Easter is a special time for the Bird family. Every year, Lorelei goes all out to make the day special for her family, with an egg hunt in the garden and a special meal with family and friends. But then tragedy strikes, and the family breaks apart. Easter is no longer a happy time for the entire family. Years later, Meg returns to clean out her mother's home after her death, and the story of how this family fell apart is finally revealed.
The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell is a family saga told from several different times and perspectives. We get to know Lorelei and Colin, and their children Meg, Beth, Rory and Rhys when they were young and happy. And we get to see them as they are now. Lorelei is an eccentric woman whose perpetual collecting eventually evolves into a severe hoarding problem. The impact this ~ and the tragedy that happens on that one Easter ~ has on each of her family members is what the story is all about.
I had mixed feelings about The House We Grew Up In. The novel was engaging and held my interest, but it started to feel like a soap opera by the time it was done. Every single character has some serious issue, and it felt like the author added in every unusual relationship she could think of: adultery, parent and child with the same lover, sleeping around, bisexual, incest and more. Any of these would have been fine, but to throw them all into one novel with a small number of characters was too much for me.
Overall, it was a unique look into hoarding and the impact it has on different people. If you enjoy family sagas, and don't mind a bit of over-the-top relationship drama, check out The House We Grew Up In. It's gotten some much higher reviews from others, so it's definitely worth a look.
My Rating: 3/5
This review was written based on a copy of The House We Grew Up In that I received from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This review includes Amazon Affiliate links.