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Homesick

Why I Live in a Shed
Narrated by: Catrina Davies
Length: 7 hrs and 28 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (63 ratings)

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Summary

The story of a personal housing crisis that led to a discovery of the true value of home.

Aged 31, Catrina Davies was renting a box-room in a house in Bristol, which she shared with four other adults and a child. Working several jobs and never knowing if she could make the rent, she felt like she was breaking apart.

Homesick for the landscape of her childhood, in the far west of Cornwall, Catrina decides to give up the box-room and face her demons. As a child, she saw her family and their security torn apart; now, she resolves to make a tiny, dilapidated shed a home of her own.

With the freedom to write, surf and make music, Catrina rebuilds the shed and, piece by piece, her own sense of self. On the border of civilisation and wilderness, between the woods and the sea, she discovers the true value of home, while trying to find her place in a fragile natural world.

This is the story of a personal housing crisis and a country-wide one, grappling with class, economics, mental health and nature. It shows how housing can trap us or set us free, and what it means to feel at home. This audio edition includes music by Catrina Davies.

©2019 Catrina Davies (P)2019 Quercus Editions Limited

Critic reviews

"You will marvel at the beauty of this book, and rage at the injustice it reveals." (George Monbiot)

"Incredibly moving. To find peace and a sense of home after a life so profoundly affected by the housing crisis, is truly inspirational." (Raynor Winn, best-selling author of The Salt Path)

What members say

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  • Overall
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beautiful and heartbreaking

Definitely one to listen to. Catrina's words are poetic and beautiful even when tinged with such a sad story at times. The songs really make the recording something special. loved it!

2 people found this helpful

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Very interesting

Covers a range of human traits both good and bad. The vindictive jealousy and selfish destruction/theft is compensated by the actions of others, most notably her sister.

The politics is interesting. She seems against people who become wealthy through the luck of inheritance but doesn't dwell too much on the luck of genetics that allows her to go to Cambridge and become a published author. She is for nature and against pesticides but poisons rats/mice. Anti enclosure except for her own shed. I have similar contradictions in my 'principles'. In my experience all of us are hypocrites and contradictory to varying degrees.

Personally I think the housing issue and environment issue has more to do with the fact we keep increasing the human population but the planet remains the same size. Building more and more houses is only possible up to the point we run out of land/the eco system collapses. Turning all the second homes over to become primary residences will help for one, maybe two generations but then what? It is still only a short to medium term solution. Land tax and less inequality are fine objectives though. Overall I enjoyed this book and like the author.

2 people found this helpful

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Beautiful.

Simply beautiful. The world would be a very different place if more people digested this.

1 person found this helpful

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Beautiful

Wonderful poetic account of Catrinas journey to find her home
Wise and uplifting,heartfelt and heartwarming

1 person found this helpful

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UK housing crisis, human cost thoughtfully exposed

Having seen Catrina interviewed on TV about her new book I was glad when it was published on Audiobooks especially with the author as narrator. Catrina telling her story makes such a big difference in communicating her inner self, feelings, hopes and fears.
It is a a fascinating read, both on the personal level and the well researched and described state in which our society is split over the housing divide. This book should resonate with everyone as to what has happened and the sad consequences.
For me the book had a strong ending and conclusion.
Although the author is obviously gifted and thus her writing involves the reader, especially her personal story, I did almost give up a third way through - I'm glad I didn't! - as at times I felt she almost strayed over the line of communicating a genuine grievance into a "chip on the shoulder" commentary. Some comments and quotes also sounded a bit "hippie-ish" and her view of christianity sounded a bit dogmatic, as if her childhood experience blinded her to what is good about our faith.
Genuine story though told with sincerity. Let's hope this book will prove to be an effective challenge to us - Our Society - to help put right the structural injustices which are doing much harm.

1 person found this helpful

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Beautiful

Incredibly absorbing story, beautifully written and told. Shining a light on the problems of today’s housing crisis.

1 person found this helpful

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Soul charging and beautiful

Probably the best book we have listened to, wish there was a part 2! Thank you:-)

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Beautiful

Narration by the author is brilliant, and the songs were a lovely addition!
it made me sad, angry, happy, hopeful, lost and driven to not fall into the trap of modern society.
Catrinas' description of the natural world was so poetic and the relevance of climate change and human impact upon it was very well done.
I cannot wait for my next surf trip!

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Beautiful, insightful book

I came across this book after reading the salt path by Raynor Wynn which I loved. This book is also wonderful with vivid descriptions of the Cornish countryside and coast. Really felt like I was there. Catrina reads it beautifully and understated, like listening to a friend. Delicate, insightful of her journey and the unfairness of the housing situation in the UK and consumerism in general. I’m a new fan now. I very much look forward to hearing more from her.

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Moving

Such a moving, heart felt story , read and told beautifully. one to heard by many for our current climate