Friday, July 17, 2015

The House We Grew Up In

by Lisa Jewell

I almost didn't read this book because of the poor grammar in the title, but I did, so here's what I thought:

In the beginning the Bird family seems like any other family, a dad, a mom, 2 girls and twin boys, but that's where any semblance of normality ends. For starters there is Lorelei, the mother, and while she is fun-loving, she has a serious hoarding problem, which splits loyalties within the family. The older sister is always angry, the middle sister is a timid door mat, one twin is mean and the other has some serious social issues. And just when you think the father is the only normal one, they suffer a tragedy that sends him over the cliff.

I'd like to say this book had potential and could have been good, but I can't. When it first started with the hoarding issue, I thought it might be insightful like Still Alice was toward alzheimer's. And there were a few (few) interesting glimpses into the mental state of a hoarder, but Jewell couldn't settle on one disorder, she had to try squeezing in incest, homosexuality, drug abuse and more! It was just too much of a mess!

The House We Grew Up In was just a "toxic family" where "one disgusting lurid thing after another" happened. Don't bother, there are too many books and too little time!

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