House & Home
a novel
by Kathleen McCleary

House and Home is the story of a woman who loves her house so much she’ll do just about anything to keep it.

Ellen Flanagan has two precious girls to raise, a cozy neighborhood coffee shop to run, terrific friends, and a sexy husband. She adores her house, a yellow Cape Cod filled with quirky antiques, beloved nooks, and a million memories. But now she’s about to lose it all. After eighteen roller-coaster years of marriage, Ellen’s husband, Sam—who’s charismatic, spontaneous, and utterly irresponsible—has disappointed her in more ways than she can live with, and they’re divorcing. Her daughters are miserable, and on top of it all the house Ellen loves with all her heart must now be sold. Ellen’s life is further complicated by a lovely and unexpected relationship with the husband of the perky social climber who has purchased her house. Add to that the confusion over how she really feels about her almost-ex-husband, and you have the makings of a delicious novel about what matters most. . .

Set in the gorgeous surroundings of Portland, Oregon, this funny, poignant, curl-up-and-read debut strikes a deep emotional chord and explores the very notion of what makes a house a home.


House & Home is a sharply funny, nicely realized work of catharsis that will be satisfyingly familiar to anyone who has ever suffered seller’s remorse.”
—Penelope Green, The New York Times

“This novel is a delight. It grabs you from the opening paragraph…and holds you with its cathartic exploration of home and family.”
The Oregonian

“[One] of the most engrossing books this season…”
O at Home

“In McCleary’s poignant, gently humorous novel, the characters seem utterly alive, and the locations are exquisitely described. This book also has one of the best opening paragraphs in recent memory, and is altogether so superior it’s hard to believe that’s a debut.”
—Shelley Mosley, Booklist

“Ellen’s efforts to keep her house are what move the story crisply along. House & Home is a highly enjoyable read. “
—Kate Kelly, Ladies Home Journal

“… columnist McCleary’s tale of real estate woe (plus a little entrepreneurship gone wrong) will resonate with unhappy homeowners, as will her portrait of a regular woman pushed to extremes trying to do the right thing for her family.”
Publisher’s Weekly

House & Home is the extraordinary debut novel by Kathleen McCleary. Well-known as a reporter, writer and a columnist for, she takes her fans to an all new level by introducing them to this whimsical spin on trading places. With a bit of humor and just the right amount of drama, House & Home is a first-rate designer’s dream.”
—Jennifer Vido,

“I read it straight through in one day. It was terrific. This is [the author’s] first novel, and I was floored not only by the excellent writing, but how many parallels there were to my own life. … This is one I’ll be telling my friends about.”
—Lisa Munley, Books on the Brain