A House of Straw
a Natural Building Odyssey
by Carolyn Roberts

This is a memoir and journal that Carolyn wrote while she built the house. It is not a how-to book and often a how-not-to book. Carolyn, a petite, forty-something single Mom with two teenage sons yearns for a simpler life, in harmony with nature. She dreams of a sustainable house, made from straw bales, but she has no carpentry experience, no directly relevant skills. Of all the usual excuses (no time, no money, no experience), the hardest to overcome is her reluctance to escape from the safe haven of meeting the conventional expectations of others.

Part memoir, part construction journal, A House of Straw will amaze and inspire you with its joys and sorrows, warmth, humor, and above all its painful honesty. In escaping the traps of her past and building her straw bale house, Carolyn Roberts found it necessary to rebuild herself. Most of all, she had to recognize and overcome her own weaknesses. Step by step, she devised the mental and spiritual techniques to do this.

A House of Straw demonstrates that bringing your life into line with your values requires no extraordinary heroism but rather the personal growth within reach of everyone. This is not a how-to building book, but you will learn along with Carolyn about the anatomy of a house. You'll learn the advantages and pitfalls of building with straw bales. You'll experience through Carolyn's eyes the agonizing joys of the owner/building process, and the accompanying gamut of wildly fluctuating emotions.

A House of Straw is for anyone who enjoys quiet triumph. If you recognize any of yourself in Carolyn Roberts -- if you find it easier to dream about a more satisfying life than actually to take the risk and get started -- read this book! Just as this was Carolyn's first house, this is her first book.

Read Excerpts | Table of Contents