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The House We Grew Up In

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  12,876 Ratings  ·  1,722 Reviews
Meet the Bird family. They live in a honey-colored house in a picture-perfect Cotswolds village, with rambling, unkempt gardens stretching beyond. Pragmatic Meg, dreamy Beth, and tow-headed twins Rory and Rhys all attend the village school and eat home-cooked meals together every night. Their father is a sweet gangly man named Colin, who still looks like a teenager with ...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published August 12th 2014 by Atria Books (first published January 1st 2013)
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Lori
May 11, 2016 Lori rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have to confess... I almost put this novel down when I began sensing that it was going to be dealing with hoarding! I am a major type A personality and the idea of stuff, stuff, stuff just makes me feel panicky! So imagine my surprise when by chapter three I could NOT put it down! I loved this novel on so many levels... the characters, the format and just the overall rawness of the story! The subject of hoarding is a very difficult disease for people to understand, but LJ did it in a realistic ...more
Suzanne
Jun 04, 2016 Suzanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had the indulgent experience of reading this Jewell of a book in one day. A rainy Saturday with no commitments. Well none I wanted to face, put it that way!

This story really delved into every level of one family's relationships. Layer upon layer upon layer. A family to love and root for, too, but on the other hand, also to grab by the shoulders and shake violently some sense into!

I'd been eyeing this book for a couple of years at my library, always looking on the shelf and always being in the
...more
Sharon
Nov 04, 2014 Sharon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a fabulous,fabulous read. I honestly LOVED this book and I could not put it down.
This story is about the Bird family. Lorelei is married to Colin and they have four children, Megan, Bethan, and twins, Rory and Rhys.
One Easter weekend tragedy strikes the Bird family which in time starts to tear the family apart. As time passes the children grow up and start to go their separate ways.
It seems that things will never be the same for this family since that day and even Colin falls out of with Lo
...more
Patrice Hoffman
Aug 16, 2014 Patrice Hoffman rated it really liked it
Where to start, is the question of the day. I haven't quite decided so this review might be a little all over the place. The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell follows the Bird family through the years, alluding to why they are all so estranged then climaxing to the devastating day that caused such a huge rift in each of their lives. That is the basic plot. I don't want to give too much away because it really is a wonderful, insightful journey to take with the family your own. So I'll try not to ...more
Phrynne
May 07, 2016 Phrynne rated it really liked it
Lisa Jewell writes well which made this an easy book to read. It is also a light read because she tries to cover so many social issues in the one story that she is not able to delve deeply into any of them and merely skims over them all. All of the characters are damaged in some way,none of them are especially likable and yet the story is compulsive reading, a bit like watching a car crash. The ending was reasonably realistic and wrapped things up in a fairly optimistic way. I guess I will not a ...more
Margitte


'You can paint it all the colors your want, as long as it is black' - Henry Ford.

I concluded this read, admittedly skipping four predictable, dreary chapters somewhere in the middle. The summarizing chapters at the end caught me up with the tedious events I have anyway skipped in an effort to save my own sanity.

Having read so many depressing, 'soul-intoxicating' books lately, I simply could not endure another one as hard as I tried. This one was the extreme mother of them all! For now at least
...more
Connie
This was both a disturbing and wonderful read all in one story. I have not read Jewell before but will be on the lookout for more. Thank you to NetGalley for the chance to read this in exchange for a review.

The reader is introduced to the warm yet somewhat quirky Bird family while celebrating the Easter Holiday. The story then changes tone with a tragedy that changes the dynamics of each family member and contributes to their future lives and choices.We grow up with each of the younger members
...more
Jen
Mar 07, 2016 Jen rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club
This was a great read that reminded me just how dysfunctional most families are. It's just a tipping of the scale to go from one extreme to another. Easter is a precious holiday to Lorelei and her family; until one year, a terrible tragedy strikes which changes each of them. Their reactions vary but at the centre of the story is Lorelei's hoarding issue and how the family comes undone and how they try to deal with it. Secrets are finally unearthed; relationships begin to repair; and the healing ...more
Anna
What a tragic story. What a beautiful story. It's centres around the Bird family - mum Lorelei, dad Colin and their four children, Megan, Bethan, Rory and Rhys; all six will play a significant role.

Set partly in the present-day and partly in the past, the book spans thirty years. The first flashback takes us to the sunny Easter Sunday of 1981, the picturesque garden of their Cotswold cottage full of love, laughter, fun and foil-covered chocolate eggs; an idyllic scene. In the present-day, circu
...more
Dana
Oct 23, 2014 Dana rated it it was amazing
Read this book if you think your family is dysfunctional. I guarantee that this book will make your family look positively bland in comparison.I could not put down this obsessive read. It was fascinating to read about a family dealing with the aftermath of a mother with a hording disorder. Like many people, I have watched the popular hoarding reality show "Buried Alive" but I never truly understood how deep the rabbit hole really went for people suffering from this affliction.

When I told my moth
...more
Jeannie
Jan 11, 2015 Jeannie rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
"I love other people's families," he said. "They always make me feel better about my own."

I didn't like this one as much as I thought I would. This book is about a very dysfunctional family and parts of it were hard to read. It did keep me reading to the end to find out what happened and I loved some of the characters.
I can see why others liked it but it will not be a favorite of mine.
Carol (StarAngel's Reviews) Allen
Book– The House We Grew Up In
Author– Lisa Jewell
Publication Date– August 12, 2014
Genre– Chick Lit
Type– Stand-Alone
Cliffhanger- No
Rating– 3 3/4 out of 5 Stars

Complimentary Copy generously provided by Atria Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
My Thoughts - Story
I’m conflicted about this story…I found it so hard to get through, constantly putting the book down but then wanting to find out what happens next in the Bird family.
So many problems in this family…so much angst…so many di
...more
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Aug 13, 2014 Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews rated it really liked it

Four children then three, traditional chocolate-Easter-egg hunts where you had to save the foil wrappings, a tidy house and then a very cluttered one.

The Bird family was loving but very eccentric with Lorelei, the mother, being the oddest of all and who kept a secret that made her hold onto things.

Colin her husband re-installed the wall in their once duplex house and lived next door to his wife, Megan turned out to be a neat freak, Beth never left home until she was 30 because she thought her m
...more
Carole
Jun 04, 2015 Carole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Almost 5 stars!!

The writing is excellent. Characters come to life. I can picture free spirited, Lorelei, the hippy, and her family. She is a hoarder, they are dysfunctional. Tragedy strikes on Easter Sunday, and the family is scarred. There are very unusual relationships in this family, and betrayals. There is quite a lot of swearing, but once again, I love the characters so much, I let it go. This isn't for everyone, but I love quirky stories, and I loved this one! At times I sat with my mouth
...more
Carol Brill
Dec 07, 2014 Carol Brill rated it really liked it
The cast of finely crafted, sympathetic, damaged, and at times, infuriating characters reeled me in. There was a stretch in the middle that felt a little slow and I wanted more to happen. It picked up for the last 80 or so pages when I could not put it down.
Lorelie especially is a well developed, unique character. She frequently frustrated me, as I imagine someone like her would in real life.
The pain and sadness from family secrets felt realistic.
I rate this between 3.5 and 4.
Michelle
Feb 01, 2016 Michelle rated it it was amazing
Gorgeously rendered book of family dysfunction. This starts out fairly innocuous but soon the knots are unraveled. Loved all the characters despite being very glad none of them are in my family. Heartfelt and heartbreaking. Loved this one.
Myrna
Apr 20, 2015 Myrna rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle-ebook
The House We Grew Up In is a family saga revolving around the Bird family in a Cotswold village.

The cotswolds photo england-1.jpg

Yes, this book is about hoarding but also touches on guilt, grief, secrets, complicated relationships, forgiveness, and acceptance. This novel is full of sad, disturbing situations and characters but I have to admit, I could not put this book down. Check it out if you like twisted family dramas.
Judy Collins
A special thank you to Atria Books and Netgalley for an advanced reading copy, in exchange for an honest review.

Wow, Lisa Jewell's THE HOUSE WE GREW UP IN, is a poignant and powerful bittersweet story of a family experiencing loss and love!

This was my first book by the talented UK author, Lisa Jewell, and so look forward to adding more of her other books to my “must read” list.

The gripping novel goes back and forth between present and past day, covering a span of thirty years, from the Easter
...more
Kristie
Apr 26, 2015 Kristie rated it really liked it
Shelves: chick_lit, 2013, netgalley
This is a story about the Bird family and all their dysfunction. It's about how a family can fall apart and come back together again. I really enjoyed following this story, although I could not relate to the characters. However, I expected a bit more from the ending. Don't get me wrong. It's a perfectly fine ending. I just felt as though it was just there, a little too "neat little bow" and somehow I wanted something more. I wanted the family to work for it more, to work through the issues. ...more
Trish at Between My Lines
May 21, 2015 Trish at Between My Lines rated it really liked it
Shelves: bought, audio
One night while debating what to use my audible credit on, I asked my twitter friends for an audiobook recommendation and this is the book that loads of them named. I was cynical, a book about a hoarder? That doesn’t sound like anything I’d choose to pick up but these guys know their books! It was a WINNER!

My Thoughts on the Narration of The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell:

I thought Susan Bennett had an enjoyable voice to listen to. Her phrasing and accents kept me interested and I love how a
...more
Cleo Bannister
Nov 04, 2014 Cleo Bannister rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourite-2013
I switched on my kindle with eager anticipation to read the latest offering from Lisa Jewell; there is a very special feeling when you just know from reading the very first words that what lies ahead is 400 pages of pure enjoyment.

The book tells the story of the Bird family who lived in a beautiful house in a Cotswold village. The family comprised a mother Lorelei, a father Colin and four children; two girls followed by twin boys, and on Easter Sunday they had an Easter Egg Hunt in the garden. I
...more
Nicolle
Nov 04, 2014 Nicolle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The fool proof way of knowing whether a book is good or not is asking 'how many hours went by without me noticing while engrossed in this book?' And the answer in this case is about six then I had my tea then probably another five hours! This book for me only gained momentum, there was never a lull or a part which I wanted to skip, it just kept getting better and better. The more I read the more I wanted to know.

There are many books out there about family life, but none like this that I have co
...more
Jessica
Jan 01, 2015 Jessica rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I'm surprised by how much I enjoyed this book, though I did have to stop halfway through in order to clean my entire apartment from floor to ceiling.
Rebecca
Nov 04, 2014 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are two reasons why I wanted to read this particular book.

1. It’s Lisa Jewell and I have read and loved all of her books.
2. It’s about the Bird family…my last name is Bird.

It’s a story told over 30 years, from 1981 to 2011. The story of the Bird family. There are chapters that look back over that time, enlightening us on events that have led to the point where Meg finds herself in 2011. On the outside they’re a regular family, two parents, four children, but as the story unfolds we see tha
...more
Tanya (Girl Plus Books)
I have a feeling of deja vu or maybe it's more like What the heck happened to one of my favorite authors? A couple weeks ago it was Saving Grace by Jane Green (who up until recently was an auto-buy author for me). And now Lisa Jewell, as well? What happened to the charm from Thirtynothing and Vince & Joy and 31 Dream Street? Even The Making of Us and The Truth About Melody Browne, while dealing with dealing with more serious subject matter, retained the same warm, likeability factor that I h ...more
Camie
Nov 23, 2014 Camie rated it really liked it
The four Bird children have a seemingly idyllic childhood growing up in a sun filled Cotswold cottage with their unassuming father and free spirited bohemian mother Lorelei, who steals the show. Finding beauty in even small things and wanting to hold on to them for their memory producing moments, Lorelei's problem with collecting precious things escalates after one fateful Easter day when something goes terribly awry. This book is hard to describe in a short paragraph. The characters are all ...more
Melanie
Nov 03, 2014 Melanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The House We Grew Up In takes place over a period of thirty years. From Easter Sunday of 1981 with the Bird children enjoying an Egg Hunt in their garden, carefully planned by their Mother until 2011, when something happens that brings the Bird children back to the house they grew up in, from all corners of the world. The story moves between the present day and previous years regularly, slowly piecing the lives of The Birds together.

Lorelei is a fan of colour, rainbows and memories, almost child
...more
Anne
Nov 03, 2014 Anne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of Lisa Jewell's main strengths is her ability to write something that is completely different and quite unexpected. The House We Grew Up In is a hard hitting, yet at the same time, a gentle story that is both shocking and moving and has taken a place in my favourite books of the year list.

The story begins as Megan and her teenage daughter return to the house that Megan grew up in. The house that her mother Lorelei spent her last lonely years in, surrounded by her things - randomly purchased
...more
Liz Barnsley
Meet the Bird Family
All four children have an idyllic childhood: a picture-book cottage in a country village, a warm, cosy kitchen filled with love and laughter, sun-drenched afternoons in a rambling garden.
But one Easter weekend a tragedy strikes the Bird family that is so devastating that, almost imperceptibly, it begins to tear them apart.

Admittedly I have never read a Lisa Jewell book before – which tends to make people frown at me – so when I received The House We Grew Up In as part of a Go
...more
Shannon Benson
Nov 04, 2014 Shannon Benson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I made the mistake of reading this late in the evening. This meant a nearly sleepless night as I just could not put the book down. Jewel weaves her way through each of the characters in such a way that you become obsessed (yikes!) with finding out how they each handle a family tragedy. Each character is quite humanly flawed and childlike even as their age passes into adulthood. The subject matter may give you the "ick" feeling at multiple points of the story, especially when you learn how each ...more
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Lisa was born in London in 1968. Her mother was a secretary and her father was a textile agent and she was brought up in the northernmost reaches of London with her two younger sisters. She was educated at a Catholic girls’ Grammar school in Finchley. After leaving school at sixteen she spent two years at Barnet College doing an arts foundation course and then two years at Epsom School of Art ...more
More about Lisa Jewell...

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“I know as well as you do that only the individual has the key to change themselves. It’s buried deep inside each and every one of us and although someone else can help us to find the key, we’re the only ones who can use it.” 7 likes
“she was only here because she didn’t have the guts to be anywhere else. Because she felt like the last guest at an unsuccessful party, too guilt-ridden to leave.” 2 likes
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