House of Sand and Fog

House of Sand and Fog

The House of Sand and Fog 

The House of Sand and Fog is a novel by Andre Dubus III. I’ve read this book several times over since it was published in 2000 and I’ve enjoyed it every time. 

This post contains affiliate links

Have you had the opportunity to read House of Sand and Fog yet? Come on in and let me tell you about it! If you enjoy this review, please read more about my favorite books here.

House of Sand and Fog
House of Sand and Fog

About The House of Sand and Fog 

In this riveting novel of almost unbearable suspense, three fragile yet determined people become dangerously entangled in a relentlessly escalating crisis. 

Colonel Behrani, once a wealthy man in Iran, is now a struggling immigrant willing to bet everything he has to restore his family’s dignity. 

Kathy Nicolo is a troubled young woman whose house is all she has left, and who refuses to let her hard-won stability slip away from her. 

Sheriff Lester Burdon, a married man who finds himself falling in love with Kathy, becomes obsessed with helping her fight for justice.

Drawn by their competing desires to the same small house in the California hills and doomed by their tragic inability to understand one another, the three converge in an explosive collision course. Combining unadorned realism with profound empathy, House of Sand and Fog marks the arrival of a major new voice in American fiction.

Thoughts on The House of Sand and Fog 

House of Sand and Fog follows these three as their lives become intertwined in a series of choices and fate. This is a book where as I read it, I wanted to side with one character or the other. But that is impossible because none of them are good or bad. 

Reading House of Sand and Fog felt like being on a roller coaster in the good versus bad character sense. Just when I thought there was a turning point where one would really come out as the good or bad one, it would flip because each had both traits. As so many of us do, making this book relatable. Nobody is just good or evil. We are all a mix of good and bad personality traits as well as decisions. 

There are no real heroes or villains. Just three very flawed people struggling with life changes and trying to recover from there to be better. I’ve often said that we are all one decision away from a completely different life, and this book really goes to show that point. 

The end is extremely dramatic, putting one final end to all of the bad decisions made. I’m not going to spoil it for you, but it is a great ending. Sad, but it fits the story extremely well. 

Final Thoughts on The House of Sand and Fog  

Is this book worth the read? Absolutely. I’ve read it several times over the years and always enjoyed it. It is a book that I highly recommend, because it is so real and relatable. The author really captured the essence of real people, flaws, strengths, mistakes, everything. 


Have you read House of Sand and Fog or any other writing from author Andre Dubus III? Let me know your thoughts in the comments! 

About the Author 

House of Sand and Fog
House of Sand and Fog author Andre Dubus III

Andre Dubus III is the author of The Garden of Last Days, House of Sand and Fog (a #1 New York Times bestseller, Oprah’s Book Club pick, and finalist for the National Book Award) and Townie, winner of an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature. 

His writing has received many honors, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Magazine Award, and two Pushcart Prizes. He lives with his family north of Boston.

House of Sand and Fog
Andre Dubus III, author of House of Sand and Fog

Purchasing The House of Sand and Fog 

If you are interested in buying the paperback version of The House of Sand and Fog, click here.

Click here for the Kindle version.

Click here for my favorite Kindle I currently own.

Amazon Notice 

The Reading Wife is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to, at no added cost to you.

House of Sand and Fog
House of Sand and Fog


  • Gina (Love, Auntie)

    Wow! For me to read a book several times, it has to be really good, so you are giving it a high honor. Such an interesting mix of characters, too. Thanks for sharing! I’m a huge reader. So relaxing 😉

  • Smita

    I’m a reading addict and am always looking for good books – something which I find surprisingly hard now given the tons of books that are coming out, most of them NYtimes bestsellers but so many being extremely lacklustre or formulaic. House of Sand and Fog sounds interesting from your description – I enjoy reading books where there’s no one sure character to root for. Far more interesting than run of the mill thrillers! I’ll give this book a try.

    • Lydia

      This sounds like one of those books you read and your eyes are opened to a whole new world that’s playing in real life. This is a beautifully written post.

  • Trish Veltman

    What a great title – that grabbed my attention straight away, and your description of the content makes me want to read it. I’ll be searching this one out in our library.

  • Kelly Martin

    I love reading and I’m always looking for new novels to read. I really like how you’ve described this book. Sounds like an interesting story.

  • Mariam

    This sounds very interesting! My family left my hometown and moved to another country when I was little so I can resonate with the characters as far as that goes. Also, the fact that you read this book more than once shows how good it is!

  • Despite Pain

    What a great review! I think I would enjoy this book. You’re right, nobody is all good or all bad. We tend to have a mix, so the characters sound pretty realistic. If you’ve read this a few times, then it must be a good one. There are probably only a few books that I’d read more than once.

  • Carol

    What a great synopsis! You give enough detail that I what to learn more about the story. I’m currently reading two books so I’m going to pin this and pick it up soon.

  • Betsy Carter

    I loved your review, it left me wanting to read this! My daughter was home from college for the Summer and we went to the library weekly to get books, this would have been a good one to read.

  • Alexandra

    Hmmm, you know, I saw a movie a very long time ago by this name. In fact, I think I was kind of young to really understand what all was going on but I seem to remember that it was quite depressing. So, that being said, seeing this book brought up the same feelings that I got from that movie. So I wouldn’t be inclined to want to read it. Plus, it sounds kind of like a downer book. Maybe because my life is pretty intense on its own is why I tend to steer clear of books that may bring me down. It would be great if it had a happy ending but it didn’t sound like it from what you said. It does make me feel bad for immigrants, though, and, like you, made me think of what I would do if I migrated to another country. That would be tough!

  • Amy Blair

    You have convinced me that I am missing out by not reading this book.
    I’ve read books in the Oprah book club before and have never been dissatisfied. I will be adding this this to my reading list.

  • Dreams Abroad

    When I saw this movie I was excited because I heard so many great things about the book. It reminded me a little of Pride and Prejudice. What happens when the so-called American Dream… a life of financial independence and homeownership falls down? It pretty much turns into the American Nightmare which were my thoughts. I am going to have to watch it again this weekend because of how much I liked it.

  • Subhashish Roy

    I love the fact that you have presented both the good and bad side of a person in your summary. It really would be relatable as we all have both these elements in each of us. Would love to read the book and now is the right time with time in my hands.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!