Review: The Two-Family House by Lynda Cohen Loigman

 by Lynda Cohen Loigman

St. Martin’s Press, New York, First Edition March 2016

My Review (5 Stars: Loved it!)

In The Two-Family House by Lynda Cohen Loigman, there are many memorable and touching scenes.

This is a story about two Jewish families; two brothers, their wives and their children.

Brothers, Mort and Abe, couldn’t be more different.  Abe is outgoing, Mort is introverted.  Abe has four sons, Mort has three daughters.

Abe and Mort run a box company together in Brooklyn.  Their families were always close.  They shared a duplex with Abe’s family living upstairs and Mort’s family living downstairs.

One night, after a winter blizzard, the family dynamic changed.  Abe and Mort’s wives were once close friends, but became estranged.  During that night, stranded at home, they each gave birth to their youngest child (one-girl, one-boy).

The story begins in 1947.  The changes taking place during the next 21 years or so after the storm are totally engrossing.  We are left wondering about the nature and uniqueness of families.

Loigman, in her debut novel, shows us there is usually more than one side to a story and pulls at our heart strings as we read this family saga.

I’d also like to give a nod to the historical aspects of this novel.  I felt transported to that time period.

First Paragraphs

Prologue

“She walked down the stairs of the old  two-family house in the dark, careful not to slip.”

 

Part One

Chapter 1

MORT

(May 1947)

“The domestic, feminine scene unfolding before Mort did nothing to improve his spirits.”

What Other Are Saying

“It’s hard to believe The Two-Family House is Lynda Cohen Loigman’s debut novel. A richly textured, complex, yet entirely believable story, it draws us inexorably into the lives of two brothers and their families in 1950s Brooklyn, New York…. As compelling as the story line are the characters that Loigman has drawn here. None is wholly likable nor entirely worthy of scorn. All are achingly human, tragically flawed and immediately recognizable. We watch them change and grow as the novel spans more than 20 years….engrossing from beginning to end.” —The Associated Press
(As seen on ABCNews.com, San Diego Union Tribune, Daily MailThe Daily Journal) –

Macmillan Press

About The Author (from the author’s website)

“Lynda Cohen Loigman grew up in Longmeadow, MA. She received a B.A. in English and American Literature from Harvard College and a J.D. from Columbia Law School. She is now a student of the Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College, and lives with her husband and two children in Chappaqua, New York.”

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5 thoughts on “Review: The Two-Family House by Lynda Cohen Loigman”

  1. I really liked this one two Pat and I enjoyed reading the Jewish background with it. I would certainly read her next book – hopefully there will be one!

  2. I have this book, and I’m eager to begin reading it. I just moved it up in my queue! I love the setting, the time period, and the idea of the “two-family house.” Thanks for sharing and tempting me to read it sooner rather than later.

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