> Skip to content
About the book
  • Published: 4 June 2015
  • ISBN: 9781409040149
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 336
Categories:

The Household Spirit


Formats & editions


A poignant, big-hearted, and often humorous novel about two very unique individuals unceremoniously thrown together, The Household Spirit is a story about how little we know the people we see every day - and of the unexpected capabilities of the human heart.

There’s something wrong next door. At least, that’s what neighbors Howie Jeffries and Emily Phane both think. Since his daughter and wife moved out, Howie has been alone, an accidental recluse content with his fishing and his dreams of someday sailing away from himself on a boat. Emily couldn’t be more different: she’s irreverent, outgoing and seemingly well-adjusted. But when Emily returns from college to care for her dying grandfather, Howie can’t help but notice her increasingly erratic behavior - not to mention her newfound love of nocturnal gardening.

The thing is, although they’ve lived side by side in the only two houses on rural Route 29 in upstate New York since Emily was born, Howie and Emily have never so much as spoken. Both have their reasons: Howie is debilitatingly shy; Emily has been hiding the fact that she suffers from a nighttime affliction that makes her both terrified to go to sleep, and question the very reality of her waking life . It is only when tragedy strikes that their worlds, finally, become joined in ways neither of them could ever have imagined.

A poignant, big-hearted, and often humorous novel about two very unique individuals unceremoniously thrown together, The Household Spirit is a story about how little we know the people we see every day - and of the unexpected capabilities of the human heart.

  • Pub date: 4 June 2015
  • ISBN: 9781409040149
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 336

About the Author

Tod Wodicka

Tod Wodicka was born in Glens Falls, New York in 1976. He was educated at Manchester University. He lives in Berlin.

Also by Tod Wodicka

See all

Praise for The Household Spirit

“The Household Spirit is a heartwarming story of loneliness and connection.”

Lydia Winter, Financial Times

“Rarely have I been so captivated by a novel. Its compassion, wisdom, warmth. I loved it.”

Nathan Filer, author of 'The Shock of the Fall'

“The Household Spirit is a gorgeous, lonely book... This is a wonderful book full of tiny, heartbreaking revelations and glimpses of touching humanity... Read and it be warm.”

David Hebblethwaite, We Love This Book

“When I read Tod Wodicka's novel, it was as if somewhere in its core there was a light that glowed out onto me. It was an extraordinary experience. An extraordinary book.”

Douglas Coupland

“The Household Spirit is a powerful and quietly compelling novel. Tod Wodicka reveals his characters unflinchingly, in all their strangeness, and never loses sight of their frailties and loves - until we know exactly who they are and love them too. Unique and surprising, The Household Spirit is beautifully told.”

Sadie Jones

“The Household Spirit is very special. There’s a pleasing familiarity to it but it’s also fresh, funny and unpredictable.”

Roddy Doyle

“An intimate study of two oddball characters, The Household Spirit is also a profound meditation upon existence, the demons that haunt our subconscious, and the fragile solace to be found in human relationships. Wodicka writes with a winningly idiosyncratic combination of brio and tenderness, and concludes his story sublimely. The Household Spirit is a book to hold dear.”

Clare Wigfall, author of THE LOUDEST SOUND AND NOTHING

“Wodicka's fluid, expressive prose - dotted with quotable observations often as odd as his players - serves well his weaving of such a convincing, unexpected story from eccentricity, pain, and need.”

Kirkus, starred review

“An unpredictable and touching read.”

Kate Pledger, Big Issue in the North

“Wodicka is known to be LOL funny. But when he does sad, it’s the best fiction around by miles, full of tender ache and tenderer beauty.”

Shumon Basar, ArtForum

“Wodicka’s troubled characters are sympathetic, and his sentences are funny and surprising.”

New Yorker


Related titles