Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Two-Family House” as Want to Read:
The Two-Family House
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Two-Family House

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  24,874 ratings  ·  2,790 reviews
Brooklyn, 1947: in the midst of a blizzard, in a two-family brownstone, two babies are born minutes apart to two women. They are sisters by marriage with an impenetrable bond forged before and during that dramatic night; but as the years progress, small cracks start to appear and their once deep friendship begins to unravel. No one knows why, and no one can stop it. One mi ...more
Hardcover, 290 pages
Published March 8th 2016 by St. Martin's Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Two-Family House, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Lynda Loigman That's such an interesting question! There is definitely sadness in the story, but it ends with redemption and a lot of forgiveness, so I hope that wh…moreThat's such an interesting question! There is definitely sadness in the story, but it ends with redemption and a lot of forgiveness, so I hope that when you are finished, you won't be sad. Thanks for asking!(less)
This question contains spoilers... (view spoiler)
Lynda Loigman Thank you for posting! The story was not inspired by anything that happened to me, but the setting for the story was inspired by stories my mother and…moreThank you for posting! The story was not inspired by anything that happened to me, but the setting for the story was inspired by stories my mother and aunts used to tell me - they grew up in a two-family house in Brooklyn and their cousins lived downstairs. I loved hearing those stories as a child, and I always knew that if I wrote a book, I would want to use that as the setting.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  24,874 ratings  ·  2,790 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Two-Family House
Elyse  Walters
Dec 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
I'm proud to be writing this review on the morning of my 37th wedding anniversary.

The two married couples in this novel are Rose and Mort & Helen and Abe.
They are Jewish couples like my husband and I.
I remember the stories my own mother told me of living in a 2- family house, upstairs/downstairs, before I was born. My mom wasn't happy with her situation...and I know I'd rather live in a tent with my husband than share the same building with his brother.
Reading this book made me very grateful
Dec 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I wish to thank Net Galley, St. Martin’s Press and Lynda Cohen Loigman for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an unbiased review.

Ohhhh, I really did not want this book to end. I absolutely loved it. The Two-Family House is the debut novel of Lynda Cohen Loigman. Ms. Loigman, may you have a very long career, as I want to read everything you write.

This is a 100% character-driven novel about the lives of the families of two brothers living on separate floors of the same house in Brooklyn, NY. It
Diane S ☔
Oct 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
3.5 From the very beginning we are privy to what actually happens, so even though that is no surprise the magic in the book is how some of these characters change due to this event. Very memorable characters and it was interesting to see different ways this was handled. Many of these characters were just so darn endearing and the author has such a natural way of writing this was a pleasure to read.

The atmosphere of the novel was spot on for the fifties, the closeness of families unlike now when
Jessica Jeffers
Oct 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
I always hate logging into Goodreads after I finish a book and finding that almost no one has written a negative review of something. I hate feeling like I'm the only one or the first one to dislike something. But this book genuinely frustrated and disappointed me on a lot of levels. I might have actually given up on it, except that I had chosen it for a trip to Philadelphia for Mother's Day and I didn't have anything else to read.

This is a pretty standard "family secrets" novel, about two Jewi
Veronica ⭐️
Jun 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: a, 2016
The Two-Family House is a story of two brothers, Abe and Mort Berman. Abe lives upstairs with his wife and four sons while Mort lives downstairs with his wife and three daughters. The brothers have very similar lives. They both have loving wives and both work as part owners of the box manufacturing company their father founded. There the similarity ends. Abe is jovial and readily shows affection to all, doesn’t hold a grudge and finds forgiveness comes easy to him. Mort is morose and socially in ...more
Mar 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Love is always forgiving.”

The main reasons I felt compelled to give The Two-Family House a try was thanks to the promise of Jewish families, friendships between women, pregnancy, and so much more being the center in this family saga.

Brooklyn, 1947: In the midst of a blizzard, in a two-family brownstone, two babies are born, minutes apart. The mothers are sisters by marriage: dutiful, quiet Rose, who wants nothing more than to please her difficult husband; and warm, generous Helen, the exhausted
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
I am afraid that The Two-Family House by Lynda Cohen Loigman just did nothing for me.

The premise was interesting, but it was also rather obvious what had happened. That's okay, I can work with that as long as the book keeps me interested, which this failed to do. The first third I found interesting, but from there on it began to flag to the point where I just wanted it to be over.

I listened to this on audio, perhaps it may have been a better read than a listen. Rose's constant whining irritated
Feb 24, 2016 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars

A Touching story about two families living in Brooklyn in 1947. Its the sort of good old fashioned story that you just want to curl up on the couch with.

I really enjoyed this debut novel by Lynda Cohen Loigman. I listened to this one on audible and the narrator was excellent and I loved putting on my headphones and stepping into the lives of Abe, Mort, Helen and Rose and their families. And I really did feel like I was a fly on the wall in The Two family house in Brooklyn as the writin
Terrie Robinson
"The Two-Family House" by Lynda Cohen Loigman is such a beautiful story!

It's 1947 in a Two-Family Brownstone in Brooklyn, New York.

Abe & Helen live upstairs with their four sons. Both fun, loving and involved parents. All driven by Abe's outgoing and welcoming nature!

Mort and Rose live downstairs with their three daughters. Both distant, distracted and indifferent parents. All driven by Mort's unemotional and unwelcoming nature!

Even though Abe and Mort are brothers, they're relationship is no
Mar 11, 2016 rated it it was ok
Oy vey. This is a fershtinkiner.

I interrupted my reading of this novel to pick up three other books, books with big plot lines and multiple characters, and never lost the thread of this one. What that illustrates is the utter boredom I felt reading this novel and also its thorough predictability. The author’s use of foretelling is so blatant that I eventually started guessing just to entertain myself. Oh, that guy is eating a lamb chop and his wife says he needs to watch his health, there’s goin
When I was a teeny tiny toddler we used to live in a multiple story house with my mother's sister living on the floor above us. The ground floor was where my grandparents had their mom and pop convenience shop. Before the building was sold, there was a falling out of which I still don't know (or don't remember) the details.
To this day I haven't really warmed up to my cousins eventhough we were too young to understand things.

In The Two-Family House two brothers live with their respective wives an
Helene Jeppesen
Dec 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
4.5/5 stars.
This book was pretty damn near perfection! It deals with two families, two babies who were born on the same day and one house in Brooklyn. Both families live in this same house because the husbands are related and the wives have become close friends.
I love books that are written from several perspectives and this was one of them. Even though the chapters were on the shorter side, I enjoyed getting a personal insight into so many of the characters, and I was amused to see how differ
Dec 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Compulsively readable debut about two brothers, their wives, and their families sharing a two-family house in Brooklyn just after World War II. Loigman draws in readers with a pitch perfect description of time and place, as well as uniquely drawn characters who are all-too human.

This book is an excellent choice for those who enjoy family dramas. Loigman deftly explores the relationships between the brothers, husbands and wives, parents and children, cousins, aunts/uncles with their nieces/nephe
Mar 22, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't blown away by this novel. I enjoyed the first half a lot better than the second. The last parts of the story seemed to move too quickly for me and the ending felt a bit neat and unrealistic. I really liked the development of the characters which helped me to empathize with the feelings each character was dealing with. The choices these women made and the resulting conflict was very well played out. I am left wondering if the choices had been different would things have still turned out ...more
RoseMary Achey
Mar 15, 2016 rated it it was ok
Great premise but poorly executed. The characters were one dimensional and the story line beyond predictable. I finished this book...but if I had other books to read, I would have put this one aside.
May 1947, Rose and Mort live downstairs from Helen and Abe, in a two-family house in Brooklyn. Mort and Abe are brothers. Rose and Helen are very close as sister-in-laws, the best of friends, and are in and out of each other’s homes and lives frequently throughout the days. Rose and Mort have three fairly quiet girls, Abe and Helen have a houseful of four rambunctious boys.

Just as Rose is beginning to notice she’s not feeling well lately, Helen notices those same symptoms, and as luck has it, t
Feb 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Great characters. I have been sucked right in to this story
I loved listening to this story about two brothers and their families who lived in the one house... one family upstairs and one downstairs.
It was a roller coaster ride of the ups and downs in life and a secret the two mothers kept
Oct 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a really remarkable memorable read.

Anyone that loves a family drama book, family dysfunctional or just a plain ole moving gut wrenching moments should read this book, its full of emotions.

There are still some houses that home 2 families, one up, one down and of course you live in very close proximity of each other which isn't always easy. As we see in this case.

Both the husbands are brothers. They own a company too which means even more proximity.

What about they're wives?
Yes they are fri
This is an impressive debut novel which focuses on that trickiest of subjects - complex family dynamics and relationships over a considerable period of time. Helen and Rose are friends that share lives, bring up families and live in the same house. They are married to two brothers who are in business together.

After having a wonderful relationship, strains begin to appear between Helen and Rose due to decisions made. Secrets are revealed and heartbreak comes in the form of tragedy. Cultural norms
Jan 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I still can't believe THE TWO-FAMILY HOUSE is a debut novel. The characters are so real and believable, they feel as if they are people you know and really care about. They made me laugh and they made me cry and all the while I was holding my breath, afraid of what was going to come next. Secrets will be revealed and heartbreak comes along with tragedy which had me going through so many different emotions and feelings. Lynda Cohen Loigman sure knows how families work and she was spot on with the ...more
Mar 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Sometimes you can't predict what a person is capable of

I really enjoyed this debut novel. The first 30% was a bit slow, as the author tells you what will be happening in the opening chapter, and then proceeds share the build-up to this event with you. I personally think she should have left the opening chapter, as the first third of the book would have been much more suspenseful. The rest of the book is amazing, as you realize that the story is actually not about the event but about the conseque
Ann Marie (Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine)
I must admit that The Two-Family House surprised me in the end. It started off quite slowly. Initially, I found the writing to be clinical and I thought I knew just where it was going when I was 9% through. This all changed dramatically at about the 60% mark.

Rose and Helen are sisters-in-law living in the same Brooklyn brownstone. They have always been very close; more like sisters than in-laws. During a blizzard, while their husbands are out of town on a family business matter, they both go int
Thank you so so so much NetGalley, Lynda Cohen Loigman, and St. Martin's Press for the opportunity to read this exceptional story !

I almost always start with the positives, but I only have one critique that actually isn't so much of a'll I'm going to start there and then tell you all how much I loved this book.

Predictability. I figured out pretty quickly, and probably many readers will, exactly what happened that one night....the night you read about first from the per
Feb 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Told over a period from the 1940’s to the 1970’s, this is an absorbing, intelligent story of two related families living in a brownstone in Brooklyn. Although portions of the plot are somewhat predictable, that doesn’t detract in any way from the book. Lynda Loigman has such richly developed characters that the reader quickly becomes emotionally involved with them and the unfolding of their lives. Her understanding of families, and in this case, those that live and work in very close proximity, ...more
Sep 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
I won this as a Goodreads Giveaway
I enjoyed this character driven book. The story is set in 1950s Brooklyn. Two brothers and their families share a home. Abe and his wife Helen have all boys, and Mort and his wife Rose, all girls. They have babies on the same winter night, and the 2 become best of friends. I enjoyed the development of the characters, though it was hard to like Rose.
I'm already hoping this debut author will have another book out soon.
Nov 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. You know when you're reading a book and you don't want it to end? Yeah, this book was one of those times. ...more
Abe and Mort Berman are brothers who are as different as night and day. Abe is personable and gregarious. Mort is anti-social and acerbic. Together they run a company that makes cardboard boxes. When their father passed away they took over the business – much to Mort’s chagrin. He wanted to pursue his love of mathematics by going on to university – but his mother insisted that his math expertise was needed by Abe and the family business. Hence, they work together – and they live together in a tw ...more
Cindy Burnett
Jan 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
What a wonderful debut novel! The Two-Family House focuses on the choices we make and the potential repercussions. I had to read 30 or so pages before it hooked me, but after that I could not put the book down. The characters and the plot are well developed, and I did not want the story to end.

The story begins in 1947 in Brooklyn and focuses on two brothers, Abe and Mort, and their families. Abe and his family live upstairs, and Mort’s family resides on the first floor. Abe and his wife Helen ar
Sep 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was SO good! It is about two families in 1947 in Brooklyn, NY, that live in the same house, one family upstairs and one family downstairs. The husbands are brothers and are in business together. Both wives become pregnant and are due at the same time. One family already has 4 boys & would like a girl this time, and the other family has 3 girls & would like a boy this time (the husband especially wants a boy & is putting pressure on the wife -- like that's going to do any good!). So on a sno ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Bréfið
  • Dansarinn
  • The Last House on the Street
  • Sumar í París
  • Ljósið í djúpinu: Örlagasaga Rögnu Aðalsteinsdóttur á Laugabóli
  • Hvunndagshetjan: þrjár öruggar aðferðir til að eignast óskilgetin börn
  • Blóðrauður sjór
  • Næturskuggar (Forbidden Iceland, #3)
  • Náhvít jörð
  • Horfnar
  • Manneskjusaga
  • The Nature of Fragile Things
  • Baneitrað samband á Njálsgötunni
  • Farangur
  • 107 reykjavík
  • Dalalíf I: Æskuleikir og ástir
See similar books…
See top shelves…
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. Her debut novel, The Two-Family House, was a USA Today bestseller and a nominee for the Goodreads 2016 Choice Awards in Historical Fiction. Her second novel, The Wartime Sisters, was selected as a Woman's World Book Club pick and a Best Boo ...more

Articles featuring this book

Need another excuse to go to the bookstore this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
38 likes · 13 comments
“We always think our own grief is the worst—worse than everybody else’s. But the truth is, we never know for sure what the people around us are feeling.” 16 likes
“The daily dread of being judged, of being measured and found lacking in some way, no matter how small, was a burden she carried, compact and profound. It was a too-heavy purse, worn and comfortable on her shoulder, which she did not know the weight of until she set it down.” 5 likes
More quotes…