Open House

A Life in Thirty-Two Moves

My attitude toward houses is the same as it is toward books: you can never have too many. To prove it, I’ve moved 32 times. Those who have been to England know what a delicious smorgasbord of homes the country offers … until  an overcooked housing market ruins the appetite. We viewed 60 homes in a stonking-hot market in 2017, and when house-hunting fatigue hit us, we surrendered to a Victorian terrace house that was overpriced, in need of a total renovation, and that we didn’t even like. As we glumly hunkered down to the task of fixing it up, my mind began churning over all my past homes; the ones I grew up in and the ones I owned, and it got me thinking about where this addiction to homes and to moving began. This memoir isn’t so much about renovating a house as it is about what happens when we run from our past and try to renovate it; how events that occur during the course of our lives can make us uncomfortable settlers, forever craving to restore something we lost long ago.

Available March 24, 2020

HarperCollins (Canada)

“How well Christmas understands our modern ambivalence between stability and change, between the profound comfort of home and the excitement of novelty. Open House is both entertaining and deeply serious.”
— Katherine Ashenburg, The Mourner’s Dance

“This is a book for everyone who loves houses: an insightful, rollicking read full of plaster dust and screaming seagulls where ‘reno-mania’ attacks the wobbly foundations of childhood—and triumphs!”
— Plum Johnson, They Left Us Everything

“A serial mover, Christmas writes with passion and plenty of first-hand experience. Her sentences are sublime, and you learn through her perfect prose that when she tackles a renovation, much more than a home is restored.”
— Terry Fallis, Albatross

“Jane Christmas writes with such fever that she gets you caught up in her real estate frenzy of compulsive house-buying, renovating and reselling. As the book progresses and you begin to wonder about the psychological source of her 32 moves, the authors strips herself back to her joists.”
— Catherine Gildiner, Too Close to the Falls

Open House book cover image
Open House | Jane Christmas