Book Reviews: The House we Grew up in and Everything I Never Told You

Everything I never told you: A Novel by Ng Celeste

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Good Reads blurb: Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet . . . So begins this debut novel about a mixed-race family living in 1970s Ohio and the tragedy that will either be their undoing or their salvation. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee; their middle daughter, a girl who inherited her mother’s bright blue eyes and her father’s jet-black hair. Her parents are determined that Lydia will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue—in Marilyn’s case that her daughter become a doctor rather than a homemaker, in James’s case that Lydia be popular at school, a girl with a busy social life and the center of every party.
When Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together tumbles into chaos, forcing them to confront the long-kept secrets that have been slowly pulling them apart.

my take: 3 out of 5. This is a very hard book to judge or comment on. I still don’t know whether i liked or hated it.  its an interesting concept, a very well written book and touches topics that are not usually handled especially in terms of family drama. But it was just a hard book to get through. Half the characters were insufferable and one cant really understand their actions, it just so annoying. Neither of the characters is likable enough  for you to really invest in their drama. The only mildly relatable character is the youngest daughter, but we dont get much from her.

The House we Grew up in by Lisa Jewell

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Good Reads blurb: Meet the Bird family. They live in a honey-colored house in a picture-perfect Cotswolds village, with rambling, unkempt gardens stretching beyond. Pragmatic Meg, dreamy Beth, and tow-headed twins Rory and Rhys all attend the village school and eat home-cooked meals together every night. Their father is a sweet gangly man named Colin, who still looks like a teenager with floppy hair and owlish, round-framed glasses. Their mother is a beautiful hippy named Lorelei, who exists entirely in the moment. And she makes every moment sparkle in her children’s lives.
Then one Easter weekend, tragedy comes to call. The event is so devastating that, almost imperceptibly, it begins to tear the family apart. Years pass as the children become adults, find new relationships, and develop their own separate lives. Soon it seems as though they’ve never been a family at all. But then something happens that calls them back to the house they grew up in — and to what really happened that Easter weekend so many years ago.
Told in gorgeous, insightful prose that delves deeply into the hearts and minds of its characters, The House We Grew Up In is the captivating story of one family’s desire to restore long-forgotten peace and to unearth the many secrets hidden within the nooks and crannies of home

my take: 4 out of 5  I am a huge fan of Lisa Jewell and this book does not disappoint. A great family story, and even in all their flaws the characters are relatable and endearing, you really want to root for them.  I could just see Lorelei be one of the main characters in Hoarding  or some other TLC show which made the character come much more to life. Its a quick book to read, not prize winning literature, but you will be entertained.as most of her books do.

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