A Review of
In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods: A Novel
Reviewed by Timothy Stege
I remember an episode of the sitcom The Rules of Engagement where one of the main characters, a young man, just got engaged to and moved in with his girlfriend. Throughout the first part of the show the newly-engaged man is bubbling over with excitement as he anticipates this new life before him. His fiancée has already registered for their wedding shower and compiled the list of gifts she wants, including a cake plate that sets the young groom off to dream about cake. Ignoring the warnings of his jaded long-married friend who tells him that a cake plate does not mean cake, he goes off to the store to make his cake dreams come true. He gets back from the store and while his fiancée sits on the couch, he shares his hopes of cake with her and with a flourish sets out on the table a mixing bowl, spoon, flour, frosting, and other ingredients and with a sort of “ta-da” he calls her attention to the ingredients and utensils. She wastes no time in letting him know that she wanted a cake plate, but has no desire to bake a cake. While this sets him off on a journey of disappointment and questioning and rediscovery of his love for her, it is a journey crammed into a brief 22 minutes and the resolution is quick and clear.