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The House We Grew Up In

by Lisa Jewell

The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell X
The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell
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  • Published Aug 2014
    400 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Page 4 of 6
There are currently 40 member reviews
for The House We Grew Up In
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  • Patricia K (Los Angeles, CA)
    The House We Grew up in
    A story about a highly dysfunctional family. Their issues are so extreme and every member of the family payers for the mother's mental illness with their own problems. At times the families' issues are so far reaching it becomes like a soap opera. Even so, the book is an entertaining read, a good summer beach book.
  • Julia A. (New York, NY)
    Can it possibly all hang together?
    This novel has so many different themes--family tragedy, hoarding, "late-blooming lesbianism," incest, quasi-incest, drug-dealing, extra-marital affairs-- to say nothing of the three different time frames and multiple physical settings interwoven,that if I were just reading about the book, rather than having read it, I might wonder how it can hang together as a cohesive narrative.

    But Jewell makes it work and keeps the reader caring about the characters and story lines. It would be hard to summarize without "spoilers," but I would note that ultimately, there is a redemptive quality to this novel. A family torn apart by a singular tragedy comes to rebuild itself with new structures and new interrelationships over the course of twenty years. Late in the novel, one of the daughters (Meg) says:"This is the real world. We are real people. This is real life. And things sometimes happen that don't fit in with how we think the story should go, but we just have to take a deep breath and get on with it, not sit in the corner sulking because it's not what we were hoping for." That about sums up what the reader will find in "The House We Grew Up In."
  • Julie H. (Pine Grove, PA)
    The House We Grew Up In
    This was an intriguing book that kept me turning the pages. Although the time changes were difficult to adjust to at first, I found them to ultimately be an effective way to tell this story. For the most part, the author developed characters I cared about despite their flaws. The dysfunction of the hoarding habit and its effect on the whole family was very well addressed by the author. Great read! It will make a great book club book!
  • Kristine I. (Marion, IL)
    Just when you think they can't get any more dysfunctional…
    I don't think I have ever read a book that had so many dysfunctional situations going on in one family. It was so unbelievable and yet Lisa Jewell pulled it off. I honestly felt like I knew the characters and cared about them. I think she really got to the core of the hoarder's motivations which I found fascinating. It was for me quite a delightful book, and in the end left me with warm feeling for the Bird family. Recommended for book discussion groups.
  • Maggie S. (Durango, CO)
    The House We Grew Up In
    A heartbreaking event in Lisa Jewell's book The House We Grew Up In tears a family apart. The story is about how each member of the family reacts and how, in the end, they are able to forgive and accept each other's weaknesses and realize that they need and love one another. It is a dark and thought provoking novel and even though I knew that everything would work out I wanted to know how each of the characters would go forward.

    I selected this book because I liked the cover art and the title intrigued me. I didn't even notice who wrote it. The only other book I have read by Lisa Jewell was one that was picked by my book club, The Making Of Us. I was not impressed with that one so when I received the book to review I was not looking forward to reading it. Happily for me this book had much more to offer in regards to character development and story line. I enjoyed it.
  • P. Jordan (Columbia, SC)
    The House We Grew Up In
    Wow, what a train wreck! But I couldn't stop reading; had to find out how these poor characters lives intertwined back together. A little slow at first, this book was reminiscent of Liane Moriaty's "The Husband's Secret" (which I only kept reading as a friend said it was wonderful and I did end up enjoying immensely!)
    I picked this book based on it's cover, and would recommend it to my friends.
  • Judith B. (Omaha, NE)
    A Collection of "isms"
    You absolutely do not want the Bird family to move in next door to you. It is best to meet them in Lisa Jewell's entertaining novel. Meg has a crazy mother who hoards, a passive father who has inappropriate relationships, a troubled brother who leaves the country, and a too nice sister. It is both interesting and sad to observe this family fall apart while cheering them on as they re-build their lives. It would be a good selection for book groups as there are many topics to discuss.


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