Nonfiction is a pretty broad category and I’m going to read plenty of it this year. It’s really just a matter of looking at a book and saying “I choose you.” As part of my library reading weeks, I picked up two memoirs I’ve been wanting to read since 2016. This category is brought to you by The Big Tiny by Dee Williams.
Williams was your standard working and home owning-owning American when one day her heart struck her down. As one sometimes does after a major life event, Williams reassessed her priorities and downsized in the extreme. There are many reasons tiny homes have had a boom in popularity in the last few years: less debt, less time spent fixing and cleaning your home, more mobility, asset for outdoor lovers, discourages materialism. Unfortunately, Williams was vague about her reasons for most of the book.
There’s quite a bit of controversy regarding these spaces in various cities across America. It’s speculated that tiny house communities would be a boon in fighting homelessness but many cities refuse to allow them for various regulations. It would have been helpful for Williams to go deeper into her reasons and be specific.
If you want someone to tell you the pros and cons, unexpected surprises, benefits, burdens, and unforeseen consequences of going tiny, Williams is not your woman. The structure also felt disjointed because there were so few details. We go from Williams building the roof of her house to it being done and her moving. When did she install the kitchen? How did she decide the layout of it?
For all the vagueness, you never doubt how much Williams values people and human connection. You hear about her wacky antics with friends and how much closer she became to folks by living in their backyard. She even sold her big house to a friend. Prioritizing people and experience is high on the list of reasons people go tiny and Williams does a good job of reminding us of that.
It’s a fun and interesting story but there was a lot that felt untold. It was like, not love. If you’re curious about Dee William’s specific reasons, pick it up. If you want to know about tiny homes in general, considering another book 3.5/5