Posted in Book Review, Books I have read, Five Star Reads

The House We Grew Up In – Lisa Jewell

Perfect Storytelling 5 *
Women’s Fiction

I switched on my kindle with eager anticipation to read the latest offering from Lisa Jewell; there is a very special feeling when you just know from reading the very first words that what lies ahead is 400 pages of pure enjoyment.

The book tells the story of the Bird family who lived in a beautiful house in a Cotswold village. The family comprised a mother Lorelei, a father Colin and four children; two girls followed by twin boys, and on Easter Sunday they had an Easter Egg Hunt in the garden. In 1981 the eldest daughter Megan is 10 and along with her cousins celebrates one such idyllic day but as the reader already knows that in April 2011 Megan has turned up at the beautiful house with her eldest daughter who declares `This is the worst house I have ever seen’

The reader finds out what happened in the intervening years with flashbacks to Easter’s between 1981 and 2011, as well as being privy to Lorelei’s emails to her friend which started in November 2010. In short a great deal happens to change everyone; there are many issues covered including bereavement, mental illness, suicide, adultery as well as the big one, relationships. All are sensitively handled, cleverly illustrating the different ways the characters deal with events both at the time and how they feel about them years later. All these events meant that the book was a real page turner where I found myself wondering what else could happen to the lovely family I first read about.

I think the reason why I love Lisa Jewell’s books so much is her characters, always real and just like real people my opinion and allegiance can change as you find out more about them. This has to be my favourite of all time, something I believe I stated after reading her last book, Before I Met You! I would suggest this to anyone who loves a good story. This is the type of story which leaves you bereft that it is finished

Other Books by Lisa Jewell
Before I Met You (19 Jul 2012)
The Making of Us (12 May 2011)
After the Party (15 Dec 2010)
The Truth About Melody Browne (15 Dec 2010)
31 Dream Street (3 Apr 2008)
Vince and Joy: The Love Story of a Lifetime (4 Aug 2005)
A Friend of the Family (4 Aug 2005)
One-hit Wonder (25 Apr 2003)
Thirtynothing (7 Sep 2000)
Ralph’s Party (6 May 1999)

The Making of Us

Before I Met You


A book lover who clearly has issues as obsessed with crime despite leading a respectable life

13 thoughts on “The House We Grew Up In – Lisa Jewell

  1. Hi, Thanks for visiting and following my blog. I liked Lisa Jewell’s early books but haven’t read her for a while, but after reading your review I’ll certainly revisit her.


  2. I had seen a couple of Lisa Jewell’s books on the shelf and wondered about them, but now I’m convinced. Have kindle, will purchase. πŸ™‚


      1. Hi – I just wanted to stop by again and let you know that following this post, I bought the book and have recently finished reading it. It was fantastic – I really loved reading it, one of those which I found myself wanting to get back to when I wasn’t reading it. It also reminded me a lot of ‘Tigers in Red Weather’ funnily enough – themes of a sunny outer layer, with more sinister mysteries lying under the surface. And the layers being peeled slowly away, via a time-jumping narrative. Really interesting way of writing – if you liked this one, I would definitely recommend Tigers in Red Weather – let me know if you ever decide to review it – would be interested to hear your thoughts πŸ™‚


  3. Hi L, I’m so glad you enjoyed the book so much. Lisa Jewell really showcases her talents with the layers in her stories, she is definitely one of those authors who you just want to immerse yourself in the latest story. She has another two books scheduled too (this summer and 2015!) I think you’ve now convinced me that I must get around to reading Tigers in Red Weather πŸ™‚


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