Just before Christmas, I visited Edmonton for a weekend. To feed my Independent Bookstore habit, I sought out Audrey’s Books. As a souvenir, I found Carissa Halton’s Little Yellow House: Finding Community in a Changing Neighbourhood. I am pleased to add it to my bookshelf alongside Happy City and Streetopia. Whenever I read such books, I find my longing for the small towns I grew up in almost disappearing. When Halton describes the people in her inner city neighbourhood, in fact, I could be back in any of those small towns. There does not seem to be much difference between the communities in large cities and small towns. If there is a difference, it is in the “nuanced” language that is often used in small towns to describe the sex trade or drug houses.
Little Yellow House is a book about community, and how to build a community. Communities are good for our health, and especially our mental health, and so I am a big supporter of building community. Little Yellow House is easier to read than Happy City and, since this is essentially a book of essays, I thought of recommending them in the Youth Program. I believe that Halton’s essays could help my young patients to understand what a community is, so that they could be better equipped to build communities. Little Yellow House will help anyone understand community better.
If you do read this book, and enjoy it as mush as I did, you can find out more about Carissa Halton at her website. Little Yellow House will make you homesick for inner city neighbourhoods.
( I read the 2018 Gutteridge Press edition of this book.)