The House Guest Reviews

Old BooksThe House Guest by Deborah L. Norris follows the life of Maggie Davis, a middle-aged widow living in a large Victorian home in 1950s Nebraska with her daughter. The house also doubles as a bed and breakfast, so new boarders come in and out to gather around Maggie’s kitchen table for conversation about life and the latest gossip. As Maggie is still recovering from her husband’s tragic death, she has a lot to contend with in her own life, but she’s also a keen observer of her visitors. A scheme to swindle Maggie out of her property leads to a striking climax in which we learn there’s more to Maggie than meets the eye.  The House Guest is all about relationships, big and small – the town of Tilden has no shortage of drama. Given that the novel takes place in the early 1950s, it harkens back to a time before the internet, and when television was just starting – so conversation with family and friends was a major source of information and entertainment. It’s a pleasant reminder of yesteryear, and really does read like a time capsule of a certain era. Deborah’s description of the house also reveals a sturdiness that seems lost to the transience of modern life. It’s a quiet, old-fashioned novel – comforting in its calm attention to detail. Though the novel is a period drama, it also shows people’s timeless and universal humanity. Each person who visits Maggie has a novel’s worth of story of their own, making The House Guest a lively and entertaining literary read focusing both on the small details of people’s lives and the big issues that shape us. ~ Lysa Grant, SPR

When Maggie Anderson Davis inherited the Victorian home where she grew up, it was with the anticipation of continuing the family legacy of mingling the familiar with the unexpected. Small town Tilden, Nebraska, becomes ever smaller at Maggie’s kitchen table where stories grow, memories are rehashed, and gossip fuels minds. With a neighbor like Lee, the opinionated and brassy outspoken voice of reason, there is always lively fodder for conversation. From homespun advice to openly chastising the traveling salesman famous for reneging on his room and board when he appears on his sporadic visits to Maggie’s bed and breakfast, Lee offers comic relief in this beautifully written tale. Though Maggie is the rightful owner of her home and business,  William Bouchard is determined to acquire sole ownership of the family home. In her fight to maintain the dignity and history of the property, Maggie is thrown into a battle of wills and the reality of greed.  Some people obviously do not understand the importance of tradition and customs. Unfortunately those people are often family. Deborah Norris has created a lovely tale of family and community in her novel The House Guest: Persuasions, Perspectives & Prejudices. This story is a reflection of old time grace and nostalgia. I enjoyed the author’s voice and colorful connections with the many visitors who came the way of Maggie’s table. The House Guest is the perfect novel to compliment a hot cup of tea on a rainy day. I loved this novel. ~  Lisa McCombs for Readers’ Favorite

The House Guest by author Deborah L. Norris is a wonderfully soothing and very expressive novel set in the times of 1950s based on the conversations, events, discussions and gossips by the guests taken place on and around the kitchen table of a grand Victorian manor-turned guest house owned by a middle-aged widow Maggie Davis who is also a mother of sweet-bright nine year old girl Jenna.  Each chapter of The House Guest starts with a very thoughtful quote by author Deborah Norris setting this book different from other reads and giving its readers a very interesting look into the realities of relation in life.  Other than Maggie and Jenna there are many other real life like characters like Fred, William, Doc and very entertaining friend of Maggie- Lee, which readers will for sure find very impressive and connecting. Author Deborah is blessed with a unique talent of turning the most simple story plot into a very captivating and entertaining book leaving its readers at an ease of home like environment. Each little description of situations and emotions create a perfect visualistic image of Maggie’s life journey.  I am sure this wonderful book- The House Guest will prove to be a perfect companion for a relaxing vacation. Highly recommended to all book lovers. ~ Eishinas
The House Guest, by Deborah L. Norris, contains all elements that a good novel should have. Between scandals, gossip, and even a murder, the small town of Tilden has everything going on – Its definitely far from boring. The story takes place in the 1950s, bringing us as readers on a journey. The main character, Maggie Davis, is a middle aged widow and heiress of a grand Victorian manor. That character alone has a lot to offer to this novel. She has a nine year old daughter, and they run a bed and breakfast in this manor as well.  What makes this bed and breakfast so unique is that it is the center for all the town gossip. People who come and stay here love to sit around the table and talk about all of the issues going on in the town. Maggie doesnt make any conversation off limits. When someone wants to swindle Maggie out of business, there are going to be consequences – some that I didnt even see coming.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and would highly recommend it to all.  ~ Veronica