The House We Grew Up in Paperback
by Lisa Jewell
Meet the Bird Family. All four children have an idyllic childhood: a picture-book cottage in a country village, a warm, cosy kitchen filled with love and laughter, sun-drenched afternoons in a rambling garden.
But one Easter weekend a tragedy strikes the Bird family that is so devastating that, almost imperceptibly, it begins to tear them apart.
The years pass and the children become adults and begin to develop their own quite separate lives.
Soon it's almost as though they've never been a family at all.
Almost. But not quite. Because something has happened that will call them home, back to the house they grew up in - and to what really happened that Easter weekend all those years ago.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 432 pages
- Publisher: Cornerstone
- Publication Date: 18/07/2013
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9781846059247
Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.
Review by nicx27
The House We Grew Up In is another excellent offering from Lisa Jewell. It tells the story of the Bird family. Mother, Lorelei, is a terrible hoarder and this has an effect on her whole family - husband, Colin, and her children, Megan, Beth, Rory and Rhys. Easter weekends were special for Lorelei but on one such occasion a tragedy strikes and nothing is ever the same again. The family home is a central part of the story so the title is very accurate in that respect.I thought this was a great read. It's an emotional storyline, telling how a family that is already showing hairline cracks can be torn apart completely. Most of the chapters start with an email, followed by a section in the current day, and then going back through the lives of the family from when the children were small. Gradually it all unfolds and you start to get a greater understanding of what has happened.I've never read a bad Lisa Jewell book. She's a consistent writer and one which I would recommend.
Review by susan0316
This book opens with what appears to be a happy family having an Easter egg hunt. As the novel progresses, the reader sees the family fall apart after a horrible tragedy occurs on another Easter Sunday. The family ends up with the mother as a hoarder, the father in a strange relationship, one daughter who is very uptight, one who refuses to grow up and a son who disappears into the drug world. Any more information than that would give away too much of the story. The story line moves ahead by skipping back and forth from the past to the present and alternating family members but it is not difficult to follow the action. I found the story very very sad but very compelling. It was hard to put down because I cared about the characters and wanted to find out who they all survived their tumultuous lives and I really wanted to know if they found their way back to being a family again. This is a wonderful novel - well written with well defined characters. I would highly recommend it.
Review by c.archer
In the beginning, I was not expecting much from this book. The story of a house and its family sounds pretty hum drum, but "The House We Grew Up In" was far from than that. A very painful event removes much of the joy that was once a part of this family. Each of the characters responds differently to their loss. The house is in the center of the story since it is there where the original crisis occurs. This event precipitates a downward spiral for each of the family members. The author also introduces an extreme case of hoarding into this story. It is actually one of the prominent topics of the book. I found this to be one of the most interesting as well since she describes the progression of this illness in one of the characters. Ms. Jewell creates this multi-faceted wreck of a family and ultimately turns their story into an amazing read.This book was difficult to read at times because of the dark subject matter, but the author really made use of excellent writing technique that kept me motivated to read on to the conclusion. In spite of the dysfunction within this family, Ms. Jewell focuses plenty of attention on the tie that binds any family: that of love. This is a family that cares about one another and the ending is appropriate and yet unpredictable. There was little in this story that didn't work. It may have been a bit heavy in some places, but the character weaknesses eventually are overcome by their strengths. I recommend this title to lovers of modern fiction. Its setting is England, but it could take place anywhere. It is full of powerful topics that will spark your imagination and trigger a desire to reach the conclusion. It would make an excellent book for a book club or reading group. There are many points that could trigger opinions and good discussion.Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this title. It really surprised me in a pleasant way.