This is the House


After the American Revolution, Elijah Merrick takes his place among the merchant sea-farers who now can trade in Europe without the constraints formerly imposed by His Majesty. Molly Deems, laboring under the cloud of her mother’s service to a Barnstable reprobate, knows that her future will be secure only through marriage to a man of humble beginnings and the ability to rise above them. This man is Elijah, who will make possible her own rise through his success at sea. Ruined by the War of 1812, he will throw all he has into his ship, Sweet Charity, in an effort to regain what the war has cost and to maintain his wife in the style, without knowing that Molly has already betrayed him with Isaac Warden…


Molly and Elijah Merrick present their own visions of possibility in post-revolutionary New England. Skillful, cunning, and caring in their often conflicting ways, the couple builds, loses, and struggles to regain fortune, trust, and love. The narrative language faithfully evokes the emerging maritime Cape Cod society. Professor Bruce Allen, author of Voices of Earth: Stories of People, Place, and Nature and “Literature of Nature: An International Sourcebook.”



Hill’s recent revisions have added immensely to the work’s clarity and depth. This is the House is important and worthwhile, both for helping us understand history and for fostering our appreciation of our fascinating human story.
—Rev. Jeffrey Symynkywicz, author of The Gospel According to Bruce Springsteen

Those of us who remember Molly Deems from 35 years ago are delighted to see  that a new generation of readers will experience her life as a woman living on Cape Cod in the late 1700’s. Deborah Hill has captured the essence of the era and has fashioned it into a fascinating novel. Welcome back, Molly!
—Marie Sherman, author of  Say, ‘I Do!’ Wedding Tales of a Cape Cod Justice of the Peace.

Deborah Hill weaves a spirited tale of a seafaring community enduring the hardships and uncertainties associated with the War of 1812. Her characters make This is the House convincing as well as enjoyable.
—James H. Ellis, author of A Ruinous and Unhappy War.