The House on Eccles Road

GRAWOLF PRESS  |  2002

June 16th, 1999, in Dublin, Ohio and it is Molly and Leo Bluhm’s wedding anniversary. They wake up together and go on to spend the day apart. Leo tends to his busy schedule as a college professor, Molly merely passes the time – hums Irish tunes as she does the housework, chats to neighbours and meets an old love.

All too aware that her husband has forgotten the significance of the day, Molly’s frustration is reflected in a series of scribbled notes and telephone messages, as she struggles with the fact that he needs reminding at all.

Meanwhile, Leo breezes through the day with a careless nonchalance, catching too late the messages left for him by his wife.

In this momentous novel, Judith Kitchen brilliantly weaves these and other voices into an enthralling tapestry of a single day, an ordinary day, a day that might change their lives forever.

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Praise for The House on Eccles Road…

“When you’re reading “The House on Eccles Road”, all you’re thinking of is how good a writer Kitchen is and how happy you are to surrender to her way of seeing the world.”

—The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“I deeply appreciate how [Kitchen] has done what she has done, but most of all I am grateful that she has found a modern way to do an old-fashioned thing: break my heart with words on a page. I bow.”

—Mary Hood, author of “Familiar Heat”

“A definition of a true vision in a novelist is to strike a balance between the novel of the mind and the novel of the heart–exactly the synthesis that Judith Kitchen in The House on Eccles Road renders in flawless prose.”

—Stuart Dybeck, author of “Sailing with Magellan”

“Kitchen’s novel, like Homer’s Odyssey and Joyce’s Ulysses, reminds us that home is where love keeps waiting and often where love keeps us waiting, no matter what horrors and errors befall us. In so doing, she writes a book worthy of having a Molly in it, a book whose enormous aspirations in echoing Joyce also simultaneously accomplish an unusual and innovative echo of Homer.”

—Keri Elizabeth Ames, James Joyce Literary Supplement

“Kitchen is an imaginative writer whose work stands on its own merits. Her book, a poignant love story, is beautifully written in languorous, poetic prose.”

—The Irish Independent

“The alliterative flow of the language, together with the associative image of the flood, awards the language with lyricism evocative of music. . . . Thus, the novel brings Molly back to life, in a manner that makes her an enduring presence in the reader’s mind, even long after the book has been read.”

—Janne Stigen Drangsholt, Cercles: Revue Plurididisciplinaire du Monde Anglophone

“Like The Hours, Kitchen’s novel does not feel derivative, partly because some stories can be told again and again, and partly because she is a fine, imaginative writer.”

—The Los Angeles Times

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