The House We Grew up in

The House We Grew up in

A Novel

Book - 2014
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Baker & Taylor
When their picture-perfect Cotswold village family life with a perpetually young father and hippy mother is shattered by a tragic Easter weekend, four siblings pursue separate adult lives before a reunion reveals astonishing truths.

& Taylor

When their picture-perfect Cotswold village family life with a perpetually young father and hippy mother is shattered by a tragic Easter weekend, four siblings pursue separate adult lives before a reunion reveals astonishing truths. By the author of Before I Met You.

Simon and Schuster
“Clever, intelligent…wonderful” (Jojo Moyes, New York Times bestselling author of Me Before You).

Meet the Bird family. They live in a simple brick house in a picture-perfect Cotswolds village, with rambling, unkempt gardens stretching just beyond. Pragmatic Meg, dreamy Beth, and tow-headed twins Rory and Rhys all attend the village school and eat home-cooked meals together each night. Everybody in town gushes over the two girls, who share their mother’s apple cheeks and wide smiles. Of the boys, lively, adventurous Rory can stir up trouble, moving through life more easily than little Rhys, his slighter, more sensitive counterpart. Their father is a sweet gangly man, but it’s their mother, Lorelei, a beautiful free spirit with long flowing hair and eyes full of wonder, who spins at the center.

Time flies in those early years when the kids are still young. Lorelei knows that more than anyone, doing her part to freeze time by protecting the precious mementos she collects, filling the house with them day by day. Easter egg foils are her favorite. Craft supplies, too. She insists on hanging every single piece of art ever produced by any of the children, to her husband’s chagrin.

Then one Easter weekend, tragedy occurs. The event is so devastating that, almost imperceptibly, it begins to tear the family apart. Years pass and the children have become adults, found new relationships, and, in Meg's case, created families of their own. Lorelei has become the county’s worst hoarder. She has alienated her husband, her children, and has been living as a recluse for six years. It seems as though they’d never been The Bird Family at all, as if loyalty were never on the table. But then something happens that calls them home, back to the house they grew up in—and to what really happened that Easter weekend so many years ago.

Delving deeply into the hearts and minds of its characters, The House We Grew Up In is the gripping story of a family’s desire to restore long-forgotten peace and to unearth the many secrets hidden within the nooks and crannies of home.

Publisher: New York : Atria Books, 2014, c2013
ISBN: 9781476702995
Branch Call Number: FIC JEW
Characteristics: 388 p. ;,24 cm.


From the critics

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Oct 17, 2017

A great read ...

Sep 07, 2017

.... a must read for anyone that has a 'saver/collector/hoarder' in their life. Definitely a mental illness with deep-seeded reasons. Reading this as prompted me to de-clutter and collect less!

GSPLanna Mar 29, 2016

I really enjoyed this story about a super dysfunctional English family. Great quick read

Nov 17, 2015

A good antidote to the usual bucolically charming cottage in the Cotswolds. Lorelei Bird dies in a trap of her own hoarded mess. As her children try to sort out how she got that way, hints and memories lead back to Lorelei's obsession with the perfect Easter celebration.

ehbooklover Apr 03, 2015

Honestly, it took me quite awhile to really get into this book, mostly because I found that I really didn't like any of the characters. That changed as they grew on me and by the end I couldn't stop reading. An interesting take on the subject of hoarding and the reasons behind it.

Dec 13, 2014

This book is truly fantastic - incredibly well written and the characters and story pull you in so that it is difficult to put the book down until you are finished. Lisa Jewell is a gifted story teller, and the Bird family is one that is instantly recognizable - repulsive, compelling, loveable...all the things that family so often are.

Nov 05, 2014

Great characters and premise for a story. A difficult book to put down once you start it. Loved it!

Aug 17, 2014

A life affirming, family affirming book. A must read for anyone with a hoarder in their life.

Jan 11, 2014

I have loved Lisa Jewell's writing since her first book "Ralph's Party". This book is no exception. Her writing is character-driven with this book telling telling the story of the Bird family. The family is full of colourful characters and the narrative is interesting - flicking between years and also interspersed with Lorelei (the mother) writing emails. The story reminds us that while things tear families apart, you are inextricably bound to each other. A great read.

Dec 10, 2013

I like this book


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Dec 10, 2013

Book about a family.


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Jun 16, 2015

Remember , Megan, that wherever you find yourselves, you are all pebbles from the same beach.

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