The View from the Very Best House in Town
Meera Trehan, Author
Walker Books US, Fiction, Feb. 8, 2022
Suitable for ages: 8-12
Themes: Autisim spectrum, Diversity, Friendship, Mansion, Classism, Mystery,
Book Jacket Synopsis:
Part thriller, part friendship story, part real estate listing, this witty and inventive debut explores the nature of friendship and home.
Sam and Asha. Asha and Sam. Their friendship is so long established, they take it for granted. Just as Asha takes for granted that Donnybrooke, the mansion that sits on the highest hill in Coreville, is the best house in town.
But when Sam is accepted into snobbish Castleton Academy as an autistic “Miracle Boy,” he leaves Asha, who is also autistic, to navigate middle school alone. He also leaves her wondering if she can take anything for granted anymore. Because soon Sam is spending time with Prestyn, Asha’s nemesis, whose family owns Donnybrooke and, since a housewarming party gone wrong, has forbidden Asha to set foot inside.
Who is Asha without Sam? And who will she be when it becomes clear that Prestyn’s interest in her friend isn’t so friendly?
Told from the points of view of Asha, Sam, and Donnybrooke itself, this suspenseful and highly original debut explores issues of ableism and classism as it delves into the mysteries of what makes a person a friend and a house a home.
Why I like The View from the Very Best House in Town:
Meera Trehan has penned a compelling and suspenseful story that involves vivid characters a a fast-paced plot. It is told from three different viewpoints — Asha, Sam and Donnebrooke, (the mansion) — that provide valuable insight into the story. Trehan’s storytelling is captivating and her beautiful writing will draw readers into the story.
Asha and Sam are memorable characters and have been best friends since they were young. They are on the autism spectrum, each with their own gifts. Asha is of East Indian heritage. She loves architecture and is enthralled with the quirky features of Doneybrooke, the mansion that overlooks the town. Sam is obsessed with killing monsters in his favorite Househaunt game. They compliment one another, making his attendance at Castleton Academy hard for the twosome. Prestyn lives at Donneybrooke and attends Castleton, where she befriends Sam for the wrong reasons — to hurt Asha. Prestyn is mean and scary. She manipulates Sam with dangerous psychological games, making this story a real thriller.
Donneybrooke views itself in a class of it’s own — a mansion like no other. It is boastful and filled with pride, but over time it softens and only wants to be a home that is loved and cared for by it’s owners. Donneybrook likes Asha best because she appreciates its unique beauty. There is a lot of growth in the characters, as each forges a path forward, including Donneybrooke. The book would be a great read aloud at home or school. There are many themes to think about and discuss.
Meera Trehan grew up in Virginia, just outside Washington, DC. After attending the University of Virginia and Stanford Law School, she practiced law for over a decade before turning to creative writing. She lives in Maryland with her family. The View from the Very Best House in Town is her debut novel.
Meera Trehan grew up in Virginia, just outside Washington, DC. After attending the University of Virginia and Stanford Law School., she practiced law for over a decade before turning to creative writing. She lives in Maryland with her family. The View form the Very Best House in Town is her debut novel.
Greg Pattridge hosts Marvelous Middle Grade Monday posts on his wonderful Always in the Middle website. Check out the link to see all of the wonderful reviews by KidLit bloggers and authors.
*Review copy provided by Walker Books in exchange for a review.
16 thoughts on “The View from the Very Best House in Town by Meera Trehan”
I love when a building is also a character in a book. That is so clever.
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It’s such a great read! And, the House is very talkative!
My students are not as keen on houses as I am, but I may have to take another look at this one, since you loved it so much!
The book is a fun read with lots of drama. The house’s comments are interesting and you actually it move from wanting to be the most admired house in town to one that has a family to love it.
The background and critique you gave make this a must read for me. I like the multiple characters and their various personalities. I’m seeing more books about individuals on the autism spectrum and that’s a good thing. I’ll be looking for this one when time allows, hopefully I can give a go this summer. Thanks for your review!
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Yes they are on the spectrum, but you forget as you read. They are just two kids dealing with everyday issues.
I was surprised how much I like this book and especially the character of the house. I enjoyed reading your review and agree with it. Thanks for the post.
Yes, I was surprised too. I think the cover could have been more appealing. Funny how that impacts readers.
I have to read this because I am obsessed with the idea of a mansion that changes over time! Your reviews always entice me and I am in luck! This book was in my local library!!! Thank you for this review!!
So happy you got a copy. I hope you write a review!
This sounds like so much fun! I love your description. Will have to see if my library has it. I’m writing a MG novel right now, so I love reading ones that break from the standard format. Thanks for the rec, Patricia!
This definitely is outside the box.
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Elliott Kurta really liked it too. Sounds like he had reason to!
I’m glad Elliott enjoyed the book. The stamp of approval from a a MG reviewer is an excellent sign.
The characters and story sound very interesting. This is my first time hearing of this one. Thanks for putting it on my radar. 🙂
It’s a a fascinating book involving many themes. I hope you enjoy it!