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

The Yellow House: A Memoir

4.44  ·  Rating details ·  79 ratings  ·  28 reviews
In 1961, Sarah M. Broom's mother Ivory Mae bought a shotgun house in the then-promising neighborhood of New Orleans East and built her world inside of it. It was the height of the Space Race and the neighborhood was home to a major NASA plant--the postwar optimism seemed assured. Widowed, Ivory Mae remarried Sarah's father Simon Broom; their combined family would eventuall ...more
Hardcover, 376 pages
Published August 13th 2019 by Grove 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 Yellow House, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Yellow House

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.44  · 
Rating details
 ·  79 ratings  ·  28 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Nancy Oakes

I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hence a big fat five stars, and were there more I would give those as well. It is beyond excellent, poignant, funny at times but always very down to earth and real; it is a book that deserves any and all awards that may come its way in the future. The Yellow House is genuinely that good.

just read the blog post.

Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review.

Well cutting to the chase I really didn't like this one. I was all ready to fall in love with a nonfiction story where the author talks about her family living in New Orleans East. A place that I have never heard about. Instead the big jumps around a lot and Broom at times talks about her family as if they were these people she doesn't know. I kept getting confused everytime she talked about Simon Broom
Stacey A.  Prose and Palate
Say the words “New Orleans” to people and images of Mardi Gras, beignets, jazz, voodoo, second lines, eclectic art and Saints football immediately spring to mind. It is a city that is visited by millions of tourists a year and has been the musical and literary muse for countless artists and writers. Past the hustle and bustle of Jackson Square and the Cathedral in the famous French Quarter, heading out East on I-10, is a part of New Orleans that doesn’t make the travel brochures and tour bus sto ...more
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This memoir is about a family, a city (New Orleans) and a storm (Katrina). A closer look reveals an additional story about race, class, and identity. Closer still exposes how the US consistently fails and marginalizes poor black families. Katrina is simply one large link in a rusty, poorly maintained, unwieldy chain that is Black America. This is a phenomenal and artfully written book. The author deftly tells her family’s story which is deeply embedded in New Orleans, their neighborhood, and “Th ...more
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
On one level, “The Yellow House” by Sarah M. Broom is the story of one house in New Orleans East and the family who made it their home for over 40 years. But it is so much more—the story of the city of New Orleans and the ways it both burrows into its residents’ souls and betrays them and their loyalty over and over again; the story of the toll poverty and racism takes on black Americans; the story of Katrina and climate change and the catastrophic results of poor urban planning. “Remembering is ...more
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

From the publisher, as I do not regurgitate the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it.

In 1961, Sarah M. Broom’s mother Ivory Mae bought a shotgun house in the then-promising neighbourhood of New Orleans East and built her world inside of it. It was the height of the Space Race and the neighbourhood was home to a major NASA plant—the postwar optimism seemed assured. Widowed, I
Lisa Taddeo
Jul 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Masterful. Large-scale and granular at once. Quietly stunning prose. Wow.
Melissa Dee
Aug 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Yellow House is the central character in this book. The house Sarah Broom grew up in, was destroyed in Katrina, and before and afterwards continues to be a central pole in her life. Broom’s large and complex family with its multi-generational brothers, sisters, aunties and cousins, lived in New Orleans East. Largely abandoned by the city government in favor of the tourist drawing French Quarter, her neighborhood was disproportionately impacted by Katrina. While her family physically survived ...more
Never Without a Book™
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved every bit of this story, Its engrossing and funny. I promise you won’t want to put this one down. It’s a must read.
Martha Toll
Here's my review for NPR Books
Lauren Christensen
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A New Orleans memoir, a Katrina memoir, but most importantly an American story that’s as urgent and universal as it is intimate and lyrical.
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An absolute masterpiece, and one of my favorite books of 2019. Sarah M. Broom takes huge events and ideas--Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent displacement of the Black residents of New Orleans, what "family" and "home" mean, how places become significant in our lives--and combines them with an intimate, personal story. There's so much here that it's difficult to describe succinctly, but you should read this. It's moving and heartbreaking and beautiful and essential.
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-reads
New Orleans was the first place where I ever really lived on my own, away from parents and dorms, free to explore and set down baby roots. We moved back north two months before Katrina, which Broom calls the Water, which revealed so many more layers about the city and its inhabitants' value and place. Broom focuses her story on New Orleans East, a part of the city I only (rarely) passed over on the highway, and uncovers even more layers that still reinforce the overall "feeling" of the city (whi ...more
Mar 30, 2019 rated it liked it
I recieved a digital copy from Netgalley for my honest review. The writing was really good though I had a hard time getting into this story. A more in depth revue coming soon.
Carole Knoles
Jul 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Phew! This book that I was so anticipating was a bit of hard going for me. I like many, many others love New Orleans and have deep admiration for it’s people. I visit as often as I can. I own a wonderful library of books of all types relating to that city. Of course, as a visitor, one is not able to invite a stranger to sit right down and tell you all about your life growing up in this fabulous place. The Yellow House was a opportunity to hear such a story. Let me start with the hard stuff first ...more
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Reading this book and carrying it around (to New Orleans in April where everything was too close to the surface to read it) and all over New York (where I experienced Katrina and—as @sarah_m_broom calls it—the Water from afar) was like spending an inordinate amount of time in deep conversation with a new friend. A friend whom you realize you share an enormous history thanks to geography, circumstance, tragedy, governmental and environmental disaster. All that and a very complicated relationship ...more
Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, summer-2019
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher, Grove Atlantic, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions are my own.

The Yellow House opens with an image of a man, the author’s brother, sitting in a wooden chair at a wooden table on a patch of land in New Orleans East where a house once stood. It ends with this man, Carl, cutting the grass, still the memory keeper. In between, Sarah M Broom weaves an intricate history of a family, a house, a neighborhood, a city, a country, and a globe. Begi
Virginia McGee Butler
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
The beginning of The Yellow House: A Memoir takes the reader on a New Orleans map trip to find the house where the author grew up. Like someone beside you on the journey, author Sarah Broom points out landmarks and tells what happened there on the way. Even as the book has barely started, the reader is drawn into her words and feelings, anticipating all that is to come.

Ivory Mae Broom, Sarah’s mother and a central figure in this memoir, bought a shotgun house in 1961 in what she saw as a nice n
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
"The Yellow House" tells the story of a literal yellow house in New Orleans East. Author Sarah M Broom grew up in the shotgun house that was owned by her mother and became her mother's thirteenth and most unruly child.
The first part of the book tells the story of Sarah's family and how they came to live in the yellow house. The second half of the book tells of her search for identity and adventure as she tried to escape her home and eventually returned to the city where it resided.
I appreciated
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this memoir, which tells the story of a family's home in New Orleans over a period of decades before and after it is ruined by Hurricane Katrina. Unfortunately, the threads of the story felt too loosely tied together from the beginning. When Sarah Broom shows up in her own book (after she has introduced her grandmother's and mother's generations), the book grows more lively. Even then, however, the story feels disjointed. Broom writes about going to college but not how she got f ...more
May 09, 2019 rated it liked it
I found the story very interesting but it was extremely hard for me to get into it. I picked it and gave up immediately several times before I forced myself to finish it. This is an ambitious book that covers generations worth of a family history in New Orleans, one of America's most fascinating cities. Behind the story of the Yellow House and its inhabitants, is a story about persistence, loyalty, and strength. I would recommend this book only to those who have a specific interest in New Orlean ...more
Janilyn Kocher
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An interesting read about the youngest member of a large family whose lives focused around a house her mother owned for five decades. The author delves into her family history, which is fascinating reading. However, it's easy to sometimes get lost with all of the names and who is who. Over the years the house became delapitated and eventually had to be demolished after Hurricane Katrina. The house had been a focal point of the family for many years, but although it's now gone, the real anchor is ...more
Aug 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early August.

Quite epic, well-versed and rounded story of a large family from New Orleans during the 20th century. Yet, you get the distinct feeling that this is like an enhanced photo album with inside stories and events that you’d share between cousins and siblings, and, while they’d totally get it and understand, an outside party might just nod along, not fully connected to it all.
Lawanna Jackson
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you
Aug 13, 2019 marked it as to-read
LA Times, August 11, 2019
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I would give this ten stars if I could.
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In this memoir, which is written in a somewhat free association manner, Sarah M. Broom explores her family, her own diverse life, and the city that will never let her go--New Orleans. Even when the Water wrecks the yellow house her mother bought in 1961, Ms. Broom discovers she has to return to New Orleans and to what remains of her childhood home and neighborhood.

It’s been difficult trying to figure out why I liked this memoir so much, since often I don’t like free association type memoirs and
rated it it was amazing
Aug 12, 2019
Holly Genovese
rated it it was amazing
Aug 18, 2019
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »