Angelina Reviews: In the Dream House – Carmen Maria Machado

It’s no wonder that In the Dream House: A Memoir by Carmen Maria Machado has received multiple starred reviews, her stylistic choices throughout the book take you on a journey.  The dream house that Carmen builds is a house in Bloomington, Indiana where she lives with her girlfriend.  The journey leads us through a raw account of love, identity, and psychological abuse.  Carmen draws the reader in by replacing “I” with “you” leaving the reader to imagine each situation is happening to themselves.  Each chapter is very short and moves quickly; each chapters heading begins with the phrase “Dream House as___”, “Dream House as Time Travel”, “Dream House as Epiphany”, “Dream House as Myth”.  With this style choice the author allows herself to build the connection between each section with its title while also creating the continuous metaphor that the dream house, from the outside view, is like a fairy tale place.  I highly recommend this memoir to those who enjoy some non-traditional writers that are not afraid to explore the boundaries of a genre.

“There is a Quichua riddle: El que me nombra, me rompe.  Whatever names me, breaks me.  The solution, of course, is ‘silence.’  But the truth is, anyone who know your name can break you in two.”
—Carmen Maria Machado from In the Dream House