Review: The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

Emily Bestler Books, Atria, 2013

My Review (4 Stars: Liked it a lot!)

I liked The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult a lot.  However, it is about the Holocaust and is violent and graphic in detail at times.  After reading Part I, I was disturbed by the story and questioned whether I would continue.  I did continue as the author’s writing style is engaging and it was my local book club’s selection.

There are basically three stories going on in this novel.  Part II, is Minka’s story where she is a Polish, Jewish adolescent during the Holocaust.  Part I and Part III is the story about Minka’s granddaughter, Sage, a baker, and her friend, Mr. Weber, a man in his nineties, who was a German SS soldier, and is hiding in America.

The third storyline, and probably the most disturbing, is the fictional story written by Minka during the German occupation of Poland.  It is about an upiór  (vampire).  This story is told in italicized parts at the beginning of sections throughout the novel and pulls together many threads in the end.

This book raises a lot of questions about war, good vs. evil, family, love, forgiveness, justice, revenge, mercy and more.  There is, in my opinion, a lot of symbolism in this novel.  I am looking forward to a lively discussion at my book club meeting.  I’m glad I continued reading it.

Continue reading “Review: The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult”

Review: The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

Harlequin Mira, 2015 

(This was a SheReads Winter 2105 selection.)

My Review (4 Stars: Liked it a lot!)

I read this novel over the course of one day ~ 8 hours.  So, it kept my attention.  The good girl, Mia Dennett, daughter of judge James Dennet and his wive Eve, was abducted and is now home.

When we learn Mia, a young school teacher, is missing, detective Gabe Hoffman is assigned the case.  Eve’s beauty and the demeaning way her husband treats her is not lost on him.

Chapters go back and forth from different character’s perspectives, before and after the abduction.

During her captivity in a log cabin, as winter approaches in “the deepest darkest corners of Minnesota”, Mia as well as her abductor, Colin, struggle to survive.

After Mia is home, her psychiatrist mentions that she may be experiencing  Stockholm Syndrome (Wikapedia).  (Read more: What is Stockholm syndrome – BBC News.)

The three perspectives are from Eve, Gabe and Colin.  I enjoyed Colin’s perspective the most.  What really happened?  How did it end?  I won’t give that away.

Author Mary Kubica’s debut novel flows very easily, even though, or maybe because, we skip back and forth in time and perspective.  Her story telling ability is evident.  I am looking forward to reading more about her newly released second novel, Pretty Baby.

First Chapter

Eve Before

I’m sitting at the breakfast nook sipping from a mug of cocoa when the phone rings.  I’m lost in thought, staring out the back window at the lawn that now, in the throes of an early fall, abounds with leaves.  They’re dead mostly, some still clinging lifelessly to the trees.  It’s late afternoon.  The sky is overcast, the temperatures doing a nosedive into the forties and fifties.  I’m not ready for this, I think, wondering where in the world the time has gone.  Seems like just yesterday we were welcoming spring and then, moments later, summer.

What Others Are Saying

“The writing in this book was excellent. It was the perfect mix of being evocative and just giving me enough so that I couldn’t stop turning the pages. Kubica really knows how to write a feeling and sense of place, and she did such an incredible job with this one. I felt like I was in that cabin with them, subsisting on canned chicken noodle soup and being so close to freezing to death.” – Heather In Fiction @ Book Addiction

(You can find additional links to reviews @ She Reads Books of Winter.)

About The Author (from the kindle edition)

Mary Kubica holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in History and American Literature.  She lives outside of Chicago with her husband and two children and enjoys photography, gardening and caring for the animals at a local shelter.  THE GOOD GIRL is her first novel.

Book Trailer

Review: Remember Mia by Alexandra Burt

Remember Mia by Alexandra Burt

and Readers Guide

Berkley Publishing Group an Imprint of Penguin Random House, 2015

Review (4 Stars: Liked it a lot!)

Estelle Paradise (27) is suffering from postpartum depression with psychosis.  One day she wakes up and her 7 month old daughter, Mia, is missing.  Every trace of Mia in the house is gone, including her clothes, diapers and toys.

Author, Alexandra Burt, takes us on a trip inside Estelle’s mind.  The story begins with Estelle waking up in the hospital after an induced coma.  She was found in her car, crashed down a deep ravine.  Estelle has brain trauma, amnesia and one of her ears is missing.  Mia is missing as well.

Slowly, after hard work, and being a suspect in the disappearance of her daughter, Estelle begins to unearth what happened.  Her account of her own feelings is compelling.  She wonders herself if she’s brought harm to her own daughter.

This story is an account of the roller-coaster ride Estelle has gone through and continues to go through as we learn what really happened to Mia.  Burt’s debut novel, Remember Mia, is indeed a page turner.

I’d like to thank Alexandra Burt and the Berkley Publishing Group for sending me this novel, free of charge, for review.

First Paragraph

“Mrs. Paradise?

A voice sounds out of nowhere.  My thoughts are sluggish, as if I’m running underwater.  I try and try but I’m not getting anywhere”

Trailer

What Other Are Saying

“REMEBER MIA is a twisty, gripping read – beautifully written and impossible to putdown.” – Meg Gardiner, Edgar Award – winning author

About The Author

Alexandra Burt is a freelance translator.  Born in Europe, she moved to Texas twenty years ago.  While pursuing literary translations, she decide to tell her own stories.  After years of writing classes and gluttonous reading, her short fiction appeared in fiction journals and literary reviews.  She lives in Texas with her husband and daughter.  Remember Mia is her first novel.

Disclosure of Material Connection: 

I received this book (ARC) free from the publisher, Berkley an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.   I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Review: Troika by Adam Pelzman

Troika by Adam Pelzman

The Berkley Publishing Group

Published by the Penguin Group, 2014

Readers Guide by Penguin Group (USA) LLC, 2015

Description (from the back cover)

“A young Cuban women passes her nights dancing in a seedy Florida strip club; a Russian orphan loses everything, then builds a new and prosperous life for himself in New York; a women struggles to maintain her dignity and hope after a life-changing accident – these are the three members of the troika whose story is told in this dazzling literary debut.

Their lives unexpectedly intertwined, Perla, Julian, and Sophie discover a world – a way of life – that forces them to challenge their definitions of commitment, love and trust.  A world that heals old wounds and inspires them to transform tragedy into beauty.”

Definition of Troika from Merriam-Webster

Full Definition of TROIKA

1:  a Russian vehicle drawn by three horses abreast; also  :  a team for such a vehicle
2:  a group of three; especially  :  an administrative or ruling body of three

My Review (4 Stars: Liked it a lot!)

Overall Troika by Adam Pelzman is creative, thought provoking and entertaining.  Many, if not all, of the chapters are sub-stories that pull together to create the full picture.

Perla is a dancer in a striptease joint in Florida, not a prostitute.  One night Julian enters the place and Perla makes her signature moves on him.  Julian is a rich businessmen from New York.  They  quickly form a relationship and begin to meet at his hotel every couple of months or so when he visits.  Perla begins to question whether she has a right to know more about him and whether she should continue seeing him.

Throughout the chapters we learn more about Perla and Julian.  Julian has an amazing backstory, beginning with him being a Russian orphan.  This novel came to a suprising conclusion when the third party of the “Trokia”, Sophie,  is introduced and we learn more about Julian’s life in New York.

There is sexual tension throughout this novel.    All three, Perla, Julian and Sophie, have interesting stories and personalities, to say the least.  Author, Adam Pelzman, in his debut novel, leads the reader to question their beliefs about relationships.

There are thought provoking discussion questions included at the end of the book.

I’d like to thank the author, Adam Pelzman, and publisher,  The Berkley Publishing Group – Penguin Group, for sending me this book, free of charge, for review.

First Paragraph

“PERFECT DARKNESS

He comes in the first time, eight o’clock on a Tuesday night and it’s real slow.  White, maybe forty, real handsome in an odd way — unusual — with a crooked nose like some Irish boxer.  He’s got sharp clothes and messed-up hair, not sloppy but sort of stylish, and a fancy watch, blue face with gold around the edges, and I’m thinking ooh, that’s a pricey watch.”

About the Author (from the author’s website)

Adam Pelzman studied Russian literature at the University of Pennsylvania and received a law degree from UCLA. Born in Seattle and raised in northern New Jersey, he has spent most of his life in New York City, where he now lives with his son.

Disclosure of Material Connection: 

I received this book free from the publisher, The Berkley Publishing Group a Division of  Penguin Group (USA).   I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Review: Cemetery Girl by David Bell

Cemetery Girl by David Bell

New American Library, A Division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 2011

Description (from the author’s website)

Four years after Tom and Abby’s 12-year-old daughter vanishes, she is found alive but strangely calm. When the teen refuses to testify against the man connected to her disappearance, Tom decides to investigate the traumatizing case on his own. Nothing can prepare him for what he is about to discover.

Cemetery Girl is the winner of the prestigious 2013 Le Prix Polar International de Cognac.

My Review (4 Stars – Liked It A Lot!)

Twelve year old Catlin takes her rambuncsious dog for a walk in the park near home and disappears.  Author, David Bell explores the family’s pain, especially from the father, Tom’s, point of view.

Tom and his wife Abbey’s already strained marriage is pulled further apart after the disappearance of Catlin, their only child.  To complicate matters Tom’s half brother, Buster, is a person of interest in the investigation.  Buster has been in trouble with the law before.

One day, after four years missing, Catlin appears.  Author, David Bell gives the reader an engrossing, close up look of what this event might entail including interactions with Ryan, the officer investigating the case, counselors and witnesses.  Tom desperately wants to know what happened.  But, does he really want to know?  Tom knows life will never go back to the way it was before.

First Line

“Let me tell you something about my daughter.”

About the author (from amazon)

David Bell is an assistant professor of English at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky. He received an M.A. in creative writing from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and a Ph.D. in American Literature and creative writing from the University of Cincinnati. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

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Review: New Uses For Old BoyFriends by Beth Kendrick

New Uses For Old Boyfriends (Black Dog Bay Novel) by Beth Kendrick

New American Library, a division of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, 2015

Description (from the author’s website)

After growing up in privilege and marrying into money, Lila Alders has gotten used to the good life. But when her happily ever after implodes, Lila must return to Black Dog Bay, the tiny seaside town where she grew up. She’s desperate for a safe haven, but everything has changed over the past ten years. Her family’s fortune is gone—and her mother is in total denial. It’s up to Lila to take care of everything…but she can barely take care of herself.

The former golden girl of Black Dog Bay struggles to reinvent herself by opening a vintage clothing boutique. But even as Lila finds new purpose for outdated dresses and tries to reunite with her ex, she realizes that sometimes it’s too late for old dreams. She’s lost everything she thought she needed but found something—someone—she desperately wants. A boy she hardly noticed has grown up into a man she can’t forget…and a second chance has never felt so much like first love.

My Review (4 Stars: Liked it a lot!)

As the title indicates New Uses For Old Boyfriends (Black Dog Bay Novel) by Beth Kendrick is a fun novel!  There are two main characters, newly divorced, 29 year old, Lila and her recently widowed mother, Daphne.  They both start out broke and helpless.

Lila has lost her position as late-night TV sales host and can’t get an interview for another job.  She comes out of her divorce with little more than the money from the sale of her wedding rings.  She returns home to find her mother is in financial ruin.

Daphne, over 30 years ago left the life of being a model to marry and live happily with her husband.  He loved Daphne,  but left her in debt after he died.  Daphne being in denial, racked up additional debt to add to her financial problems.  She can no longer afford her beloved, oceanfront, home.

Lila has a ‘take action’ attitude to save their home while Daphne remains in denial.   Lila has the idea to open a shop, selling Daphne’s vintage clothes.  Daphne is more interested in making sure Lila’s appearance will impress old boyfriends than she is in her financial predicament.

Black Dog Bay is a close knit community where everyone knows everyone else and the adults gossip more than the kids.  I enjoyed the warmth that the locals show one another in this story.  I enjoyed the snappy dialog.  I also enjoyed the message that friends help one another when the going gets tough.  I categorized this novel under, Humor, Light Reads and Romance.

(This story takes place in, what I believe is the fictional, Black Dog Bay, oceanside Delaware.  A previous novel by Kendrick, Cure for the Common Breakup,  also takes place there.  However, New Uses For Old Boyfriends is a stand alone novel.)

Continue reading “Review: New Uses For Old BoyFriends by Beth Kendrick”

Review: The Dress Shop of Dreams by Menna Van Praag

The Dress Shop of Dreams: A Novel by Menna Van Praag

Ballantine Books, an imprint of Random House, a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company, New York, 2014

 Description (from amazon.com)

Since her parents’ mysterious deaths many years ago, scientist Cora Sparks has spent her days in the safety of her university lab or at her grandmother Etta’s dress shop. Tucked away on a winding Cambridge street, Etta’s charming tiny store appears quite ordinary to passersby, but the colorfully vibrant racks of beaded silks, delicate laces, and jewel-toned velvets hold bewitching secrets: With just a few stitches from Etta’s needle, these gorgeous gowns have the power to free a woman’s deepest desires.

Etta’s dearest wish is to work her magic on her granddaughter. Cora’s studious, unromantic eye has overlooked Walt, the shy bookseller who has been in love with her forever. Determined not to allow Cora to miss her chance at happiness, Etta sews a tiny stitch into Walt’s collar, hoping to give him the courage to confess his feelings to Cora. But magic spells—like true love—can go awry. After Walt is spurred into action, Etta realizes she’s set in motion a series of astonishing events that will transform Cora’s life in extraordinary and unexpected ways.

My Review (4 Stars: Liked it a lot!)

The Dress Shop of Dreams: A Novel by Menna Van Praag is a sweet romance with magical realism.  The multiple romance parts while enjoyable were fairly predictable, but the magic was not.  Eta owns a dress shop that among other things changes color with changing times and plays music depending on who is there and what state they are in.  Eta’s dresses open up new and exciting possibilities for the women who come into the shop, no matter their circumstances in life.

Eta works her magic on her granddaughter, Cora, whose heart has been closed since her parents died when she was five.  Before Cora can open her heart for love, she needs to learn more about the tragic circumstances concerning her parents death.

As new characters are introduced, we see additional themes about lost opportunities and forgiveness come into play.

Overall this was a very pleasant read.  I enjoyed opening my mind to the possibilities of magic that author, Menna Van Praag shows us.

Continue reading “Review: The Dress Shop of Dreams by Menna Van Praag”

Review: Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Everything I Never Told You: A Novel by Celeste Ng

Penguin Group (USA), 2014

Description (from the author’s website)

Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet . . .

So begins the story of this exquisite debut novel, about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee; their middle daughter, a girl who inherited her mother’s bright blue eyes and her father’s jet-black hair. Her parents are determined that Lydia will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue—in Marilyn’s case that her daughter become a doctor rather than a homemaker, in James’s case that Lydia be popular at school, a girl with a busy social life and the center of every party.

When Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together is destroyed, tumbling them into chaos. James, consumed by guilt, sets out on a reckless path that may destroy his marriage. Marilyn, devastated and vengeful, is determined to find a responsible party, no matter what the cost. Lydia’s older brother, Nathan, is certain that the neighborhood bad boy Jack is somehow involved. But it’s the youngest of the family—Hannah—who observes far more than anyone realizes and who may be the only one who knows the truth about what happened.

A profoundly moving story of family, history, and the meaning of home, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, exploring the divisions between cultures and the rifts within a family, and uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another.

My Review (4 Stars: Liked it a lot!)

I read this book over the course of three days and thought about the Lee family in between.  It is 1977, when girls slathered themselves in baby oil and sunbathed.  (I hope they don’t do that now.)  I can relate to this time period.

This story is about a mixed family, Chinese-American and American.  The parents Marylyn and James and their two older children Lydia and Nathan, because of their mixed origins, do not fit in with American culture at the time, despite their efforts.  Their third, youngest, child, Hannah, struggles to fit in with her, seemingly self-absorbed, family.  Lydia is found dead in the nearby lake.  Reading Everything I Never Told You gives the back story leading up to this tragic death.

When I finished this novel, I think my jaw dropped open.  I was very impressed with author, Celeste Ng‘s, style.  She shows this family’s dynamic very well.  This is a sensitive and touching debut novel.  We are clearly shown the disconnect between parents and their children and with each other.  While this is fiction, it seems like a very realistic story.  In the end, it is a heartbreaker.

 

Review: The Vineyard by Michael Hurley

The Vineyard by Michael Hurley

Ragbagger Press, 2014

Description (from amazon):

Ten years after their college days together, three wounded and very different women reunite for a summer on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. As they come to grips with the challenges and crises in their lives, their encounter with a reclusive poacher, known only as “the fisherman,” threatens to change everything they believe about their world–and each other.

My Review (4 Stars: Liked it a lot!)

In The Vineyard by Michael Hurley on Martha’s Vineyard, miracles happen and people react.  Some in good ways, others not so good.

This creative story focuses around good versus evil.  Three very different women with different problems are close friends and support one another as turmoil and confusion surrounds them.  I enjoyed their distinct personalities.

This story takes a look at traditional religious beliefs (in this case, Catholic) and more general beliefs in God.  There are some sex scenes, to spice things up.

To read another positive review  go to Shelia @ BookJourney’s review.

netgalley50Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book, The Vineyard by Michael Hurley, free from Ragbagger Press via NetGalley.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Review: What The Heart Remembers by Debra Ginsberg

What the Heart Remembers by Debra Ginsberg (Purchased)

New American Library a Division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 2012

Description (from the author’s website)

A novel of psychological suspense that centers on the unlikely – and dangerous – friendship between two women; Darcy Silver, a beautiful young widow, and Eden Harrison, the recent recipient of a heart transplant.

“A cross between Laura Lippman and Kate Atkinson, this novel is complex, original, and utterly intriguing. Will stay with you long after you’ve stopped turning the pages” — Deborah Crombie, New York Times Bestselling Author of No Mark Upon Her

“A tense, twist-filled ride that knocked the breath out of me more than once… Part friendship, part rivalry, part cat-and-mouse game, the deepening bond between Darcy and Eden kept me guessing – and reading – far into the night.”  — Marisa de los Santos, New York Times Bestselling Author of Falling Together

My Review (4 Stars: Liked it a lot!)

With a thriller like What the Heart Remembers by Debra Ginsberg, I wouldn’t want to give too much information away.  Reading how the story unfolds is what makes this a thriller after all.  In the story, Eden Harrison receives a heart transplant.  After that her life changes.  She, in a way, becomes a different person.  She moves from Portland, Oregon to San Diego where she becomes friends with Darcy Silver, a beautiful, rich, young widow.  The mysterious connection between these two women unfold in a surprising way.

Central to this story is the concept of cellular memory (Wikipedia):

“A variation of body memory, the pseudoscientific hypothesis that memories can be stored in individual cells”

Author Debra Ginsberg is very clever in the way she presents this idea as truth.

 

Review: The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain

The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain

St. Martin’s Press, 2014

**On-sale October 7, 2014**

Description (from amazon.com)

In The Silent Sister, Riley MacPherson has spent her entire life believing that her older sister Lisa committed suicide as a teenager. Now, over twenty years later, her father has passed away and she’s in New Bern, North Carolina cleaning out his house when she finds evidence to the contrary. Lisa is alive. Alive and living under a new identity. But why exactly was she on the run all those years ago, and what secrets are being kept now? As Riley works to uncover the truth, her discoveries will put into question everything she thought she knew about her family. Riley must decide what the past means for her present, and what she will do with her newfound reality, in this engrossing mystery from international bestselling author Diane Chamberlain.

My Review (4 Stars: Liked it a lot!)

I’ve categorized this novel as Contemporary Fiction, Mystery and Suspense.  Riley MacPherson finds herself settling her father’s affairs after his untimely death.  Riley feels very alone since her mother previously passed away, her only brother Danny can not help as he is a reclusive, injured Iraq war veteran and her only sister, Lisa, at age 17, committed suicide when Riley was two years old.  Details of her father’s will begin to surface unsettling revelations about her family.  Aside from Riley and Danny two characters are named in the will, Jeannie Lyons (a real-estate agent) and Tom Kyle (a resident in Riley’s father’s RV park).  Riley barely knows them.  They add interesting twists to the story.  As secrets are uncovered, Riley becomes determined to find out the truth about her sister’s suicide.

Diane Chamberlain is an international bestselling author of 22 novels.  I can see why she is so successful. Even though the story seems slightly unrealistic, Chamberlain’s writing style is easy and enjoyable to read and her characters seem to come to life off the page.

About The Author

Diane Chamberlain is the international bestselling author of 22 novels. She lives in North Carolina with her partner, photographer John Pagliuca, and her shelties, Keeper and Cole. Visit her online at http://www.dianechamberlain.com.

Also By Diane Chamberlain

Necessary Lies

The Good Father

The Midwife’s Confession

The Lies We Told

Secrets She Left Behind

Before the Storm

The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes

The Bay at Midnight

Her Mother’s Shadow

The Journey Home (anthology)

Kiss River

The Courage Tree

Keepers of the Light

Cypress Point

Summer’s Child

Breaking the Silence

The Escape Artist

Reflection

Brass Ring

Lovers and Strangers

Fire and Rain

Private Relations

Secret Lives

Note: 

The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain is one of the The Books of Fall selections from She Reads

I would like to thank Diane Chamberlain, the She Reads Organization and the publisher,  St. Martin’s Press, New York,  for providing me with this book, free of charge, for review.

Disclosure of Material Connection: 

I received this book free from the publisher, St. Martin’s Press, New York as a member of the She Reads Network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Review: The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell

The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell

Atria Books (A trademark of Simon & Schuster), 2013

Originally published in 2013 in Great Britain by Century

Description (from Official Publisher’s Page-Simon & Schuster)

“Clever, intelligent…wonderful” (Jojo Moyes, New York Times bestselling author of Me Before You).

Meet the Bird family. They live in a simple brick house in a picture-perfect Cotswolds village, with rambling, unkempt gardens stretching just beyond. Pragmatic Meg, dreamy Beth, and tow-headed twins Rory and Rhys all attend the village school and eat home-cooked meals together each night. Everybody in town gushes over the two girls, who share their mother’s apple cheeks and wide smiles. Of the boys, lively, adventurous Rory can stir up trouble, moving through life more easily than little Rhys, his slighter, more sensitive counterpart. Their father is a sweet gangly man, but it’s their mother, Lorelei, a beautiful free spirit with long flowing hair and eyes full of wonder, who spins at the center.

Time flies in those early years when the kids are still young. Lorelei knows that more than anyone, doing her part to freeze time by protecting the precious mementos she collects, filling the house with them day by day. Easter egg foils are her favorite. Craft supplies, too. She insists on hanging every single piece of art ever produced by any of the children, to her husband’s chagrin.

Then one Easter weekend, tragedy occurs. The event is so devastating that, almost imperceptibly, it begins to tear the family apart. Years pass and the children have become adults, found new relationships, and, in Meg’s case, created families of their own. Lorelei has become the county’s worst hoarder. She has alienated her husband, her children, and has been living as a recluse for six years. It seems as though they’d never been The Bird Family at all, as if loyalty were never on the table. But then something happens that calls them home, back to the house they grew up in—and to what really happened that Easter weekend so many years ago.

Delving deeply into the hearts and minds of its characters, The House We Grew Up In is the gripping story of a family’s desire to restore long-forgotten peace and to unearth the many secrets hidden within the nooks and crannies of home.

My Review (4 Stars: Liked it a lot!)

Lorelei Bird is a hoarder.  Her children, Meg, Beth, Rory and Rhys and her husband, Colin, every year, would have a traditional Easter egg hunt in their yard.    Every year, Lorelei, would remind everyone to save the colorful foil from the chocolate eggs.  Things just got worse from there.

At first I had a difficult time getting into this book.  However, the more I read, the more fascinated I became.  Author, Lisa Jewell gives us insight into Lorelei’s mind and shows us the effects her hoarding had on her family and friends.  This novel shows us Lorelei’s motivation.  Individual’s with Compulsive Hoarding Disorder may have different motivations.

Aside from Lorelei we also learn about the dysfunction of the main characters.  Their stories add a lot to the twists and turns of the plot as they struggle to move on.  There is a lot of drama in the Bird family.

I found the writing style to be enjoyable.  The story skips around in years as memories would, giving it multiple layers.  Lisa Jewell does an excellent job of transitioning between person, time and place.

Note: 

The House We Grew Up In: A Novel by Lisa Jewell is one of the The Books of Fall selections from She Reads. You can go to the The Books of Fall page, to find links to additional reviews on this book and enter their contest to receive one of five free complete sets of The Books of Fall.

I would like to thank Lisa Jewell, the She Reads Organization and the publisher,  Atria Books (A trademark of Simon & Schuster) for providing me with this book, free of charge, for review.

Disclosure of Material Connection: 

I received this book free from the publisher, Atria Books (A trademark of Simon & Schuster) as a member of the She Reads Network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.