Summary

The Bird children have an idyllic childhood: a picture-book cottage in a country village, a warm, cosy kitchen filled with love and laughter, sun-drenched afternoons in a rambling garden. But one Easter weekend a tragedy strikes the Bird family that is so devastating it tears them apart.
Many years later something will call them home, back to the house they grew up in - and to what really happened that Easter weekend all those years ago.
©2013 Lisa Jewell (P)2013 W F Howes Ltd
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Critic reviews

"Poignant, heart-wrenching & beautifully told, the author's best tale yet.” ( Sun)
“Beautiful, moving and unputdownable” Jojo Moyes on Before I Met You)
“Jewell has moved up a gear into David Nicholl’s territory” ( Bookseller on The Making of Us)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By AmyAlice on 02-12-13

the house we grew up in

This is a tapestry of a family who love each other but cant deal with their feelings when tragedy strikes. Each member of the family loses their way, distancing themselves from those who want to help them.

The whole story centres around the mother, Lorelei who starts off bohemian and then descends into eccentricity. Each of her children deal with this in their own ways but never very well, even her husband is lost to her.

The story moves fast, is well read and although it covers sad and poignant moments it is actually quite humourous in parts. The characters are distinct and sympathetic.

An enjoyable listen.

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12 of 12 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Cita on 15-12-13

Thought provoking and beautifully crafted.

Where does The House We Grew Up In rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

A beautifully written story that is very high in the list of audio books I have listened to. In one respect it is about the ups and downs of family life. However, it has a darker side linked to the impact of a family tragedy on all members of the family. It is an example of a book that helps the reader to understand many aspects of life. Each member of the Bird family lives with the feeling that they are responsible for the death of a family member and this impacts on their behaviour and personal happiness. I found the story gave me an insight into why people hoard everything they have reason to value - this was very enlightening. The somewhat Bohemian mother, Lorelie, allows possessions to take over her life. Her friends and family find this so hard to cope with that she eventually dies alone. We learn about her through her internet letters to Jim who she has never met. The relationship they establish is very moving and is like a meeting of two kindred spirits.

What does Karina Fernandez bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

The book is exceptionally well read and as such brings the characters to life. This is very helpful in unpicking the feelings and emotions of Lorelie in her letters to Jim.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

A very emotional book, full of situations and feelings with which one can easily empathise.
The events are very believable and it is impossible to listen to the narration without being moved. As such there are amusing events and descriptions as well as the tragic and the ugly.

Any additional comments?

This book has made a very strong impact on me. I enjoyed it as a piece of literature but also as a social statement.

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By K. maurer on 29-05-14

A very insightful look into the mind of a hoarder

Any additional comments?

This was a great story told from a variety of viewpoints- from the daughters- to the husband to the lover. I found the insight into the mind of a hoarder to be very eye opening. The way they view possessions as the actual memories instead of the memories most of us hold in our minds. The thought of parting with these possessions is like erasing a memory itself. A very good read.

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Theodore on 04-09-15

Excellent!

Where does The House We Grew Up In rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Well, first off, one of the best narrated books I have ever listened to. Karina Fernandez is amazing! As is Lisa Jewell. This sort of story is my favorite - complex characters dealing with big problems, told with heart and humor and insight. I found this author because JoJo Moyes recommended her and this is my favorite Lisa Jewell book. I can see why not everyone would love it, but I certainly did.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Lorelei, the mother. Her character is written with such brutal truth but also with love.

What does Karina Fernandez bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I did read the book and I loved it. However, I tend to read fast and miss some things. Karina narrates so well that it is a joy to listen to her - and her different accents are very believable. When I listened to the book, I experienced more depth with each character.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

so many, but Beth's insights toward the end and her reconciliation with Meg probably the most.

Any additional comments?

listen. try the sample. hopefully you will love it.

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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