I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Atria on 8/12/2014
Genres: Adult, Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Fiction, Love & Romance, Marriage
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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.
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.