Monday, September 1, 2014

The House We Grew Up In

Lisa Jewell

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.(from Netgalley)

My Thoughts
Lorelei and Colin Bird are parents to Meg, Beth and twins Rory and Rhys. A tragedy occurs one Easter Sunday when the kids are teenagers. From this point forward, the Bird family starts to fall apart in many unique ways.

This story is told from several perspective. Lorelei, who showed snippets of hoarding when the kids were young, goes all out when she ends up by herself. A majority of her story is told via emails to someone she has connected with online. As adults, each of the children’s lives have taken totally different paths and they hardly ever see each other. Colin does a total 180 once he and Lorelei divorce.

Talk about a dysfunctional family! Ms. Jewell did a great job on character development. This story flowed well and I thought the relationship (or lack there of) between the Bird family members seemed realistic. Sometimes, a tragedy will tear a family apart and another can pull it back together. All told, this was an enjoyable read.

Thanks to Atria, via Netgalley, for allowing me to read this in exchange for an unbiased review

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