Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell

Book summary(via Goodreads):

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.

*Many thanks to Net Galley and Atria books for a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.*

This insomniac's review:

 Gah. I loved this so much. I've always had a fascination with hoarders.

As a public health nurse I often venture into houses such as these. It is shocking and disgusting and sad. I leave the home and find that I cannot stop wondering how one gets to such a point?

This novel slowly unraveled the why. And, I got it. The way life changes, evolves so very slowly underneath your feet, morphing as you move slowly towards your purpose-eyes to the ground. And, when you finally allow your weary eyes to drift downward, everything has changed. No one is recognizable.

The characters were at once likeable and horrifyingly screwed up. Not only were the physically hoarded objects burying this woman alive, but the objects were symbolic of the pain within the family unit that had never been dealt with and were gathering heft through the years.

Simply fascinating and wonderfully written.

Worth staying up all night to read?



4 stars


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