Monday, November 30, 2009

Guest Blog: Rachel Sontag; House Rules

Author Rachel Sontag on her memoir, House Rules.

A compelling, at times horrifying work that is impossible to put down, House Rules cracks open the shell of a desperately dysfunctional family with impressive grace and humor and prose that is both precise and rich.
Rachel Sontag grew up the daughter of a well-liked doctor in an upper middle class suburb of Chicago. The view from outside couldn’t have been more perfect. Well educated, liberal and worldly, the Sontag’s went to synagogue every Friday night. But within the walls of the family home, Rachel’s life was controlled and terrorized by her father’s serious depression. Questioning his authority led to brutal fights; disobedience meant humiliating punishments. When Rachel was twelve, he duct-taped her stereo dial to National Public Radio, measured the length of her hair and fingernails with a ruler, and regulated when she could shower.

A visceral and wrenching exploration of the impact of a damaged psyche on those nearest to him, House Rules will keep you reading even when you wish you could look away.

Thank you, Rachel and please visit her website


  1. I am just wondering if there is any way to contact the author. The website doesn't seem to be operational. I have a story much like hers and am wondering how she dealt with the legal ramifications of parents who are still alive.

  2. Hi,

    You might want to send her a message on Facebook.