ASK Musings

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June 2023



The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell

Written by , Posted in Reviews

Four Stars

Best for:
Fans of books about families with serious challenges to overcome and issues to resolve.

In a nutshell:
Lorelei loves Easter. Until her youngest son dies by suicide one Easter Sunday, pushing a family already on the brink over the edge.

Worth quoting:
N/A (Audio book)

Why I chose it:
I’ve enjoyed her mystery / thrillers and saw reviews that said this one was a little different.

What it left me feeling:

CN: Suicide, ill mental health (specifically hoarding)

Lorelei has four children with her husband Colin – Meghan, Beth, Rory and Rhys. We learn early on that Lorelei has a love of Easter – it’s her holiday, and she loves hiding easter eggs. We also get an early glimpse into what eventually devolves into serious mental illness – her need to gather up the foil wrappers from the candy for some amorphous future need.

Using her usual style of jumping back and forth through time and providing us the perspectives of multiple characters, Jewell tells a story of a family torn apart by the suicide of the youngest child Rhys. How a family can drift apart, how new bonds can form, and how betrayals don’t have to be the final word in a relationship.

Jewell does a lovely job of showing the mental illness challenges of Lorelei as she struggles with her inability to discard or dispose of anything. How it impact her relationships with her children, her husband, and her later partner. It’s heartbreaking to read but I appreciate how Jewell shows how it impacts loved ones while also caring for the main person who is harmed by it: Lorelei herself.

As other reviews note, this is not the same murder mystery thriller one finds in Jewell’s other books, but it still feels like a Jewell book, and it is well worth reading.

Recommend to a Friend / Keep / Donate it / Toss it:
Donate it.

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