Tag Archives: © 2019 Book Chatter

Review: White Elephant

White Elephant

White Elephant
By Julie Langsdorf
Ecco, 9780062857750, March 26, 2019, 320pp.

The Short of It:

A neighborhood is in flux when one of the homeowners builds a giant, monstrosity of a home right next to his quaint, cozy, cottage style neighbors.

The Rest of It:

Any book centered around a suburban neighborhood is probably a book that will end up on my shelf because I am obsessed with suburbia. Mostly, its inhabitants and in White Elephant, they are an interesting group for sure.

The addition of this ginormous home sets everyone on edge. The early morning hammering and the lack of space between it and the other homes that flank it create stress and frustration for everyone involved. This “stress” is acted on in many different ways. One of which is an affair with the said neighbor. And then, suddenly people are pregnant and talking about their own homes expanding.

Such is the case with master planned communities. Things change. People change. Builders try to predict how people will live but in the end, there is always progress. Homes gets bigger as families get bigger. Marriages fall apart due to stress. Perhaps from having to carry a heftier mortgage. More kids to raise, too. You get it.

White Elephant puts it all right there for you to observe. My one complaint is that I didn’t feel attached to any of the characters so their individual struggles didn’t mean all that much to me. However, what it says about progress and how inevitable it is kind of depressed me. I’ve seen very similar things in my own neighborhood which used to be a cul-de-sac neighborhood but is now no longer that due to the end of the road being opened up to the main highway. With the added through traffic came speed bumps. Progress. Not the good kind.

If you don’t mind a book that is rather episodic in nature, and you have a fascination for suburbia, then you will appreciate White Elephant.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Sunday Matters: Change in Routine

Sunday Matters

This past week has been pretty good. We had one heck of a rain storm on Tuesday complete with thunder and lightning . If only California had a way to capture all that water. Come summer all that green will be brown and ready for wildfire season. I dread it.

Right Now:

I went to church on Thursday so my morning is wide open. I have a work conference on Monday and Tuesday so in a little while I will probably pack my bag for that.

This Week:

Monday and Tuesday I will be at an Assistive Technology Conference. Tuesday night I have my life group but I don’t think I will make it back in time. I also have to miss outreach. Other than that, the week is pretty normal.


I am reading White Elephant by  Julie Langsdorf. So far, so good.

White Elephant

I’m hearing more and more about Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid.  I don’t know, it just sounds like my jam. Maybe I should buy it for my trip.

Daisy Jones & The Six


We are back to watching The Haunting of Hill House. I’m not sure how many episodes we have left but we are about seven episodes in. That Bent Neck Lady. Ohhhhh she is a baddie. I am at the point where I know who she is but still.

We finally watched Book Club last week. I love Diane Keaton. I love Candice Bergen. I actually love all of the ladies in this movie. It has Andy Garcia too. Um, hello! It was light and funny and sweet.

New Things I’ve Tried:

I feel dumb. I’ve had weird eyebrows for a while now. With the low iron and well, AGE, my eyebrows were so sparse. PLUS, what the hell? Gray hairs in your eyebrows? Was not prepared for that. That made me look like an albino rat. Anyway, I tried a brow pencil for the first time this week and now I look so awake. My daughter uses one all the time, even with her lush brows but I caved and bought a cheap one thinking I’d try it and now I see why people use them.

Grateful for:

The people I volunteer with. All of them. Serving is rewarding but it is also fun when you have good, fun people around you.

If you could volunteer anywhere, where would it be? I took a spiritual gifts quiz and it said that I have gifts in all areas which means I try a lot of different things. It also means, I’m busy.