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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 6 of 6
There are currently 40 member reviews
for The House We Grew Up In
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  • Debbie M. (Grand Junction, CO)
    The House We Grew Up In
    The House We Grew Up In is a story about one family's dis-function. It brings up the question do we create our dis-function or are circumstances the cause. whatever, it was a depressing book. How one family could have so many issues, was hard for me to understand.
  • Malinda N. (Wheeling, WV)
    The House We Grew Up In
    I was a big fan of this book. I found it to be depressing but without engaging characters. Although the subject of hoarding and the reasons behind the compulsion was interesting, the rest of the story did very little for me. I found the characters to be too flawed to be able to relate to them. Their choices in life were depressing and so flawed that it was difficult to relate to them. I was also put off by the fact that there was so little closure to the suicide. The fact that the author created a character that was clearly so disturbed but then failed to analyze his mental state any further simply left me with "a bad taste in my mouth". Depressing and flawed characters, in general, do not put me off but, in this story, they didn't work for me.
  • Linda M. (Windsor, CA)
    The House We Grew Up In
    I found this book to be almost depressing. The mother in the book was a hoarder and I thought the author went on far too long getting that description across to the reader. The further I got into the book, the less interested in the family dynamics I became. Each member of the family had problems which seemed insurmountable. The ending seemed to point a glimmer of hope toward improvement for the family, but it seemed a bit happy and optimistic given the story. I did appreciate the author's insight into why people are hoarders - a behavior I never understood. I don't know how universal the cause the author attributed to the hoarding character, but at least the reader could understand the mother's motivation in this case. I don't think I would have stuck with this book if I hadn't been reviewing it.
  • Molly K. (San Jose, CA)
    A Tomb of Sadness
    There is such overwhelming sadness in this story of a family destined for defeat. Beth said it best. "We're a badly planned dinner party." (p. 142)

    As the years go by, the story develops around the Easter holiday at the family home. The symbolism is clear, that suffering evolves into forgiveness and reconciliation as the family, in the last few pages, comes together with hope and a new beginning.

    The writing style is precious and the characters are well-delineated. I wanted to care about them all. Unfortunately, for me, the rush of missteps, impetuous decisions, and bad choices turned the players and events into caricatures of themselves.

    I was relieved when the story was over and everyone could live happily ever after.
  • Joan P. (Owego, NY)
    The House We Grew Up In
    I can't believe that one family could have so many dysfunctions. It read like a social worker's entire case load combined. It's understandable that one problem could breed many but this many? That said I can't believe how much I enjoyed this book.

    The style bothered me at first. The shifting from year to year from e-mails to actual events but I realized that this was a very clever way to disclose secrets that led up to important happenings.

    Most of the book revolved around Lorelei's hoarding problem and the kind of person and mother she was, four children and four ways of dealing with it. Megan became a neat-freak, Bethan a weak child-woman. Rory escaped the house but not his problems with the help off a strong woman. Rhys escaped in his own way.

    I found the book entertaining but a little over the top, and the title ending in a preposition made me cringe.


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