This memoir is the story of how the author downsized her life after experiencing a heart attack at the age of 41. She traded her large home with a mortgage for a tiny house that she built herself, one that she can clean in 10 minutes. This book is full of warmth and humor. If you liked Wild: from Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed, try The Big Tiny.
“Visitors to [Dee Williams’] property may be forgiven for thinking someone had taken up residence in a beautifully built pine-and-cedar toolshed out back….[an] affecting memoir…she writes in The Big Tiny of finding a centeredness and peace in her little house, of being less fearful, more alive. Some of the best passages are when she describes the sensory experience of being inside: smelling raw cedar and knotty pine; listening to the weather.”—Steven Kurutz, The New York Times
“Even those who are contemplating downsizing may not be familiar with the DIY tiny-urban-house movement Williams describes. Imagine a floor space smaller than an average-size living-room rug with an external peak elevation of less than 10 feet and an open-space “ceiling” height of less than seven feet. Now picture a sleeping loft above the 84 square feet below. That’s it. The entire house. Williams explains that she was driven by a need to build a home and to be at home “in the world and in my body” after awakening in a hospital following a cardiac incident that caused her to reevaluate and change her life. “Feeling like a woman learning to swim,” Williams recounts studying DIY manuals as bedtime reading, and learning, hands-on, the finer points of using the correct tools to build a floor frame and much more as she undertakes securing prefabricated walls to the trailer-skeleton. She calls on friends for help with hoisting walls. Here Williams has built an engaging and inspiring how-to/memoir that goes beyond the DIY perspective.” –Whitney Scott for Booklist