In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado

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Rating: 5 out of 5.

‘In the Dream House’ is a Memoir about the author’s abusive same-sex relationship. She has very creatively documented her experiences in a format where she draws an analogy between her relationship and the House. She and her girlfriend are the residents of the House. She writes about how the House seems like a dream, but gradually she discovers that the House is not as dreamy as it looked at first. Instead, it’s a haunted house, and there’s a monster inside. She uses various themes, not limited to horror, to describe different phases of her relationship.

The inhabitant gives the room its purpose. Your actions are mightier than any architect’s intentions.

It’s an extremely well-written book. Carmen has done a brilliant job articulating complex emotions as a victim of abuse. This book is important in more ways than one. Cases of abuse are common in a same-sex relationship, and yet there aren’t many conversations around it. We need this book. We need to include queer relationships in discussions when we talk about heterosexual relationships.

It’s a shattering and heartbreaking read. But, it’s a must-read. It’s exquisite, something that takes you in like a bystander with Carmen. It not only puts forward a narrative of the abusive queer relationship. It also shows how the abusers exploit the circumstances, how they can be manipulative, which applies to all kinds of relationships.

When the historian of queer experience attempts to document a queer past, there is often a gatekeeper, representing a straight present.

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