A House with Holes by Denise Mast Broadwater
About the Book
Book: A House with Holes
Author: Denise Mast Broadwater
Genre: Christian Memoir, Marriage
Release Date: October, 2019
Seasoned renovators Greg and Denise Broadwater dream of owning and restoring a historic home in downtown Charleston, South Carolina. What follows are six years of unimaginable challenges and successes concerning the renovation of their condemned 1920s Charleston Cottage, their place in a transitional neighborhood on Congress Street, and their thirty-year marriage.
In a community that struggles to feel like home, alongside normal stressors of full-time work and family weddings, the heightened tension taxes the Broadwaters to the brink. Nothing is left untouched in their hundred-year-old cottage full of architectural and historical details, from the rotted floorboards to the hole in the roof and the knob-and-tube wiring that causes a fire. But through Denise’s fascinating memoir, A House with Holes, the Christian author and therapist shares how she and her craftsman-architect husband strengthened the holes in both their home and their relationship during this wearying time in order to survive and thrive.
Using Broadwater’s counseling experience, marriage principles have been woven seamlessly into the text, demonstrating ways to maintain relationships in the midst of struggles. Reflective questions close each chapter so that readers may ponder their own relationships with growth and understanding.
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About the Author
Denise Mast Broadwater is a licensed professional counselor in South Carolina, treating anxiety, depression, life adjustments, and marriages. She began her career as a family therapist working with at-risk families and youth. Previously, she was an elementary teacher in private education. She is a wife and the mother of three children and recently became a grandmother. She enjoys rowing at the gym, cooking new recipes, sewing quilts, and blogging at Life Lights Blog (emptynestmarriage.com) and Charleston Renovator Blog (www.freedmanscottagerenovation.blogspot.com).
More About A House With Holes
Marriage comes with the struggle of making life work—but with a promise of home, a place to rest, to be who we are in all our mess, to feel loved and accepted in the truth of who we are. Opening up our mess means adjusting to our anxieties, habits, and struggles.
We all know marriage can be tough. Marriage requires commitment and flexibility, allowing for each spouse to develop his and her own gifts, to work together through challenges, and to communicate in a way that draws the couple closer through any issues that arise. The same can practically be said for renovating a house—especially an old house.
In A House with Holes: One Marriage Journey in a Charleston Renovation, author and therapist Denise Broadwater shares the challenges and successes of the restoration she and her craftsman-architect husband embraced after their purchase of a 1920s Charleston Cottage that was slated for destruction. Oddly enough, the project began to mirror the ups and downs of their empty-nester marital relationship.
Through this intriguing memoir describing the architectural style and details of their historic home on Congress Street in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, Denise shares her struggles and disappointments during the six-year upheaval. They lived with open holes in the floors and roof, wild critters, and in an old neighborhood that was unsure of their intentions. As her attitude changed with her living situation, Denise discovered her marriage rising to meet the challenges they faced and this struggling community opening to become a place of belonging.
“All marriages have holes—that’s a given,” Denise says. “The holes are places you disconnect: a container for selfishness, for disappointment, and for addictions as people try to find alternatives for unmet needs. Intimacy opens up the holes. Growing means making small movements toward each other, coming together to reduce friction.”
Principles and questions about marriage have been worked seamlessly into each chapter so that readers can “shore up” their own relationships and grow in understanding while
vicariously watching the progress of the Charleston Cottage through the eyes of a seasoned DIY renovator.
The Broadwaters’ experience of doing life in the midst of a major house renovation demonstrates marriage recovery, and her expertise as a counselor shapes lessons for married people everywhere in an honest, easy-reading, and relatable telling.
I have read more than my share of books about relationships, but A House with Holes is refreshingly different. Reading this book feels like binging on a Netflix series because you have to see what happens next. Denise is a therapist who has an in-depth understanding of relationships, and she has invited you to have a front-row seat to view what it took to create an amazing marriage while undertaking an almost impossible renovation.
—Dr. Larry Wagner, PhD, professor of counseling,
Columbia International University, Columbia, South Carolina