Roommates Wanted
By Leigh
May 5, 2008 - 11:18:17 AM

Fifteen years ago Toby’s father gave him a large and run-down Victorian home as a wedding gift.  A month later, Toby’s bride left him after deciding that sharing a decrepit home with a struggling poet husband and the elderly renter who came with the house wasn’t what she’d expected of marriage.  So Toby posted a notice for renters, deciding to take in artists and musicians and those who truly needed a haven while waiting for their big break.

Now nearing forty, Toby finds himself landed with five misfit renters and a wreck of a house.  He despairs of, but is resigned to, the noise and debris left by these people that he doesn’t really know, or even want to, but with whom he shares his home. When Toby’s elderly renter Gus dies unexpectedly, and even more unexpectedly bequeaths a large sum to Toby, he knows it’s finally time for a change.  He decides to clear out and update his house in order to sell it and move forward with his life.


Unfortunately, clearing out the house means that more than old furniture and fixtures must go; it means Toby must also give his renters the heave-ho.  But convincing this unmotivated group that they need to move on is easier said than done.  And that’s where Leah comes in.


Leah has lived across from the rambling Victorian and its strange inhabitants for three years.  Vibrant, gregarious, and just plain nosy, Leah has long been fascinated with the odd housemates.  When she finally meets Toby and hears of his dilemma, she decides to help him out – by helping the housemates – and Toby - get a life!


If you’ve ever had the dubious pleasure of living with roommates, you’ll connect with this book from the start.  Author Lisa Jewell delivers a light but satisfying tale that will make you feel both Toby’s plight as well as that of his down and out renters – along with giving you plenty of laughs.  Add in a touch of romance from Toby and Leah and you’ve got a wonderful novel that is essentially a story of grown-ups growing up, whether they want to or not.


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