiction; third marriage to a sensitive, stalwart, self-realized man, who works as an operations manager in a grain elevator and does construction as an avocation. Randolph herself evolves as doughty, soul searching and resilient, all of which is symbolized by the slow evolution of the farm house into her and her husband’s achieved dream, the product of their partnership and symbol of their marriage.

  • Jane
    2018-11-14 21:18

    I'm not often a big fan of memoirs and I'm not sure I would have given this book four stars except for the Nebraska setting. So many of the places and people mentioned are familiar to me and I confess I've driven down Washington Street trying to spot the pink house. Can't be sure, perhaps it isn't pink any more.Ladette Randolph has had an interesting life which she revealed through chapters centered around the houses she lived in in Nebraska. Her life stories alternate with the more current story of remodeling a decrepit country house and, of course, getting ready to leave her beloved pink house. The house where she had found love and stability after an unsettling childhood and two unfortunate marriages.

  • Catherine
    2018-10-27 21:13

    Ladette Randolph writes about the stressful process of renovating a decrepit farmhouse with her husband. Interspersed throughout the story are memoir chapters, categorized by the other homes she lived in throughout her life – mostly in small Nebraska towns, as her family made frequent moves to accommodate her father’s career changes. The book continues into her adult life, telling an interesting story with stellar writing. She’s an editor as well as a writer, and it shows. I received an ARC of this book from netgalley.

  • Tracy
    2018-10-26 16:13

    I really wanted to read this book about the author and her husband buying and renovating a farmhouse outside of Lincoln NE while facing the fact that she will be leaving the house she loves.I am usually up for a renovation book and while this author is a good writer, I didn't really get into it. I read a few chapters and then started skipping the chapters about houses she used to live in as a child (she goes through them sequentially) and then I just lost interest for some unknown reason. I'm not NOT recommending it. People who get into renovations might love it.

  • Pam Thomas
    2018-10-26 16:35

    Childhood memories of houses her family had inhabited, endless cycles of change and she now retraces how her life was shaped by the Nebraska plains where her family lived for generations, how her roots were the foundations which gave her strength to overcome loss, departures, arrivals, how the cycles of the seasons brought togetherness with the family and how they never really leave us,. its a poignant story.

  • Catherine
    2018-11-14 21:21

    Randolph and her husband, Noel, buy an old rural farmhouse outside of Lincoln, Nebraska. Together they completely renovate Noel's dream home over nine months, commencing immediately after September 11th, 2001. Randolph reflects on her life and the places she has called home throughout her life. The end caught me completely by surprise. Two words: True love!!

  • Kayo
    2018-11-07 14:30

    Lovely story. Reminds me of projects we have done around the house.Ready to put the house on the market.

  • Susan
    2018-11-04 13:27

    This was a good read. I liked the structure of using houses the author has lived in to write about her life.

  • Maureen
    2018-11-18 20:15

    An enjoyable ride along the author's search for a sense of place with a fairly predictable conclusion.