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the making of home book coverReviewed by Meg Massey

In The Making of Home: The 500-Year Story of How Our Houses Became Our Homes, author Judith Flanders traces the evolution of houses from the 16th century to the present, in Europe and America. From great houses that were open to the public to homes that became more intimate spaces, the change in these spaces is quite fascinating.

As I read through this book, I couldn’t help but draw comparisons to historical series like Downton Abbey. That particular series centered around the lives of a family and their servants, in the early 1900s, when change was on the horizon for great houses and the people in them. Over the course of the series, we saw that war, technology, a continually changing political and economic climate, and many other external forces influenced the lives and futures of those in the house.

In her own work, Flanders leaves no stone unturned. In Part One of the book, she investigates how changes in houses influenced how we view our homes today. In this section, readers will read compelling information about marriage, child-rearing, politics, religion, notions of privacy, and household objects, among other issues. Part two turns to how technology and the growth of infrastructure, which introduced plumbing and other technological innovations, would transform houses in to the homes we now know and love.

This work is incredibly well-researched, and would be of interest to anyone that loves history. I very much enjoyed reading through it and learning a bit about the houses of the past. After reading through this work, I can honestly say that there really is no place like home!

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Meg lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, Ryan. Library professional by day, freelance writer by night, Meg writes about life, entertainment and everything in between.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Thomas Dunne Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.