The author has done a great job of creating very believable characters and their dialogue amongst each other is both entertaining and emotionally engaging.
I must say, I wasn’t expecting the ending which is why I felt compelled to do a re-read. I would definitely recommend this book. ~ Emma from Stamford, CT
I sat down in my cozy chair with The House Guest, intending to read for only a short while. However, once I began, I was “hooked” and I read the entire book. I think it should be required reading for anyone who needs relief from stress, and those who yearn for a simpler, gentler life. Your book is “food for the soul.”
The characters are so well-defined I feel as though I know them all personally. It made me long to sit with them at Maggie’s kitchen table sharing lively conversation and delicious home-cooked meals.
The ending was a complete surprise!
Thank you. Thank you. After I have read it a second time I promised my neighbors, who frequently join me on our front porch, that I would loan them the book. Hopefully, they will enjoy it as much as I did and will want to buy a copy to share with family and friends. ~ Marlene from Pasadena, CA
If you’re looking for a satisfying family drama with strong female leads, then look no further than The House Guest by Deborah L. Norris. The story centers around Maggie, widowed mother to nine-year-old Jenna and owner of an old manor that caters to boarders in Tilden, Nebraska. The story really begins when a sudden, surprising death rocks the little community and Maggie finds two new boarders at the manor. One is her dear family friend Anna, the other is Noah, a skilled wanderer who is looking for a little work and a comfortable bed. So begins a tale of simple humanity, day to day living and the realities of family life after grief and loss have passed through the manor.
I particularly enjoyed the character of Lee, Maggie’s dearest friend, a sarcastic and strong-minded woman who provides true heart and comic relief in the tale. The Nebraska atmosphere in The House Guest is sure to satisfy fans of country tales with its rich dialect and descriptions of delicious food and amusing animals. The three principal women in the narrative are highly relatable, funny and sincere, making this a very enjoyable read for those who love women’s fiction as well. Deborah L. Norris also incorporates a fascinating fourth-wall-smashing twist into the end of the novella which leaves you questioning the nature of fiction, memory and the space where the two intermingle, turning the tale into a real thinking piece. Overall, The House Guest is a well-crafted, highly detailed read with plenty of atmosphere and charm. ~ K. C. Finn for Readers Favorite
Maggie Anderson Davis is a middle-aged widow who inherited a Victorian mansion built in 1901 by her grandfather in Madison County, Nebraska. She shares the majestic old manor, which also serves as a bed-and-breakfast, with her nine-year-old daughter Jenna. Her free-loader, regular guest Fred, her nosy neighbor Lee, the Bouchard couple and the residents of Tilden provide Maggie with amusement, joy and friendships in her life. When Doc Bouchard unexpectedly passes away, the loss of a family member brings up old memories and, unfortunately, trouble. Maggie has to face a scandalous scheme to con her out of her property, leaving more than one family member caught up in suspicion.
Nostalgic is the word to describe The House Guest by Deborah L. Norris. It resonates in the premise, place and the prose of the story. The plot has a surprise twist that would definitely make readers love this book more. I truly enjoyed it very much and this is a story that I could read over and over again. The characters are an ensemble of interesting and believable people who can evoke readers’ emotion easily. I am most fond of Lee Osborne, Maggie’s meddlesome but faithful friend. The human characters are not the only moving force of the story. Jenna’s cat, Whistle, and her kitten’s adorable presence are hard to ignore. Lobos, Noah Benjamin’s dog, is as enigmatic as his owner. On the whole, The House Guest is a great story and any passionate reader can easily immerse themselves in its pages. ~Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers’ Favorite
The House Guest by Deborah L. Norris is a story of both humor and tragedy. Maggie lives in an old Victorian mansion, inherited from her grandfather, with her nine-year-old daughter. Having lost her husband, she has turned part of the house into a Bed and Breakfast, although her main guest is a man called Fred who rarely pays his bill in full. Anna and Doc Bouchard used to reside in the area and were friends of Maggie’s, infrequently coming to visit the B&B. Tragic news leads to change for everyone. Anna’s son, William, is an odd character that nobody trusts and, when he approached Maggie with a business proposition about her land, the reason why becomes very clear. William is looking to claim back the land that Maggie’s house sits on and will stop at nothing to get what he wants. With a twist at the end that nobody could foresee coming, The House Guest is a must-read for anyone.
The House Guest by Deborah Norris was an enjoyable read, easy to follow yet a full story. The characters were wonderfully thought out, as was the story and any reader will find at least one character to identify with – if not themselves, then someone they know! I found the story lacking in nothing, with plenty of detail and plenty of suspense along the way. There are three main female characters, each of which has their own quirks, which blend perfectly into this wonderful story. The ending will surprise anyone as it is totally unexpected. ~Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers’ Favorite
Sometimes our greatest tragedies mark our new beginning. This was the very case with Maggie in The House Guest by Deborah L. Norris. After the death of both her parents and her husband, Maggie depended on dear family friends, Doc and Anna, to fill the gap her parents left, and for her best friend Lee to be there every day for her and her daughter. However, more sorrow was still headed Maggie’s way and this came when Doc passed away. Maggie’s daughter had now lost the man who had been there for her as a grandfather. But through this tragedy, Maggie gained something new when Anna decided to move in with her, bringing new life to the old family house that Maggie inherited from her parents and that still served as both home and boarding for a few guests. After Anna moved in, the house received a new and very welcome house guest and together the group began to rebuild their lives, depending on each other for love and support and seeing each other through the hard and easy days.
The House Guest by Deborah L. Norris is a beautiful story about life, family, love, betrayal and support. It portrays a very calm and laid back life in a loving community where family and friends meant everything. I was so touched by how these amazing characters found solace in each other, building a new and rare kind of family for themselves. The unconditional love and support they gave each other was very touching. Each character had their own burdens and sorrows and yet together they formed a phenomenal family, being there for each other and helping each other. Deborah L. Norris brought out the spirit of the story perfectly, confirming for me that your family does not have to be just the ones you share genes with, but those who are there to hold you when you cry and laugh with you in happy times. The House Guest is calm and soothing and the end brings a big shocker that I did not see coming. ~Reviewed By Faridah Nassozi for Readers’ Favorite
The protagonist of Deborah L. Norris’ novel The House Guest is Maggie Davis, a middle-aged widow who lives together with her daughter Jenna in a Victorian mansion that belonged to her grandfather, while also offering it as a bed and breakfast accommodation. From neighbours and house guests, other characters populate the novel, usually gathering around the kitchen table where they have coffee, dinner, and chat. Each of them is individually portrayed through dialogue, gestures and conversation topics. Oscillating between her husband’s death and feelings for one of her new guests, Maggie is a profound character who doesn’t reveal much on the surface, but who has a rich inner life. The plot culminates with an unexpected twist at the end, which puts the protagonist in a completely different light.
The House Guest: Pathway to Persuasion by Deborah L. Norris is poetic and highly descriptive while having all the ingredients of a good novel: humour, love, tragedy and a grand finale. The descriptive style is vivid and colorful and the dialogues are believable while revealing something about each character. The book has a vintage air throughout, not just through characters and their conversation topics, but through the descriptions of the house, revealing an old fashioned but full of character home décor. I enjoyed the exercise of imagination while reading the descriptions as well as the lyrical narrative style that perfectly matches Maggie’s personality: still waters certainly run deep. I recommend this book to anyone who likes nostalgia, mystery, intelligent humour and lyricism. ~Reviewed by Teodora Totorean for Readers’ Favorite
Superb Biographical/Reality Fiction
The House Guest by Deborah L. Norris is a well-written enjoyable story that is both entertaining and mysterious. A widow who struggles with her husbands tragic death is also faced with feelings for a new house guest in her Victorian manor. All of this emotion occurs while she is also worrying about who is trying to swindle her out of her property and her business.
The story mixes love with tragedy, mystery with humor and is a truly enjoyable tale.
The author has done an amazing job with story development and characterization and readers will be surprised by the exciting twist at the end of the book, I definitely didn’t see it coming.
Great Read!!! Highly Recommended!! ~Reviewed by Amanda Kerr / Goodreads
I bought The House Guest for a weekend read (when my husband is fishing, I sit on the river bank and read) and this was a perfect Saturday read. I think this book would also make a cozy winter read too as it is the sort of story that is easy to get lost in.
We traveled back in time a bit and the mannerisms of that era were showcased well in characters. The characters were well crafted with additional layers added by the author making this a truly enjoyable read.
This was an era when women wore hats to the grocery store and there wasn’t an internet or mobile phone. Many people considered themselves fortunate to have a house phone (rotary phone and maybe a shared “party line”). Times were different and the author brings the past to life nicely with no lags in the story.
If you are looking for a quality read to enjoy, this is one I would recommend. I’d like to see additional stories from this author as she has a way of capturing life’s moments and giving readers the ability to travel back in time. This is a book to savor and enjoy as you read. I hope others enjoy it as much as I did. ~ Diana L. Top 500 Amazon Reviewer