MN Star Tribune review of Leaving the Pink House

Ladette Randolph’s lovely, moving “Leaving the Pink House” is an old-fashioned memoir: No composite characters, no long paragraphs of dubiously recollected dialogue, no shattering trauma. This is a thoughtful, graceful remembrance of a woman’s life, told through homes loved and lost. “I best understand my life through the houses where I’ve lived,” she says, and when you reach the end you will, too.
In 2001, Randolph and her husband bought a falling-down house on 20 acres of land outside of Lincoln, Neb. They already owned a house in Lincoln: an old pink house “with good bones,” one that they spent years renovating. Randolph was happy there. The country home, which needs new roof, new floors, new wiring, new insulation, new windows, new everything, is not her idea. It is her husband’s dream, and she goes along with it because she loves him, which doesn’t mean there isn’t strife and regret and occasional resentment.
The narrative is interspersed with chapters of flashback, looking back to the homes of her childhood and young adulthood. There is no deep drama here: just the tedious task of mudding sheetrock, worrying about bills, fretting about the carpenter who is late delivering — or even starting — a necessary banister; racing against time to get the house done in time for the inspection; angst that they are leaving something beautiful for something flawed.
No, no great drama, just the stuff that makes up daily life, and in Randolph’s calm voice and limpid prose, it becomes a study in hard work, faith and love.

by Laurie Hertzel