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The House We Grew Up In: From the number one bestselling author of The Family Upstairs Copertina flessibile – 3 luglio 2014
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From the #1 bestselling author of The Night She Disappeared, The Family Upstairs and Then She Was Gone
AN UNFORGETTABLE STORY ABOUT A FAMILY WITH A TERRIBLE SECRET
When a tragedy breaks a family apart, what can bring it back together?
The Birds seem to be the perfect family: mother, father, four children, a picture-book cottage in the country.
But one Easter weekend, something happens - something so unexpected, so devastating, that no one can bring themselves to talk about it.
The family shatters, seemingly for good.
Until, years later, they are forced to return to the house they grew up in, and to confront what really broke the family apart . . .
LISA JEWELL was born in London in 1968.
Her first novel, Ralph's Party, was the best- selling debut novel of 1999. Since then she has written another eighteen novels, most recently a number of dark psychological thrillers, including The Girls, Then She Was Gone and The Family Upstairs (all of which were Richard & Judy Book Club picks).
Lisa is a New York Times and Sunday Times number one bestselling author who has been published worldwide in over twenty-five languages. She lives in north London with her husband, two teenage daughters, one cat, one guinea pig and the best dog in the world.
- Editore : Arrow (3 luglio 2014)
- Lingua : Inglese
- Copertina flessibile : 448 pagine
- ISBN-10 : 0099559552
- ISBN-13 : 978-0099559559
- Peso articolo : 309 g
- Dimensioni : 12.9 x 2.7 x 19.8 cm
- Posizione nella classifica Bestseller di Amazon: n. 43 in Thriller domestici
- Recensioni dei clienti:
Le recensioni migliori da altri paesi
I can see why some readers might find the events of this book unbelievable but for me they were spot on.
As I read through the novel there I was. I am Megan; always trying to sort out my mum's mess, failing miserably and feeling constantly guilty. I have moved 200 miles away from my childhood home to save my sanity. I love my mum but I cannot deal with the apathy and squalor.
Since reading the novel I have concluded that, like Loreli, my mum is a narcissist - Lisa Jewell doesn't label her as such but as I was reading it became clear to me; the expectation that everything would and should be done for her. Everyone bending to her needs because in the end it's just easier - I've been there.
My sister is Beth; she is 55, still lives at home and has never had a relationship. She has always felt she cannot leave mum on her own. She has sacrificed her own life and exists in a quasi fantasy world where she believes she is intellectually superior to everyone else and just chooses to be 'quirky'.
They live in a world of their own making - for example the kitchen ceiling collapsed 3 years ago as neither had the wherewithal ago to source a plumber when a leak appeared in the bathroom above 2 years prior to that (even though they had insurance to cover it). They never even cleared the debris up. They waited 3 years for social services to do it.
The novel was so close to my experiences that I was hoping for an answer at the end but, of course, there wasn't one. There isn't an answer; my mum was damaged, through her own set of personal circumstances. Her behaviour is her response; her survival mode if you like.
Our dad left home when I was 10. I don't know if he left my mum because she was like she was or she became that person because he left. Whichever, the damage is done - to me and my sister.
I could go on but this is not my story I just wanted to illustrate that people do live like this and the fallout is traumatic.
I love Lisa Jewell’s writing but I’m finding that my enjoyment of her books comes down to whether I like the characters or not. I struggled to like any of the characters in The Family Upstairs or Invisible Girl because I didn’t feel like they redeemed themselves in the end, but I feel like I’ve just spent a week living through all this drama alongside the family in The House We Grew Up In and have found myself warming to each of them.
What Jewell does best is that she shows the good and bad in all of us by delving deep into her characters’ hearts and minds. Her books are often dark and shocking, but not from using big twists or characters who are complete psychopaths. Instead, she uses very real characters and situations to show how even the most well-rounded person can have a streak of darkness running through them. It doesn’t have to be anything too serious and their actions can be done with good intentions, but we all make mistakes, we sometimes follow the wrong path, and we will all do whatever it takes to protect the ones we love.
While every character in this book does something unforgivable, I felt a lot of sympathy for them all at the same time. They are undoubtedly a messed up family, but I have never met a family who doesn’t have something they want to hide. I was so ready to hate Lorelei but I was also heartbroken by her sole intentions to fill her children’s lives with happy memories. There’s nothing I fear more than my children growing up and resenting me for something, so I could really feel her pain.
And of course there is the issue of Lorelei’s hoarding disorder. As soon as I realised that she was a hoarder, I was hooked. I love to get inside the heads of people with weird habits or dysfunctional mindsets. But of course I knew that people with hoarding disorder tend to have an emotional reason for doing so, so I was gripped to find out what secrets Lorelei was keeping.
I have to admit, the build-up to the “big reveal” was much more nerve-wracking than the reveal itself, but I’m glad Jewell didn’t take things too far. It could have easily overstepped some boundaries just for the sake of giving a big impact at the end, but it instead feels more like a genuine mistake which is what makes it all the more heartbreaking. Jewell deals with the illness with great compassion and her author’s notes are well worth a read afterwards, too.
The Birds are the definition of a dysfunctional family, but God I loved getting to know them. I know this isn’t a lot of people’s favourite Jewell book, but I found it painfully tragic, beautifully captivating and exceptionally moving. I’m still thinking about the lives of these characters days after putting the book down.