This is the story of The Dolls’ House, a fisherman's cottage in West Sussex. Built on the beach in the 18th century, it has variously been the servants’ quarters for a grand house, a holiday home, a hang-out for hippies and a high-tech luxury seaside home. It isn’t haunted, but it does have a mysterious brick arch that cats can’t resist.
It’s also the tale of a man who bought the almost derelict cottage intending to renovate and live in it. But he was conned by a cowboy builder and left with just a shell of a house and no money. His dream turned into a nightmare. The family’s health started to suffer, worsened by a poisonous ivy growing through the middle of the house that put his youngest son in hospital.
Everything kept going wrong until...
Some of the people on an internet site who were following Mike’s increasing problems wrote to the BBC’s DIY SOS The Big Build – 110 of them on the same day. When presenter Nick Knowles heard about the family’s plight, and how ‘Mike’s Mob’ was supporting him and the boys online, he realised his team’s help was needed.
This is the fascinating account of how the DIY SOS team and scores of local tradesmen and volunteers rebuilt Mike’s house into a stunning seaside cottage... in just nine days.
The transformation of the house, and how it affected Mike and his sons, makes you appreciate the goodness in people - and it might leave you with a lump in your throat.
A proportion of sales of this book will be donated to BBC Children in Need.
Lightweight, softcover and downloadable PDF versions of the complete book are also available. A Kindle version is on sale in the Kindle Bookstore at: http://tiny.cc/cx8vww
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars What went on behind the scenes 13 May 2013
By Pineapple Man
Amazon Verified Purchase
When I saw the DIY SOS programme about the Dolls' House on television, I thought it would be interesting to hear more about how it happened and what the person at the centre of the refurbishment actually felt. Was the wide-eyed reaction genuine or just for the cameras? This little book gives a flavour of the emotions involved and fills in the gaps about why the work by Nick Knowles' team was necessary. The author opens his heart about how a builder tricked him (and, it turns out, others too), an experience that nearly cost him his sanity. He tells how all his dreams came true thanks to loads of people on the internet and a TV show. Well worth a read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly touching, and interesting eBook. 12 May 2013
I have been following Mike and the boys' from the very early stages of their journey with The Dolls' House, and this book really gives a truthful insight into what they have been through.
Starting right at the beginning, and following right through to the brilliant result at the end, this truly touching publication gives an insightful look into the world of cowboy traders, property development, and even the BBC's production process.
I cannot recommend this book enough - give it a read!