Review by Zac D
Review Summary: A pleasant, unchallenging read.Perfect for a train journey home.
Blurb: When Nicky Hauser walks in on his restaurant-owner boyfriend having sex with a waiter, Nicky loses his lover, his job, and his home all in one night. Although he’s nearly thirty, he’s never settled on a true career, and he has nothing to show for his years with Tom. Depressed and unable to find work, Nicky ends up couch-surfing with friends until he lands a house-sitting gig for a wealthy family.
When Nicky’s clients discover that he loves to clean, demand for his services skyrockets. Word of mouth leads him to Spencer Cartwright, a busy computer consultant and a slob. Spencer and his wife divorced when he came out, but he’s never found the time or courage to settle down with a man. As Nicky sets Spencer’s house to rights, the two men find friendship. But Nicky’s past experiences make him wary of risking everything on love.
Review: Housekeeping is a well written, pleasant novella. Nicky Hauser is a young waiter, working and cohabiting with his boyfriend, Tom. One day he comes home from work to find Tom ‘balls deep’ in another man. It’s a classic conflict set up, but the author manages to dodge a big blow out and instead have Nicky pack his paltry possessions into some bags and slink away. The way this first plot point is written sets the tone for the whole book. This book is mild, easy reading, and everything plods along at a sedate pace.
After the break up with his lover, Nicky couch surfs for a while, disillusioned with life, until he somehow, and fortuitously lands a few housesitting jobs. Though I found this arc slightly ridiculous, I did appreciate the fact that Nicky was one of those folk you meet in real life, who don’t have a clear idea of what their role in the world is…a vocation, or an undeniable skill. In reality, most of us are like that, falling into jobs by accident, or muddling along in jobs we hate, and I liked Nicky’s ordinary backstory and point of view. His penchant for cleaning was as exciting as it sounds, but it somehow worked, and he was rather endearing.
His would-be love interest is Spencer, a single man who lives all alone in a great big house, who Nicky eventually ends up cleaning for. Spencer didn’t click with me. He was just there as someone for Nicky to fall for. He was dull, and uninspired, and I feel with a better character, this book would’ve been far more interesting.
The lack of sex bothered me too. I’m not saying every book has to be awash with smexin’, but with the absence of any substantial plot, the lack of physical interaction between the characters was a big problem. Nothing happens in this book. Literally, nothing.
On the other hand, I did kind of enjoy it. I read it after a crazy busy week, and it was just the thing to send me off to the land of slumber.
A good thing, or not? You decide. I’m not digging that cover, either. Try not to picture it when you think of Nicky.
2.5 stars, rounded up to 3.5 for the excellent technical quality of the writing. If only well placed commas made a captivating plot.