Through letters and diaries, church and business records, newspaper accounts, legal documents, and the recollections of neighbors who knew them, Luey introduces the diverse cast of historical characters who lived in these houses at various times from 1800 to the 2000s, including a Japanese castaway and his rescuer, a self-made millionaire, a seagoing adventurer, a religious pioneer, and an entrepreneurial immigrant. All of the houses are still standing and all but a lighthouse are still called home. In House Stories, Luey asks readers to join her as she considers the multiple meanings of "home" for these people and their families.
"Without question, the research in House Stories is extensive and thorough, providing the author with a firm foundation upon which to construct these ten historical accounts. Beth Luey has carefully fashioned a comfortable read about people and place."—Robert Demanche, author of The Last of the Fairhaven Coasters: The Story of Captain Claude S. Tucker and the Schooner Coral and contributing author to A Picture History of Fairhaven
"An engagingly written exemplary study of a local community that will appeal to a broad audience interested in New England history."—Thomas Mason, former chair of the editorial board of American Association for State and Local History and coauthor of Writing Local History Today
"A history buff's delight! Beth Luey's smart and easy style makes this book a lot of fun to read. The sheer number of people from the little seaside burg of Fairhaven, Massachusetts, who made their mark on the wider world is astounding. From titans of industry to international diplomats to seafaring feats of international acclaim, the little town has made its mark on the world, and Beth Luey has made sure the world now knows it."—Beth David, Publisher/Editor of Fairhaven Neighborhood News
"Luey's storytelling is marked by her ability to introduce characters in a manner which enables readers to visualize themselves walking the neighborhoods and smelling the salty breeze from the harbor that separates it from the port of New Bedford...Our recommendation of House Stories: The Meanings of Home in a New England Town cannot be overstated."—SOCO Magazine
"[P]eople who are interested in the relationship between people and their homes, or who enjoy well-researched local history and good yarns of the sea, mixed with a bit of insider gossip, should read House Stories. The book reminds us that people are more important than their dwellings, and more ephemeral, and their stories are what make their homes important to preserve."—The Public Historian