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Monday, September 29, 2014

Review - The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell

Review by Carol

Book – The House We Grew Up In
Author – Lisa Jewell
Publication Date – August 12, 2014
Genre – Chick Lit
Type – Stand-Alone
Cliffhanger - No
Rating – 3 3/4-4 out of 5 Stars

Complimentary Copy generously provided by Atria Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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

My Thoughts - Story
I’m conflicted about this story…I found it so hard to get through, constantly putting the book down but then wanting to find out what happens next in the Bird family.
So many problems in this family…so much angst…so many different dilemma’s they had to overcome either as a whole or as individually.

I do feel embarrassed about myself while reading because I found it so difficult to sympathize with the mom – I guess it’s because I don’t understand the sickness of hoarding and the other problems stemming from that disease.  To me I found her selfish and the reason why most of the family was as screwed up as they were.

My Thoughts – Writing Style
I did find the story slow in parts but then others, I found myself anticipating what would happen on the next page.  The plot must have been very difficult to write since there are so many different webs of deceit going on – the story spirals around each family member with secrets that I give the author kudos for pulling it off without error.

Revolves around Easter – follows the family from when the kids were small to now all grown.

Mom has a problem with throwing anything away – carefree spirit, but something is very off about her. She leaves the dad for the wife next door.

Dad is wishy washy when it comes to Mom but surprises us all when he ends up with someone so unexpected.

Meg is the complete opposite of her mom being almost OCD with her cleaning and not keeping anything around. Marital problems arise out of nowhere and secrets are hard to keep.

Beth is a momma’s girl who is lacking a backbone.  She suffers from depression and panic attacks and makes a bunch of poor choices.

Rory and Rhys are twins…one strong and the other frail in both body and mind.
Watch this family as the years pass and see what can happen to a family who look like the ‘picture perfect’ one on the outside but would never believe what is going on behind closed doors.

Reason for Reading – NetGalley request
Story – 3.5 out of 5 Stars
Steam – 0 out of 5 Stars
Angst – 4.5 out of 5 Stars
Writing – 4 out of 5 Stars
Content Flow – 4 out of 5 Stars
Told In – Multiple POV
Heroine/Personality – All the females in the family have the same POV time
Hero/Personality – All the males in the family have the same POV time
HEA (Spoiler) - Mostly
Would Read More from Author? Maybe
Recommend To – Good beach read – older readers

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