Review: The House of Tomorrow

The House of Tomorrow

The House of Tomorrow
By Peter Bognanni
(Berkley Trade, Paperback, 9780425238882, March 2011, 368pp.)

The Short of It:

Brilliant, beautifully written and touching in a way that surprised me.

The Rest of It:

After losing both parents in an accident, sixteen-year-old Sebastian Prendergast lives with his eccentric grandmother Nana in a geodesic dome. Nana, who studied with the infamous R. Buckminster Fuller (architect, philosopher and futurist), continues to share his teachings by conducting tours of their very unique home.

Most people visiting Iowa come for other reasons, but every once in awhile they have a visitor or two, and that’s enough to keep Nana happy. Sebastian spends his days polishing the dome and as he’s gazing down upon the town below, it occurs to him that he hasn’t seen much of it, or the rest of the world for that matter. You see, the dome acts as a barrier to all things. It protects him, yet it also imprisons him.  In his sensible shoes and conservative outdated clothing, Sebastian finds pleasure in simple things, but he secretly desires more. When his Nana falls ill, he meets a family that helps him realize how special he really is.

This is a wonderful story and includes the most interesting cast of characters I’ve encountered in a long time. They are terrifically flawed. I seriously loved them all, which I almost never say. Bognanni manages to make them vulnerable in beautiful, subtle ways. The story is funny and sad and touching without being overly worked. The transitions were effortless, or seemed so anyway. 

I adored this book and this is Bognanni’s first novel! It blows my mind.  You know that feeling you get after reading a page or two of  a new book? The feeling where you just know that it’s going to be great? I had that feeling throughout the book and the ending did not disappoint. There is so much more to say, but it would be better to experience it on your own.

Source: Purchased

Geodesic Dome (Source Unknown)

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24 thoughts on “Review: The House of Tomorrow”

  1. 150% agree with you. I loved Sebastian, I loved all of them (except I got a little pissed at Grandma). Bognani might as well have just ripped out my heart and taken it with him when I turned the last page. This will be one of my favorites (audio as well) of the year.

  2. “most interesting cast of characters I’ve encountered in a long time. They are terrifically flawed. ”

    I’m sold! Wonderful review.

  3. This was one of the first books that I read from a bloggers review. It was indeed a great and memorable book! Glad to know you enjoyed it!

    1. I had this one on my list for so long. I think I added it when it first came out and then got sidetracked. I just can’t believe this is his first novel. I can’t wait for his next one!

  4. Ok, you’ve convinced me! I wasn’t interested in this one, because I didn’t like the cover *sheepish grin*. But now, I promise to try it!

    1. The PB cover isn’t too bad but the hardcover was horrible. The hardcover makes more sense now that I’ve read the book though. You must read it!

  5. I’m going to Cornwall this summer and their most visited attraction in the Eden Project, probably very similar to your Dome. It’s a nice coincidence 🙂

    1. I just Googled the “Eden Project” to check it out. Wow!! It’s quite large and impressive. Have a wonderful time in Cornwall.

  6. Neither the title nor the cover drew me to this book, but after reading the description and your review I had a sense of deja vu. I know I had to have read something about this book when it came out in hardcover last year. I definitely will keep an eye out for this one.

  7. The idea that the dome both protects and imprisons Sebastian is great! I don’t recall hearing or reading about this book before seeing it on your blog. It sounds like a fascinating, unique book. I love that the characters are ‘seriously flawed’ but lovable. And the story has so many Your review and enthusiasm for the book tells me I have to read it.
    Thank you!

  8. I’ve gotten that same feeling at the beginning of books and now I read in fear that it can’t live up to that. It’s always even more amazing when it does. I hadn’t paid much attention to this one but I’m definitely going to be adding to the wish list.

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