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10 Local Warehouse Literature- A to Z
21 Remote Warehouse Literature- Contemporary Women

The House We Grew Up In

by

The House We Grew Up In Cover

ISBN13: 9781476702995
ISBN10: 1476702993
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Meet the Bird family. They live in a honey-colored house in a picture-perfect Cotswolds village, with rambling, unkempt gardens stretching beyond. Pragmatic Meg, dreamy Beth, and tow-headed twins Rory and Rhys all attend the village school and eat home-cooked meals together every night. Their father is a sweet gangly man named Colin, who still looks like a teenager with floppy hair and owlish, round-framed glasses. Their mother is a beautiful hippy named Lorelei, who exists entirely in the moment. And she makes every moment sparkle in her children’s lives.

Then one Easter weekend, tragedy comes to call. The event is so devastating that, almost imperceptibly, it begins to tear the family apart. Years pass as the children become adults, find new relationships, and develop their own separate lives. Soon it seems as though they’ve never been a family at all. But then something happens that calls them back to the house they grew up in — and to what really happened that Easter weekend so many years ago.

Told in gorgeous, insightful prose that delves deeply into the hearts and minds of its characters, The House We Grew Up In is the captivating story of one family’s desire to restore long-forgotten peace and to unearth the many secrets hidden within the nooks and crannies of home.

Review:

"Jewell's most recent novel (after Before I Met You) is a melodrama starring the Bird clan: happy-go-lucky mother Lorelai, patient father Colin, headstrong eldest child Meg, meek Beth, and dissimilar twins Rory and Rhys. 'They lived in a honey-colored house that sat hard up against the pavement of a picture-perfect Cotswolds village and stretched out beyond into three-quarters of an acre of rambling half-kempt gardens.' The narrative alternates between 2011 and flashbacks to the kids' childhoods, and the reader sees Lorelai's eccentricities (including her propensity for hoarding) gradually begin to weigh her family down. Easter is Lorelai's favorite holiday, replete with massive egg hunts and festivities, but when a catastrophe occurs, it forever alters the course of the Birds' lives. Each member of the family begins to drift away from the others, and the subsequent years find them dealing with affairs, abandonment, and death. Years later, following another loss, the family once again gathers and is forced to confront its troubled past. Jewell keeps the reader engrossed with her characters' winding, divergent paths." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"Jewell cleverly frames the destruction of the Bird family...an absolute page-turner." Booklist

Review:

"Clever, intelligent, and believable on a subject few of us really understand. Lorrie is one of the most vivid — and complex — characters I've read in years. Wonderful." Jojo Moyes, author of Me Before You

Review:

"[P]rose so beautiful that it glitters on the page. Lisa Jewell lays down piece after piece of mosaic, revealing the heart of the Bird family, filled in equal measure with love and loss. Unforgettable." Jo-Ann Mapson, author of Solomon's Oak, Finding Casey, and Owen's Daughter

Review:

"Lisa Jewell's quixotic Bird family functions like an operatic ensemble — each voice distinct, each singing its heart out, seemingly oblivious to the others. Yet somehow by the end of this engrossing, beautifully crafted novel, their separate stories will draw them back together, reminding us that, however hard we struggle against them, family ties are not easily undone." Judith Ryan Hendricks, author of Bread Alone

Review:

"This richly rendered family saga is populated with such compelling characters and told in such luscious, insightful prose, that a singular tragedy is made universally relatable. You won't be able to stop thinking about it long after the book is over." Jessie Sholl, author of Dirty Secret

Review:

"A gorgeous, powerful, affecting tale of a family both ordinary and extraordinary. Lisa Jewell is a wonderful storyteller, and The House We Grew Up In grips you from the first page to the last. I'm afraid to say it made me neglect both my children and my husband. The Bird family might be dysfunctional, but I was strangely sorry to leave it." Anna Maxted, author of Getting Over It and Running In Heels

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

bugzna2000, September 8, 2014 (view all comments by bugzna2000)
The House We Grew Up In is a great read. In the early pages, I picked up on the hoarding overtone and didn’t think the book would be for me. Well, my first impression was wrong. I loved the story and its characters. There is the delightful and eccentric Lorelei, who is fun, spontaneous and loved by everyone who crosses her path, her home a charming mayhem. Her transition into hoarding dysfunction is overlooked by her family, her loving but passive husband Colin, daughters Megan and Beth and sons Rory and Rhys. After a tragic event one Easter, the family begins to fracture. Time goes by. The children grow up, move on, form relationships, and have inevitable struggles along the way. The author brilliantly builds their characters.

Lorelei comes to have an online confidante named Jim with whom she professes to be ‘crazy in love”. I found her letters to Jim interspersed throughout the novel to be among the most compelling aspects of the story, providing insight into Lorelei’s thinking.

Years later, something happens that brings all the family back to the “house they grew up in”. The story wraps up perfectly.
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Melinda Ott, August 18, 2014 (view all comments by Melinda Ott)
Since it becomes quite obvious early on, I don't think it is a spoiler to say that this book is about, among other things, hoarding. I'm actually rather glad that this wasn't spelled out in the summary because I'm not sure I would have read this book if it was. There are some borderline-hoarders in my family and, well, this isn't a topic that would appeal to me.

That being said, I am so glad that I read this book. Jewell has written a masterpiece with this one--we meet the Bird family, centered around the eccentric mother, Lorelei. Lorelei's children (and husband) are aware of their mother's illness and we see how the ripple effects of that illness show up in her children.

This story is told in sort of a double-flashback. One one layer, we have the oldest daughter Megan and her daughter (and then other members of the family) in the present day. Then, we go back a few months in time to Lorelei's email correspondence with an internet suitor. Finally, we go farther back in time to when the children were growing up and into their adulthood. This structure shouldn't work....but it does! It sounds confusing, but Jewell actually does this quite seamlessly.

I really enjoyed seeing how the characters developed. Each had their own cross to bear and none could escape the effects of Lorelei's illness. I felt that the characters and their evolution were believable--with one exception. Colin's story arc was a bit over the edge for me. It almost felt like Jewell was using him and doing everything in her power to keep a secondary character in the story to catapult part of the greater plot along (if that makes any sense).

Lucikly, Colin's storyline was the only drawback for me and, if it hadn't been for that, I would have given this book 5 stars. I heartily recommend it!
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Silvers Reviews, August 13, 2014 (view all comments by Silvers Reviews)

Four children then three, traditional chocolate-Easter-egg hunts ​where you had to save the foil wrappings, a tidy house and then a very cluttered one.

The Bird family was loving but very eccentric with Lorelei, the mother, being the oddest of all and who kept a secret that made her hold onto things.

Colin her husband re-installed the wall in their once duplex house and lived next door to his wife, Megan turned out to be a neat freak, Beth never left home until she was 30 because she thought her mother needed her, and the twins were total opposites as well as having a tragic incident happen to them.

There were a lot of strange things about the Birds, but they all loved each other. As the years went on and the children grew into adults​, Lorelei still held onto their childhood toys, clothes, blankets, ​and even drawings as she herself remained an adult​ child and a compulsive shopper and hoarder. The children couldn't believe what was in their childhood home when they visited and how they had to navigate through a small path surrounded with things Lorelei just had to have and couldn't part with.

If you want to read a book that will have you shaking your head but also not wanting to put the book down because of total enjoyment, you will want to read THE HOUSE WE GREW UP IN. The storyline and writing were marvelous.

I enjoyed THE HOUSE WE GREW UP IN because of the unique, creative storyline with characters that kept you wanting to know how each of their lives would turn out. They all were quite unconventional, but you couldn’t help but love them.

THE HOUSE WE GREW UP IN will have you thinking back to your childhood and wonder if what happened in the home you grew up in has actually shaped you into the person you are today.

We definitely can't forget the cover. It is absolutely gorgeous with the egg being the basis of the Bird family's many memories of their Easter egg hunts which kept them all connected.

Along with being a beautifully told story, THE HOUSE WE GREW UP IN has a happy ending along with characters you will remember long after you turn the last page.

I don't think there will be any reader no matter what their preferred genre is who won't get caught up in this splendid story.

My rating is going to be a 4/5 simply because I was lost in the beginning pages, but the rest of the book definitely made up for my being lost.

Make THE HOUSE WE GREW UP IN a must read for yourself.

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781476702995
Author:
Jewell, Lisa
Publisher:
Atria Books
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardback
Publication Date:
20140831
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
400
Dimensions:
228.6 x 152.4 mm

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Contemporary Women
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Family Life

The House We Grew Up In New Hardcover
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Product details 400 pages Atria Books - English 9781476702995 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Jewell's most recent novel (after Before I Met You) is a melodrama starring the Bird clan: happy-go-lucky mother Lorelai, patient father Colin, headstrong eldest child Meg, meek Beth, and dissimilar twins Rory and Rhys. 'They lived in a honey-colored house that sat hard up against the pavement of a picture-perfect Cotswolds village and stretched out beyond into three-quarters of an acre of rambling half-kempt gardens.' The narrative alternates between 2011 and flashbacks to the kids' childhoods, and the reader sees Lorelai's eccentricities (including her propensity for hoarding) gradually begin to weigh her family down. Easter is Lorelai's favorite holiday, replete with massive egg hunts and festivities, but when a catastrophe occurs, it forever alters the course of the Birds' lives. Each member of the family begins to drift away from the others, and the subsequent years find them dealing with affairs, abandonment, and death. Years later, following another loss, the family once again gathers and is forced to confront its troubled past. Jewell keeps the reader engrossed with her characters' winding, divergent paths." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "Jewell cleverly frames the destruction of the Bird family...an absolute page-turner."
"Review" by , "Clever, intelligent, and believable on a subject few of us really understand. Lorrie is one of the most vivid — and complex — characters I've read in years. Wonderful."
"Review" by , "[P]rose so beautiful that it glitters on the page. Lisa Jewell lays down piece after piece of mosaic, revealing the heart of the Bird family, filled in equal measure with love and loss. Unforgettable."
"Review" by , "Lisa Jewell's quixotic Bird family functions like an operatic ensemble — each voice distinct, each singing its heart out, seemingly oblivious to the others. Yet somehow by the end of this engrossing, beautifully crafted novel, their separate stories will draw them back together, reminding us that, however hard we struggle against them, family ties are not easily undone."
"Review" by , "This richly rendered family saga is populated with such compelling characters and told in such luscious, insightful prose, that a singular tragedy is made universally relatable. You won't be able to stop thinking about it long after the book is over."
"Review" by , "A gorgeous, powerful, affecting tale of a family both ordinary and extraordinary. Lisa Jewell is a wonderful storyteller, and The House We Grew Up In grips you from the first page to the last. I'm afraid to say it made me neglect both my children and my husband. The Bird family might be dysfunctional, but I was strangely sorry to leave it."
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