“Deborah Gould’s Household examines the necessity, the power, and the peril of relationship.  It’s an intricate and sometimes harrowing journey of connects and disconnects—to loved ones, to home, to history, to oneself—that delivers the reader to an inexorable conclusion.”
—Cynthia Anderson, author of River Talk and Home Now

“The first time it happened,” I said, “I nearly choked on my surprise.”


So begins Margaret Wilson’s painful telling of a relationship gone awry; something is wrong, she knows, but she cannot make sense of it.

Bewildered by Lee’s smoldering anger and hurtful behavior, Margaret turns to Cooper, the counselor who works in the local elementary school where Margaret teaches.

As Cooper leads her through the struggle to maintain her emotional footing, Margaret explores the history of the house she and Lee own in the small town of Hadley, Maine. As her relationship spins out of control, she turns to four generations of the Thatcher family that lived there from the early 1800s to the 1920s, finding strength and support in their common, lovely, lives.

Combine the themes of domestic danger (present) and safety (past) with a rich description of the world they share—the farmhouse itself, the fields and woods of the Middle River Valley—and Household becomes a narrative of tension and sweetness, a balance of abuse and refuge.

“Household is a beautiful book about something terrible—the insidiousness and devastation of emotional abuse. Lyrically, but with the force of a sledgehammer, Gould conveys what it feels like to be terrorized by someone you love.”
—Patrisha McLean, founder/president of Finding Our Voices