cover image Detroit Hustle: A Memoir of Love, Life and Home

Detroit Hustle: A Memoir of Love, Life and Home

Amy Haimerl. Running Press, $24 (256p) ISBN 978-0-7624-5735-9

Haimerl (reporter for Crain’s Detroit Business), her husband, and beloved pets relocate from a quaint neighborhood in Brooklyn to Detroit, where they purchase an abandoned 1914 Georgian historic house. In this charming narrative, Haimerl chronicles the ups and downs of rehabilitating the house, with its 42 windows and lack of plumbing, in a city burdened by bankruptcy and widespread neglect. Haimerl sees herself as part of a zeitgeist, with other newcomers headed to the city in hopes to purchase an affordable home. She soon learns how tough it is. With humor and incisiveness, Haimerl shares the journey of turning a house into a home, lovingly called “Matilda.” She builds relationships with others trying to revitalize the city, befriending her new home’s contractors and getting to know her neighbors. As a financial journalist, she adeptly reports on the city’s financial situation and its newest entrepreneurial efforts—from a grassroots recycling center to pop-up vendors of all sorts working “with very little capital… to test the waters.” Haimerl traverses the new and old that define Detroit’s unique and resilient character. She is discerning and hopeful about the challenges to becoming a Detroiter as a “gentrifier,” while also reflecting on growing up on the outskirts of working class Denver, where her parents were impacted by gentrification. This book is about more than the blight of Detroit; it is also about making a new home and community in a rapidly changing city. (May)