Monday 14 September 2015

The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell

4 out of 5 stars

This is a story about a family – the Birds. They live in the Bird House. Time flips between the young Birds growing up, dysfunctionally, but mostly happy, and now – the grown up children trying to make sense of what has become of their broken lives.

There is a familiarity about the characters, and I felt, an eerie resonance with some of the things they do. You recognise your faults, but hope like hell that you have dealt with your stuff in a way that is more helpful than the ways in which they have. Somehow, you are left feeling unsure.

Lisa Jewell is very good at creating worlds of disorder and emotional chaos

and navigating her flawed, yet mostly likeable characters through them. The writing flows, the pace is enjoyable, and the resolution satisfying. The sense of the unusual and dramatic unfolding of some aspects also creates twists and turns that are unexpected.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. I enjoyed the sense of introspection it left me with, the time I spent inside some of the heads, and the difficulties that were overcome along the way. Don’t be put off by the fact that there is a hoarder – the way this is explored is sensitive and thoughtful, not repulsive.

ISBN: 9780099559566

You may also enjoy Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty or The Girls by Lisa Jewell.

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