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The House We Grew Up In

Scritto da Lisa Jewell

Narrato da Karina Fernandez

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Attualmente non disponibile su Scribd

The House We Grew Up In

Scritto da Lisa Jewell

Narrato da Karina Fernandez

valutazioni:
4/5 (100 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
13 ore
Pubblicato:
Sep 17, 2019
ISBN:
9781974979837
Formato:
Audiolibro

Descrizione

Meet the picture-perfect Bird family: pragmatic Meg, dreamy Beth, and towheaded twins Rory and Rhys, one an adventurous troublemaker, the other his slighter, more sensitive counterpart. Their father is a sweet, gangly man, but it’s their beautiful, free-spirited mother Lorelei who spins at the center. In those early years, Lorelei tries to freeze time by filling their simple brick house with precious mementos. Easter egg foils are her favorite. Craft supplies, too. She hangs all of the children’s art, to her husband’s chagrin.

Then one Easter weekend, a tragedy so devastating occurs that, almost imperceptibly, it begins to tear the family apart. Years pass and the children have become adults, while Lorelei has become the county’s worst hoarder. She has alienated her husband and children and has been living as a recluse. But then something happens that beckons the Bird family back to the house they grew up in — to finally understand the events of that long-ago Easter weekend and to unearth the many secrets hidden within the nooks and crannies of home.

Pubblicato:
Sep 17, 2019
ISBN:
9781974979837
Formato:
Audiolibro


Informazioni sull'autore

Lisa Jewell is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of nineteen novels, including The Family Upstairs and Then She Was Gone, as well as Invisible Girl and Watching You. Her novels have sold over 5 million copies internationally, and her work has also been translated into twenty-eight languages. Connect with her on Twitter @LisaJewellUK, on Instagram @LisaJewellUK, and on Facebook @LisaJewellOfficial.

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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (5/5)
    Captivating and unique story, beautifully told. Easy to be invested in the characters.
  • (1/5)
    This book had potential but then they kept using Jesus name in vain and it just kept getting weirder and weirder... I usually like this author. But this one was a disappointment
  • (5/5)
    May be one of the best books I’ve ever read. Wow.
  • (5/5)
    This is the fourth novel by Lisa Jewell I have read and obviously I am now a true fan.  I love the way she weaves a story and makes you care about characters.  They come to life and I found myself invested in the outcomes, good or bad.  Didn't matter if there were a few unlikable characters, I needed to see what would happen.  Let's face it, you have to have a few villainous  characters or there wouldn't be tension. The house in question here is a lovely place in the Cotswolds, home of the Bird family.  Colin and Lorelei Bird have four children.  Megan, Bethann, Rory and Rhys.  We journey through their lives and the drama unfolds over the years.  We meet the children when they are small and by the end of the book they are middle aged.   This book addresses the mental illness of a hoarder and what it does to a family.  It was distressing to watch Lorelei at times; I felt such empathy for Megan and Bethann and developed a dislike of Megan's partner Bill after a bit.  Rory was a product of his environment and Rhys....I won't spoil that part because it's integral to the way everyone's lives play out.  Sharing with Joy for British Isles Friday
  • (3/5)
    Story of a dysfunctional family headed by a matriarch that was a hoarder. Nothing in the way of a plot, but the characters were well developed. 416 pages
  • (4/5)
    Really loved this odd book about a dysfunctional family. As usual, it was the well developed characters (most of them) that made it a hit IMHO. It REALLY put forth an interesting explanation for what makes hoarders hoard, but the family interactions over the course of a lifetime made it engrossing and oh so hard to put down.
  • (3/5)
    Listened on Hoopla.I found this family saga to be...fine. The kind of book that is good enough, but I will probably have forgotten about in a year. I am not good with audio, and this is easy to follow, though it took awhile for me, personally, to remember what events were happening when, as the dates were announced as the book moves back and forth in time. The narrator is fine, though some of her voices (the Thai accent in particular; also small children) were a bit much. This novel follows a family--mom, dad, 2 daughters, twin boys--in their family home. Easter is their big holiday, and mom is a little peculiar about keeping easter egg foils in particular. Then, on the Easter the boys are 16, they have a family tragedy (no spoilers here!). The rest of the book chronicles how that tragedy affects the rest of the family. Divorce and new relationships, affairs, leaving the country, staying home, hoarding--everyone reacts differently, but the super-close family mom dreamed of becomes anything but.
  • (3/5)
    Story of a dysfunctional family headed by a matriarch that was a hoarder. Nothing in the way of a plot, but the characters were well developed. 416 pages
  • (4/5)
    I listened to an audiobook version of this story while I exercised - and at 13 CDs long, it kept me exercising for a long time. There were times when I thought it seemed like it needed a bit of editing, but in retrospect I think most of the content was quite justified. This is a story of a very disturbed family with the mother becoming an increasingly pathological hoarder. The children and husband become similarly dysfunctional and the question of cause and effect is explored. Family members end up in prison, in divorce, and in 'nervous breakdown'. Much of the disturbed behaviour takes place between family members and so Jewell seems to be asking the question as to whether families are in themselves pathological. There were many times during my reading when I felt the story line was a bit too close to home, and I almost had to stop listening. The ending was perhaps a little trite and romantic - I'm not sure my own family life will turn out so well.
  • (4/5)
    I had no idea what I was getting into with this book. I liked the cover, it's about a family with issues. Good enough for me. It is really about the perfect-looking family that cracked in the most unbelievable ways and then found their way back together in very different ways. I loved the writing style, down to Earth, easy to read, every character had their own voice. There were many characters and jumps through time, and yet I was not that confused. When the Bird family starts out, they seem perfectly normal. Lorelai, the mother a free-spirit who like to keep things around her to preserve memories, Colin, the level-headed father and four children. Two girls, two boys, Megan the opposite of her mother, serious and clean, Bethan, beautiful and faithful, and twin boys Rory and Rhys, polar opposites, Rory popular and outspoken, Rhys quiet and misunderstood. One Easter, all of their world's will be changed and the perfect Bird family will go on their imperfect, separate ways. Since the writing jumps back and forth through time, we know that things go very wrong early on. We know that the family is estranged. The point of the story is to see why everything collapsed and how everyone came back together. The different points of view made it really interesting for me. There were also many different issues covered, mental illness, suicide, adultery, homosexuality, drugs and of course, forgiveness. This is definitely one to read if you think that your family is messed up. The only thing more I wanted out of this book was a little more from Rhys' point of view to really tie things together. This book was provided for free in return for an honest review.
  • (4/5)
    Four children then three, traditional chocolate-Easter-egg hunts where you had to save the foil wrappings, a tidy house and then a very cluttered one. The Bird family was loving but very eccentric with Lorelei, the mother, being the oddest of all and who kept a secret that made her hold onto things.Colin her husband re-installed the wall in their once duplex house and lived next door to his wife, Megan turned out to be a neat freak, Beth never left home until she was 30 because she thought her mother needed her, and the twins were total opposites as well as having a tragic incident happen to them.There were a lot of strange things about the Birds, but they all loved each other. As the years went on and the children grew into adults, Lorelei still held onto their childhood toys, clothes, blankets, and even drawings as she herself remained an adult child and a compulsive shopper and hoarder. The children couldn't believe what was in their childhood home when they visited and how they had to navigate through a small path surrounded with things Lorelei just had to have and couldn't part with. If you want to read a book that will have you shaking your head but also not wanting to put the book down because of total enjoyment, you will want to read THE HOUSE WE GREW UP IN. The storyline and writing were marvelous.I enjoyed THE HOUSE WE GREW UP IN because of the unique, creative storyline with characters that kept you wanting to know how each of their lives would turn out. They all were quite unconventional, but you couldn’t help but love them. THE HOUSE WE GREW UP IN will have you thinking back to your childhood and wonder if what happened in the home you grew up in has actually shaped you into the person you are today.We definitely can't forget the cover. It is absolutely gorgeous with the egg being the basis of the Bird family's many memories of their Easter egg hunts which kept them all connected. Along with being a beautifully told story, THE HOUSE WE GREW UP IN has a happy ending along with characters you will remember long after you turn the last page. I don't think there will be any reader no matter what their preferred genre is who won't get caught up in this splendid story. My rating is going to be a 4/5 simply because I was lost in the beginning pages, but the rest of the book definitely made up for my being lost. Make THE HOUSE WE GREW UP IN a must read for yourself.This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.
  • (4/5)
    “They lived in a honey-colored house that sat hard up against the pavement of a picture-postcard Cotswolds village and stretched out beyond into three-quarters of an acre of rambling half-kempt gardens. Their mother was a beautiful hippy called Lorelei with long tangled hair and sparkling green eyes who treated her children like precious gems. Their father was a sweet gangly man called Colin, who still looked like a teenager with floppy hair and owlish round-framed glasses. They all attended the village school, they ate home-cooked meals together every night, their extended family was warm and clever, there was money for parties and new paddling pools, but not quite enough for foreign travel, but it didn’t matter, because they lived in paradise.”Lisa Jewell’s newest release, The House We Grew Up In, is a poignant and absorbing story about the Bird family. As children, Megan, Bethan and twins, Rory and Rhys, delighted in their mother’s sense of whimsy, the kitchen walls papered with their artwork, and the annual Easter egg hunt in the garden. But as adolescence strikes, the children have less patience for their mother’s eccentricities, and the family bond begins to chafe. When tragedy strikes one Easter Sunday the family is devastated and as each member struggles to make sense of it, they turn away from each other and eventually go their separate ways. Years later, the remaining Bird family members gather at the house they grew up in and are confronted by old hurts, resentments and unresolved guilt.The House We Grew Up In spans a time frame of about thirty years and shifts back and forth to reveal the Bird’s past and present, unfurling a complex tale of a family fractured by suicide, betrayal, adultery and mental illness. Their childhood home, once a comfortable, cosy haven becomes the physical manifestation of the dysfunction and turmoil which affects the family.Each individual has their own secrets to tell that are teased out over the course of the novel. Jewell’s characters are realistically portrayed, though their flaws, from Lorelei’s obsessive hoarding to Rory’s irresponsibility, are more clearly in focus. The dynamics that play out between the family, as well as various lovers and friends, are believable and observed with keen insight into the complications of these relationships.Heartfelt, provocative and powerful The House We Grew Up In is an engaging novel, well crafted by an accomplished author.
  • (4/5)
    I have gotten to a point in my life where I am going through my things and getting rid of stuff. I feel weighed down by it and realize that most of it doesn't need to be in my house and my life. This does not apply to my books, of course, although I am getting more discerning about what I keep on my permanent shelves there too. This desire to pare down and divest is the exact opposite of someone who hoards, who feels the need to anchor themselves in things, to continually acquire and squirrel away possessions. But hoarders are more than just people who want stuff. They have something in them, some deep hurt, some mental illness that compels them to compulsive collecting. Seeing the genesis and the result of such a hard thing is at the center of Lisa Jewell's newest novel, The House We Grew Up In. Opening with an email from Lorelei Bird to an internet love interest named Jim, the email introduces the matriarch of the Bird family in her own words and through her own eyes. Just as quickly, then comes the contrast of what Megan Bird thinks of her mother and what she and her teenaged daughter expect to see when they open the door to the once charming but now dilapidated Cotswold cottage of her childhood. It is so much worse than they ever expected, a solid wall of stuff with only narrow and winding paths through it to the rest of the house, equally packed from floor to ceiling and wall to wall. Lorelei Bird was a hoarder, unable and unwilling to pare anything out of her life and now the crumbling house stuffed to the brim mirrors the cracks and secretly nurtured layers of guilt in this dysfunctional family. But how did the present happen? The Birds used to be a fun and appealing family with planned Easter egg hunts every year, a kitchen full of children's drawings, and a cozy feeling of love in the golden time before. Colin supported Lorelei's whimsy and their four children, Megan, Bethan, and twins Rory and Rhys benefitted from her childlike enthusiasms. But even then, Lorelei's quirky eccentricities carried the seed of something more. And in the aftermath of the terrible tragedy of the Easter of 1981, what was whimsical became sad, eccentricity edged into mental illness, and not one person in this now dysfunctional family was left unchanged and untouched. Each member of the family carries a load of guilt and each of them manifests that guilt in their own way, all of them ending up mostly estranged from the others. The narrative alternates between past and present, slowly exposing the cracks and rifts of the present and terrible truth of the past. In between the two different narratives are Lorelei's emails to Jim, allowing her to tell her side of things, giving her uniquely positive spin, a spin that grows cautiously more honest, opening Lorelei up to face her own demons as time goes on. As the Birds gather to unload Lorelei's house, they excavate not only their own shared past but also the hurts they've long carried. And while Lorelei might have spent much of her adult life buried in things, the rest of them have also been buried, just in guilt and jealousy and anger rather than possessions. Some of the things that happen in the Bird family belong on a sensational talk show, a woman leaving her husband for another woman, a father having a relationship with his son's ex, and a sister having an affair with her brother-in-law and if they are unbelievable on a trashy talk show, they are strangely believable here in this sad and destroyed family. Jewell has written an insightful and engrossing tale of a family slowly sinking under the weight of Lorelei's possessions and under all of each person's sadness and secrets. They are changed forever by adultery, mental illness, suicide, and the messiness of relationships. The pacing is consistent and the narrative tension is steady, with both the mystery of the tragedy that changed the family tantalizingly kept under wraps as long as possible and the question of what happened to Lorelei and how the house got into such a state also revealed slowly and deliberately. The characters are realistic and well rounded, neither all good nor all bad, even if the reader does side with some over others. This is an engrossing tale, well delivered and I defy you to want to hold onto more things once you've closed the cover.
  • (4/5)
    The House We Grew Up In opens with Meg standing outside her childhood home with her daughter, Molly. Her mother, Lorelei, has died and they are there to clean up the mess she left behind. When set beside its neighbours in this beautiful part of the Cotswolds, ‘it was clear that this house had a disease’.But it hadn’t always been that way. Megan remembers her childhood as perfect, a time when she, her three siblings, Bethan and twins Rhys and Rory, and her parents, Lorelei and Colin ‘lived in a honey-colored house’ and Lorelei, beautiful and carefree, was the centre around which they all revolved.It all changed when sixteen-year-old Rhys was found hanged. There was no note and his suicide became the touch point for each of their lives. Lorelei threw Colin out and moved Vicky, their next-door neighbour in along with her two daughters but despite how much Vicky loved and cared for Lorry even she couldn’t stop her downward spiral into hoarding. Meg moved in with Bill and became obsessed with cleaning; Beth began a long affair with Bill but eventually, consumed with guilt and shame, broke it off to move to Australia with a younger man; and Rory moved to a commune in Spain with his girlfriend only to desert her and his infant daughter to move to Thailand where he would eventually end up in prison for drug dealing. What had started out as such promising lives had all been destroyed by Rhys’ suicide. Now, as the family unites after so many years apart, cleaning up the vast hoard of stuff that had consumed Lorelei after Rhys’ death, they slowly begin to piece together what happened and as they share their sense of grief and guilt, they may finally be able to become the family they once had the potential to be.The book moves back and forth in time starting on Easter Sunday 1981 and ending in 2011 as we are told the story in flashbacks of their lives as well as through emails that Lorelei is writing to a man named Jim in the last months of her life. This is a haunting, emotionally charged, and beautifully drawn portrait of a family unraveling after a tragedy and their attempts to bring it all back together again. The characters are all flawed but it is impossible not to feel compassion for them even or perhaps especially Lorelei as the family and we finally learn what really happened to Rhys and begin to understand what is behind her hoarding. We also finally learn the tragedy of her own death. The House We Grew Up In is an engrossing read about family dynamics and how they can be warped by tragedy. It is the kind of story that keeps you up at night and reading into the wee small hours making you feel both moved and exasperated by the characters who will remain with you long after you have finished the last page.
  • (4/5)
    follows family of hoarder from childhood into adulthood.
  • (4/5)
    This book was very enjoyable. It gave me an insight into a quite common problem, and that is hoarding. I started out not liking any of the characters, but by the end, I was quite fond of most of them. That is a good indication of a talented author. The book was a bit difficult to follow with all the varying points of view and narration and the time frames jumping back and forth and forwards and back. The book is mainly set between the years of 1991 and 2011. When it opens we see the Bird family, and they seem like any normal family with four children, but cracks are starting to show in the family dynamics. By 1991, the cracks are quite apparent, and it is then that a catastrophic occurrence changes the family and its members forever. The incident is not spoken of outright in the family again, and everybody disappears into their own world and ties to start a life while purposefully shoving the family and its members away. Another thing that is different about this book is that the plot is propelled forward in and around Easter Sunday. We see this day over and over in different years as we read. Lorelei is the Mom and she deals with her deep secrets by never referring to them again. She fills the emptiness in her heart and life with collection and hoarding of everything. Nothing ever gets thrown out because of the memories that each piece bring to her about when her family was whole and happy. Colin is the father, and he copes with Lorelei's hoarding for quite awhile, but finally can't and seeks a new life in a Spanish commune of all things. Megan is the oldest and she's the practical one, but she has an obsession with cleanliness and minimalism and ensures that her husband and four children abide by this. Bethan is next, and she's quiet and demure, but hides a terrible secret that would rip her family apart if it was found out. Rory and Rhys are the youngest and they are twins, but both different as can be. Rory is outgoing and friendly, while Rhys is quiet, shy and very different from other kids his age. Things begin to bang together and unravel, and the seemingly pure bliss of a happy family and home are ripped apart. The writing in the book is very descriptive, and the family dynamics very convincingly portrayed. A whole new take on the super dysfunctional family theme.
  • (4/5)
    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.
  • (3/5)
    Review
    Wow! The first thought in my mind as I was reading was that this family is perfect for Jerry Springer.  I kept telling my husband every time something shocking happened, and even he was like "wow."

    The House We Grew Up In is definitely not a light and fluffy read.  This is a family that has to deal with death, betrayal, and some deep dark secrets. I couldn't help but feel bad for these characters, especially Megan, as the events unraveled.  This family was once very close knit.  They loved being together but over the years things begin falling apart.  I don't want to give too much away, but good gravy, I needed to make a chart in order to keep up with all the madness that was going on.

    We also get a look at hoarding.  I'm not a hoarder, and tend to get rid of stuff we don't need pretty quickly and easily.  It was scary seeing how much stuff Lorelie collected.  I mean once it starts taking over your house completely, you have a problem.  It's scary, and is most definitely an illness.  I couldn't imagine being in a family surrounded by things that aren't even needed.

    Like I said, this isn't a fluffy read, but I think it teaches a lot about forgiveness and acceptance.  That's definitely what I took away from reading this book, and I hope others get that same message.

  • (4/5)
    This one is a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. At times I liked and disliked every member of this crazy family. I enjoyed the book though and the crazy family.
  • (4/5)
    I once went to a Conference in which the presenter asked for anyone who did NOT come from a dysfunctional family to raise their hand. No one did. Even assuming that into each family a little rain must fall, in The House We Grew Up In, the Bird family suffers torrents of family issues. Sexual antics, death, grief, mental illness, neglect, desertion, infidelity and hoarding all make appearances. Flitting between Easter 1981 and the near present, this tale draw us into the world that exists behind a relatively lovely and calm façade. This was a pick by my book club garnering several raves. Most interesting was which character each club member felt most drawn to – the perfectionist older daughter, the mother with a need to clutch onto her memories as much as her belongings, the long-suffering husband who breaks out in a spectacular way, the contrarian son out to shock his family, the shy younger daughter looking to find her voice. My response was rather more muted. I liked the book enough, but it just didn’t send me over the top. For those fearful of the potentially dark overtones, the dysfunction does have its lighthearted moments. (4 stars)
  • (3/5)
    I've tried so hard to finish this but I just can't...
  • (5/5)
    An absolutely beautiful book, by turns heartwarming and heartwrenching.

    One of the characters in this book is a hoarder, and I don't use that word lightly -- but I'm not sure the word hoarder is ever actually used. Instead, the character is defined by so much more than that hobby/sickness/calamity, and yet it is a constantly growing threat to her relationships and even to her survival. And yet, I liked her, very much, and I think the book is powerful because it made a lovely, rounded, sympathetic character in a space where I thought only scary or pathetic caricatures could exist.

    I strongly recommend this book for those who enjoy character-driven fiction, and I would also recommend it to fans of confessional memoirs and the like, as this is so vividly written that at times it feels too true not to be nonfiction.



    *Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
  • (4/5)
    I really enjoyed this book. The characters came together completely and the family unit, as disfunctional as it was revealed to be, will remain with me.
  • (5/5)
    I wasn't sure I could stand this so disjointed family but they definitely grew on me as I read. I had a hard time liking Lorelei but you just plain want this family to somehow sort things out. And to have hoarding so descriptively put out there----frightening, to say the least----and so completely sad because there just seemed to be no way for this woman to escape her seemingly self-imposed prison of things! Lisa Jewell has written so many books and this is the first be if hers that I have read---now I need to go hunting for more.
  • (4/5)
    Enjoyed the book. Complicated issues presented in a realistic manner.
  • (4/5)
    This story moves around various time periods from 1981 to 2011 and describes the story of Lorelei, her husband, her lover, and her four children. Lorelei is, according to her eldest daughter, "ill" or "mad" and by the end of her life undeniably a hoarder, with only an armchair left to sit and sleep in. I found this a compelling read (after the first few curiously uncompelling pages), but in hindsight it really does have pretty much every dysfunctional behaviour possible; SPOILERSsuicide, borderline incest, infidelity, a breakdown, criminality and a jail sentence, the aforementioned hoarding etc etc.Jewell does a good job of making most of the characters sympathetic to varying degrees and provides a reasonably happy ending, but the story is still overall very sad and emotional.
  • (4/5)
    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.
  • (4/5)
    I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. In it we meet the Bird family consisting of mum, dad and 4 children. The members of the family are quite different and unique. Lorelei, the mum, a bit of a hippy and unique in her own way. Colin, the dad, who is quiet but nice. And the four children. The book spans about 30 years so we get to hear about their lives over a long period of time. What this book was about for me though, was Lorelei's hoarding. I could just picture this house full of stuff and I wanted her to start throwing things out. All the other things happening went by in the side-lines whilst I was waiting for Lorelei to realise her house was full of stuff!!I found it hard to review this book, so I'll just leave it here.
  • (4/5)
    Meet the Bird family. The Bird children had a picturesque childhood that “was all golden shiny times when nothing could go wrong.” They were a very close family who ate dinner together every night, played in the garden all day, and had huge egg hunts every Easter. Their charming mother left sparkles and sunshine wherever she went and made sure they had the best childhood ever. Then one Easter, tragedy strikes, tearing the family apart, and nothing is ever the same. Lorelei is the mother of the family. She is a very eccentric woman who began collecting things in order to deal with her unhappy childhood. Her collecting becomes more and more of a problem until social workers tell her that her hoarding is so bad that her life is at risk. Meg is the oldest child. Since a young age she has suspected her mother is ill and has constantly criticized her hoarding. She despises her mother’s hoarding and is very outspoken about it. She is the only family member that stands up to her mother.Bethan is two years younger than Meg. She is happy to live in Meg’s shadow. She is shy, quiet, and easy to get along with. She doesn’t really know herself and she struggles with this through adulthood.Rhys and Rory are twins and couldn’t be more different. Rory is cool and popular, while Rhys is strange and nerdy. Rhys is the odd child of the family. Everyone else is bright and fun, but Rhys is a little weird and likes to be alone.After the tragedy that occurs, that I really wish I could tell you about, but I don’t want to ruin the book for you, the family drifts further and further apart, blaming each other for the tragedy until they are pretty much estranged. At their mother’s death they are all brought back together again to deal with their troubled past. “When someone doesn’t want to help themselves, there’s only so much you can do.”“No family is indestructible, but were pretty resilient.” “Maybe if there’d been an explanation we could have all moved on, found closure. We blamed each other because we didn’t know who else to blame. And then we just carried on blaming each other for everything.”A very good read about a dysfunctional family. My favorite thing to read about!
  • (4/5)
    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.