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There is nothing more disappointing to me than reading an interior design book where they speak of details but then do not show them and that happened throughout this book. Time and time again the author mentions interesting details found in the home but then there is no picture to illustrate the point. I find that extremely frustrating. Don't talk about something if you aren't going to display it because it is such a let down to the reader. I can understand if that happens once or twice but in every single retreat shown there were features discussed that were never pictured. And while the pictures shown were beautiful, I wish they were more pictures that illustrated the entire space. I want to see a room, be able to visualize the flow, in addition to the features, but so many of the pictures were difficult to put into context when the surroundings are cut off. Additionally, every retreat shown is from the northeastern states (Maine, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island). To me, this is perfect because I'm from the northeast and I'm interested in purchasing a weekend retreat in the northeast, but the title should have been clarified so that other readers would have more of an idea of what type of book they're getting. A better title for this book would have been North Eastern Retreats.
Another problem with this book is the contradiction between the text and the photo captions. I found several instances where one thing is said in the text and another thing is said in the photo caption. An example of that would be p. 165 the author says "...like the 1820s goatskin surveyor's box belonging to a Texan grandfather who was a U.S. congressman" and then the photo caption on p. 169 says "The cowhide box belonged to her great-great-great-grandfather, an early congressman...." Is it goatskin or cowhide? I know it's a small difference but I was able to point out numerous instances where the text and the photo caption didn't match, so I found that frustrating.
One other issue, and I know it's sort of nit-piking, is the spelling errors in the photo captions. There were some grammatical errors, but mostly there were spelling errors. I'm wondering if this was a formatting issue but it should have been caught and fixed before going to print. 1. "The Empire chest was givento Gladstone...." 2. "Not only was it more economical butthe outcome is the epitome.... 3. "In Foley's bedroom an 1820s mahogany sleigh bed is flanked by a tree-trunk table decorated withquince branches...." 4. "The family built the stone fireplace and barbecue grill to harmonize with thestone buildings...." I'm not going to list them all but there were enough to make me take notice and certainly enough to complain about.
I know it doesn't sound like it but I really did enjoy this book. I don't think I would necessarily use this as inspiration for my own retreat but I think it's much more than a coffee table book.
For anyone who gets away from an urban area of business and grime to the peacefulness of a weekend retreat where one can rejuvinate-this book is perfect. For anyone wanting a weekend retreat- this book is perfect. For anyone wanting to voyeur into others weekend retreats- this book is perfect. Enjoyable, light reading with wonderful visuals. Sits on my coffee table at our own getaway. A good reminder to relax and enjoy life when possible.