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The House We Grew Up In Paperback – 18 Jul 2013


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The House We Grew Up In + The Making of Us + Before I Met You
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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Century (18 July 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846059240
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846059247
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 3.1 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (321 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 133,354 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lisa Jewell was born and raised in north London, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. Her first novel, Ralph's Party, was the bestselling debut of 1999. She is also the author of Thirtynothing, One-Hit Wonder, Vince & Joy, A Friend of the Family, 31 Dream Street, The Truth About Melody Browne and After the Party, all of which have been Sunday Times bestsellers.

Product Description

Review

"Clever, intelligent and believable on a subject few of us really understand. Lorrie is one of the most vivid - and complex - characters I've read in years. Wonderful." (Jojo Moyes)

"Simply stunning." (Daily Mail)

"Poignant, heart-wrenching & beautifully told, the author's best tale yet." (The Sun)

"Compelling… possibly the author’s best yet… An intensely moving study of grief and family relationships, this is also a fantastically gripping story with a couple of powerful shocks." (Hello!)

"Beautifully written." (Heat)

Book Description

The unforgettable story about a family with a secret at its core, from Top Ten bestseller Lisa Jewell, author of Ralph's Party and The Making of Us.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Chloe S "Chick Lit Chloe" TOP 500 REVIEWER on 28 Aug. 2013
Format: Paperback
From the outside, the Bird family looked like they had it all. Happy mum, happy dad and four children living a perfect childhood altogether in their family home with its rambling gardens. Lorelei has always loved Easter in particular, and everything that comes with it, but one year, that idyllic reality is cruelly shattered forever when a tragedy befalls the Bird family. It breaks up their family piece by piece, and soon most of the Bird family live away from each other, without contact and that's how they like it. Only Lorelei remains in the Bird home, but soon all the Bird children are to return home, but it's not quite the home they left behind all those years ago...

The blurb of this book really doesn't give away a lot about the story or the characters, and I think that is part of the charm when you're reading - you really don't know what is going to happen and why it's happening so I'm going to continue that air of mystery in my review. The Bird family are all interesting people, and you can see why their childhood shapes them to be the adults that they turn out to be, especially the eldest daughter Meg who seems most affected by what her mother does. Lorelei is someone I did struggle to warm to, she seems quite an eccentric person and as things about her are revealed, I was less and less sure about her, and how she could rationalise to herself what she was doing, not only to herself but her family as well. Her relationships with everyone are affected by what she does, although of course it isn't her fault, but it is sad to see a family fall apart over such things.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By michmar on 29 July 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As the mother of teenage twin boys, I found the tragedy in this book quite harrowing, to the point that I wasn't sure whether or not to continue reading it. I'm a huge Lisa Jewell fan, so I knew the story would be brilliant, and I was right. I'm so glad I carried on. While the tragedy is a very important part of the storyline, it doesn't dominate the whole book and doesn't make for depressing reading.

The Bird family is a happy one. The mother, Lorelei, is determined to make her children's childhoods perfect, unlike her own, but she is already battling her own demons. When tragedy strikes the family, those demons eventually take over.

As always, Lisa Jewell's characters feel real. At times, I felt sorry for them, admired them, pitied them and felt furious and exasperated at them! We see each of them trying to cope with their grief and with Lorelei's strange behaviour, (not to mention their own relationship issues) in their own, individual ways. Sometimes this brings them closer together, at other times it alienates them from each other. Through present day storytelling and childhood memories, we discover family secrets and get to know each character as a unique person, with both good and bad characteristics, as well as being able to see how the family evolves as a whole.

All in all, a fantastic read, with believable characters and an element of mystery to the storyline. Once again, Lisa Jewell had me hooked. It was one of those books where I faced a dilemma - I couldn't wait to read more, to find out what became of the characters, but I didn't want the book to end!

Now I can't wait to start reading "The Third Wife".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Liz Wilkins TOP 500 REVIEWER on 7 July 2014
Format: Paperback
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.

Admittedly I have never read a Lisa Jewell book before – which tends to make people frown at me – so when I received The House We Grew Up In as part of a Goodreads Giveaway I was very excited. And boy, was this good or was this good?

Jumping between past and present we meet the Bird family. In the past, we have a seemingly idyllic childhood – Easter egg hunts, a laid back and relaxing lifestyle, full of fun and laughter and togetherness. Jump forward in time and the family are separate and fractured – as we begin to discover why, and watch them try and put themselves back together, it is emotional and fascinating reading.

Filled with a plethora of intriguing and very real characters, this was a wonderful reading experience. At turns sad, funny, unbelievably emotional and always compelling it was one of those novels you force yourself to put aside occasionally so you can savour the moment you come back to it – and of course, make it last just that bit longer..

I think my favourite pair have to be the enigmatic and very troubled Lorelei, offset by steadfast and opposite daughter Meg – as a real insight into how our upbringing can affect us, Meg is an almost perfect example for many reasons – having said that Ms Jewell manages to make every single character here deliciously captivating.
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