Bobbi Woods's Reviews > The Irresistible Henry House

The Irresistible Henry House by Lisa Grunwald
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Apr 04, 11

Read in March, 2011

This book was definitely different from a plot standpoint but not very compelling. A college in Pennsylvania trains women to become good housewives and mothers by borrowing babies from the local orphanage to use as "practice babies." The underlying theme is that when one starts out as an orphan living in a "practice house" and is handled by so many different people, one grows up having "attachment" issues. Henry House is the main character--he begins his life in the practice house and is eventually adopted by the house headmistress. Henry is a likable enough character, but I could not stop hoping this book would just end.
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message 1: by Dick (new)

Dick Gullickson Bobbi,

Apparently this is based on a true story. I heard a radio feature about this on NPR and they interviewed several of the training mothers who took this course as well as some of the kids who had been raised with this experience. All of the mothers and kids spoke positively and seemed a little surprised that this practice has been subsequently perceived as a little strange.


Bobbi Woods Funny--I heard the same story on NPR. Apparently, so did a few of my book club buddies, which prompted them to choose the book. I think the concept is intriguing enough but this book just fell a little flat. We will be discussing it this Thursday evening and I am anxious to see if others feel the same.

FYI, we saw "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" tonight at Arena Stage and it was really a great performance. Jane's assessment was correct, though--it was very depressing and stressful. But I guess that means the acting was superb!


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