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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 5 of 6
There are currently 40 member reviews
for The House We Grew Up In
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  • Donna W. (Lansing, NY)
    Family dysfunction at it's best and worst......
    I was tempted, after about one hundred pages to walk away from the book and not finish it. The characters seemed flat and uninteresting, as if there wasn't a compelling reason to get to know them any better.

    I persevered and then realized that I wanted to find out more......This book is a reminder of how flawed families can be. It redeemed itself at the end, when everyone stopped behaving like children and stepped up to adulthood.
  • Anne M. (Austin, TX)
    Every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way ...
    I liked and hated this book in pretty much equal measure. The family in question has a hoarder for a mother, a wimp for a father, and four completely different offspring. All of them are devastated by a tragedy that occurs on an Easter Sunday, and the book takes us through the many years that follow, and the effect the tragedy -- as well as the extant problems -- has on the family.
    The story reminded me a bit of the movie "August: Osage County" in the depiction of the squabbles and problems of a relatively close-knit family, although the book is set in the Cotswolds and thus we see, to Americans anyway, a "typically" repressed English family.
    The book also hit a bit close to home for me, as well; I need to go unpack a whole lot of book boxes that have been sitting in the spare room since my last move!
  • Sue Q
    Ultimately a sad tale, but it kept me wanting to keeping reading it. I thought the ending was flat. Some characters didn't need to be in the storyline.
  • Pam L. (Melbourne Beach, FL)
    Bird watching
    This novel introduces the Bird family, at first idyllic. Yet, as time progresses, each character and all their flaws are revealed. The House We Grew Up In kept my interest and the characters are well developed. A good pick for book clubs, as the novel opens many issues for discussion. Lisa Jewel brings family, life and all its messes together in one family. Maybe, at times a bit much for me. However, at other times an engaging novel that kept my interest. How the story was told and the pace of revealing the Bird's secrets worked well for me. The Bird's house became another well developed character, changing as the family changed. The perfect household becomes a prison , and the Bird family must break free and repair the damage. Lisa Jewel leaves the reader with hope and possibilities, and perhaps some understanding of people's choices.
  • Gigi K. (Lufkin,, TX)
    A Family in Pain
    A dysfunctional family tries to make sense of growing up together with a free spirited mother and distant father. We are taken back and forth from those younger years through a period of growing up and finally a tragedy brings this family into some understanding of each other.
  • Therese X. (Calera, AL)
    An Emotional Family Saga
    Hippie Mom, Lorelei, loves her four children to the point of obsession and sometimes unreality. She throws an Easter egg hunt with dozens of eggs and the children must find them--all of them. Then "save the foils" for future crafts, thus sowing the seeds for her final aberration. One Easter, the hunt ends in a horrible tragedy which sends the family into turmoil and and changes each of their lives as well as how they see each other and their parents. A heavy saga unfolds which switches back and forth in time and builds into future generations. Overall this novel is a deep probe into Family and will appeal to readers who enjoy following the human story. However, the format of random time "switchbacks" that are interwoven into the novel often jolt the reader into confusion, such as learning of a death only to find that person alive on the next turn of the page. This problem holds the novel back from being a seamless and fulfilling read.
  • Diana J. (Highland Falls, NY)
    They put the fun in dysfunctional
    I really don't know what to say about this's about a family of 4 kids, with an OCD and possibly agoraphobic/bipolar mother, and tolerant but feckless father and children with all kinds of problems. It was very hard to like any of the people in this book. The mom was very narcissistic to the detriment of her marriage, her hoarder-to-the-max home, her children and her own health. I follows the family from young children to adulthood with their own children. There's a lesbian affair, a suicide, a father who hooks up with the mother of his grandchild, philandering husband, drug-dealing brother. You name it, it's in there. The writing was good, I just couldn't feel to much about any of the people in the book. It ended on a good note, but you had to slog through immense drama to get to it.


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