Cottage for Sale, Must Be Moved

A Woman Moves a House to Make a Home

Publisher: Ballantine Books
When Kate Whouley saw the classified ad for an abandoned vacation cottage, she began to dream. Transport the cottage through four Cape Cod towns. Attach it to my three-room house. Create more space for my work and life. Smart, single, and self-employed, Kate was used to fending for herself. But she wasn’t prepared for half the surprises, complications, and self-discoveries of her house-moving adventure.

Supported by friends and family, and egged on by Egypt, her bossy gray cat, Kate encountered a parade of town officials, a small convoy of State Police, and an eccentric band of house-movers, carpenters, and tradesmen. She found herself dancing on the edge of the gender divide–infatuated with trucks, cranes, tools, construction terms, and a dreamy mason who teaches her the history of concrete.

Sketched with a deft hand and told with an open heart, Cottage for Sale is a deeply personal story that captivates, inspires, and delights. In one remarkable year, Kate moved a cottage and created a home. Once you cross the threshold, you’ll never want to leave.


I am a compulsive reader of the classifieds. For this reason, I do not get the daily paper. But each week, the Pennysaver arrives in my mailbox, and I cannot resist the urge to read: Wedding Gown: Priscilla of Boston, Ivory Lace. Size 8, Never Worn; Paid $2,500. Sacrifice $1,200.

Imagine selling your unused wedding...
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1. The book opens with Kate admitting she is “a compulsive reader of the classifieds.” She describes classified ads “as the skeletons of stories, waiting for me to invent their skin.” How did this admission affect your perception of Kate? Was your initial impression confirmed, or did it change as...

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“A pitch-perfect description of both small-town life and personal anticipation . . . I loved Cottage for Sale.”
–ANNA QUINDLEN, Book-of-the-Month Club News

“Highly entertaining.”
–The Wall Street Journal

“Whouley’s gentle memoir . . . deftly explores the themes of independence, pride of place and loss.”
–The New York Times

“There is so much here you will want to read it twice. . . . It’s one of those books in which the author has taken something personal and made it universal.”