Keys to an Empty House

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Keys to an Empty House is a beautifully written book about a man named Elihu Goulding, a once-famous author, who is now in his sixties and has decided to buy a house in New York City to rest his weary legs. Elihu, or Eli, is an introvert and is quite detail-oriented as the reader follows him from his new doorstep past the lion door knocker and into each room of his new house where he streams Handel day and night. I especially loved this part of the book as it captured both visual and audio settings and encapsulates the reader into Eli’s world. Eli also frequents strategic restaurants and cafes as he does not want to be recognized as the author Elihu Goulding. He just wants to be left alone. The author writes Eli’s internal dialogue so precisely that we know what he is thinking however minuscule the task is.

Elihu Goulding has had two best sellers, Wandering Youth and For My Betters. Both books, although categorized as fiction, had main characters who were based very much on the experiences of a young Eli. After his third book, The Accidental Immigrants flops, Eli decides he will not write again. He will read. But he will not write.

Eli ponders on about his past endeavors, past lovers, including a man named Bart. One day, while he is in the shower, his doorbell rings. “He decides to assume that whoever is buzzing and knocking repeatedly will eventually realize he or she has come to the wrong house and go away.” How would Eli have ever guessed that it would be the son he had conceived with University of Chicago graduate student Emily almost twenty-two years ago? Eli finds himself becoming a father to Ethan although he has never met the boy and really doesn’t know how to be a father. Emily has sent pictures over the years, sure, but this young man who is now staying with him is both perplexing and intriguing to Eli. He lets his natural instincts kick in, careful not to overstep any boundaries. As Ethan’s ghosts come to light, Eli learns that not having a father has really affected Ethan.

Keys to an Empty House seems like a simple story about a neurotic, introvert, however, the deeper underlying story tells about how he and the other characters show love for one another. I absolutely loved the part where Emily comes to visit after Ethan has already been staying with Eli for several months. It felt as if time had not passed at all. I felt such a wonderful connection between Eli and Emily after all the years that had gone by. Author David Finkle has written a masterpiece that digs deep into the feelings, emotions, and quirks of human beings. Heartwarming, poignant, and realistic, Keys to an Empty House is a brilliant read.

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Star Count /5
Format Trade
Page Count
Publisher Plum Bay Publishing, LLC
Publish Date 05-Apr-2022
ISBN 9781734884838 Buy this Book
Issue April 2022
Category Modern Literature