warm. witty. welcome.
A Lot of People Live in This House (2023)
A Lot of People Live in This House follows Rachel as she arrives at the house on the hill alone as Job stays behind in India to unpack his own grief. She’s greeted by housemates who seem happy she’s there. She hates it. Not long after, Job is trapped in India by a virus that’s grounded just about every plane in the world. As she falls apart, her housemates rally to find a way to get Job home. Everything Rachel thought she knew about living with others flies out the window and leaves only one remaining truth: Life can be a lot at once, but you don’t have to do it alone.
Praise & Reviews
Bailey Merlin imagines a different life, one in which her richly detailed characters cope with living together through the COVID pandemic in a communal household...A Lot of People Live In This House challenges us to rethink what family means in these stormy times and offers hope that there are many ways to live a fulfilling life.
Neal Baer, Executive Producer of ER, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and Designated Survivor
How do we balance our need for community with our need for privacy? How do we heal from loss and trauma, and from the pain of loneliness and isolation? The Covid-19 pandemic has raised these old questions anew, and Bailey Merlin’s warm, witty, and original novel offers some answers. I fell in love with the characters in A Lot of People Live in This House, and they will stay with me for a very long time.
Suzanne Koven, Author, Letter to a Young Female Physician
A smashing debut novel about love in the time of COVID! A Lot of People Live in This House broke my heart and pieced it back together page by page, character by character. What does it take to recover from trauma? In her beautiful book, Bailey Merlin makes a convincing case for applying liberal amounts of friendship and laughter.
Mary Kay Zuravleff, author of Man Alive! and American Ending