The House We Grew Up In


All four 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 that, almost imperceptibly, it begins to tear them apart.

The years pass and the children become adults and begin to develop their own quite separate lives. Soon it’s almost as though they’ve never been a family at all.

Almost. But not quite.

Because something has happened that will call them home, back to the house they grew up in – and to what really happened that Easter weekend all those years ago.

My opinion: I’m just going to come out and say it, I loved this book. This was the first book I have read by Lisa Jewell and I will definitely be keeping an eye out for more of her books.

The story is centred around various members of the Bird family, who despite their seemingly idyllic childhood are all very dysfunctional in very different ways. These include a hoarding mother, responsibility shirking brother, OCD sister and the other sister seeking acceptance wherever she can.

I loved the way this book was written and could really imagine the house as it filled up with stuff over the years and gradually got darker and dirtier as the weeks, months and years went by. Each members story intertwines and stretches until eventually we end up right where we started and fill in the gaps at the beginning of the story that hadn’t quite made sense. At the end, I think there is a feel of closure, not only for the characters, but also for the readers.

Each character is highly unlikeable in their own way, yet have been so well crafted by the author that they find a little place in your heart and you can’t help but care for them. A fantastically well written book and I look forward to reading more by the author.

My rating: A wonderful five stars

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review