Compared to her previous books, Houses: A Memoir of Grace is much less overtly theological and even more autobiographical. Over the course of the chapters--each of which is more or less structured around a particular house in which Bondi or one of her foremothers lived--Bondi reconstructs how she came to be who she is. She particularly focuses on how the women and the houses in her past and in her foremothers’ pasts shaped her life and their lives. On this “structure” of houses are hung many different insights and stories of both pain and pleasure, abuse and self-discovery, and intermingled with all this, necessarily, discoveries about God.
Houses is written as a story, one that is vividly told and replete with conversation and description of farm life in the South and city life in New York. As is her custom, Bondi also includes the many insights, dreams, revelations, and theological reflections that characterize her life and writing. It is a book that will especially appeal to those interested in self-understanding and self-esteem, as well as the complexity of intergenerational traditions and behaviors.