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The House We Grew Up In
The House We Grew Up In: A Novel | Lisa Jewell
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER ? USA TODAY BESTSELLER ? WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLEROUR HOUSE. OUR FAMILY. OUR SECRETS. Meet the picture-perfect Bird family: pragmatic Meg, dreamy Beth, and towheaded twins Rory and Rhys, one an adventurous troublemaker, the other his slighter, more sensitive counterpart. Their father is a sweet, gangly man, but its their beautiful, free-spirited mother Lorelei who spins at the center. In those early years, Lorelei tries to freeze time by filling their simple brick house with precious mementos. Easter egg foils are her favorite. Craft supplies, too. She hangs all of the childrens art, to her husbands chagrin. Then one Easter weekend, a tragedy so devastating occurs that, almost imperceptibly, it begins to tear the family apart. Years pass and the children have become adults, while Lorelei has become the countys worst hoarder. She has alienated her husband and children and has been living as a recluse. But then something happens that beckons the Bird family back to the house they grew up into finally understand the events of that long-ago Easter weekend and to unearth the many secrets hidden within the nooks and crannies of home.
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review
DreeMorris
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Pickpick

Pick with reservations—I don‘t know that I would enjoy this book on paper, but it was easy to follow on audio. After a family tragedy one Easter, the Bird family drifts apart, as each reacts differently. Divorce, affairs, hoarding, fleeing the country, avoiding discussion—they do it all. Decades later the surviving family members are together again, finally talking about the events of that past Easter. #audiobook #hoopladigital

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crazyspine
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Pickpick

#bfcr4 ✔ in
2.5/2 hrs of exercise
Finished first book of The Challenge @wanderinglynn @jmtrivera @Honeybeegirl @bookandcat

bookandcat Great job! 2mo
wanderinglynn Way to go! 🙌 A great first week! 2mo
jmtrivera Great week! 2mo
52 likes1 stack add4 comments
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cathysaid
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Pickpick

Classic Jewell. Lots of family drama and salacious secrets. A mother‘s inability to control her hoarding affects every member of the family as they grow and change over the years. Entertaining #audiobook brain candy. 3/5 ⭐️

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pigeonsandcrows
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Mehso-so

Well, I didn't bail, and I can't quite pan this book, but neither can I in good faith entirely recommend it, so I'll settle on so-so. Jewell certainly captured the dysfunction of the Birds vividly, but I can't say to what end- Entertainment? Emotional catharsis? Neither of those terms describes my experience as a reader. Although well-written, this novel left me partially revolted and partially just incredibly irritated. Anyone else?

CrowCAH Welcome to the Litsy family!!! 📚 3mo
Susannah Yes, me too. How could so many things happen to one family? I mean, I guess we‘re supposed to assume that all that happened to each person was because of the dysfunction at the head of the family, but it was just TOO MUCH. It felt a little like how you described A Little Life. Tragedy porn. 3mo
pigeonsandcrows @Susannah Right? I like a little scandal in my fiction, but it was like these people were so pathetic and wallowing that they couldn't even commit a convincing sinful act, they just sat around passively violating every taboo of how decent people should act towards one another. And then it's all going to be OK because Beth has a baby? That's the last thing that character needed. Spoiler alert for life: a baby does not fix everything. 🙄 3mo
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Susannah Not to mention the forgiveness did not resolve all the interrelationship stuff that they‘ll continue to have to experience with each other. Also ... see next comment for spoiler. 3mo
Susannah Was it weird that Beth moved into the house? Cleaned and refreshed as it was, how did they not all have hoarding PTSD? 3mo
pigeonsandcrows @Susannah I found virtually every part of the forced happy ending chapter creepy, including Beth moving into the house. I also found the big reveal of the incestuous kiss between Lorelei and Rhys explained absolutely nothing to me and was just unnecessary. Did you feel like that detail advanced your understanding of events surrounding his suicide? 3mo
Susannah No. I was baffled by that reveal. When I read that the book‘s topics included rape, I honestly thought Rhys was going to have raped Beth or Lorelei. Not that the act had to be so heinous to drive him to suicide, but his entire character felt underdeveloped. It was like the author had to hurry because she had a lot more trauma to pack in. 3mo
pigeonsandcrows @Susannah It's probably good that I'm venting my spleen now in case one of the other girls loves it! IMHO Rhys killing himself because he was depressed or awkward was tragedy and trauma enough without upping the ante by including that reveal. It was so unnecessary. The author just had to pack in more at every turn. Don't even get me started on the Bill and Beth affair subplot and how that's handled. Grrrr. 3mo
Susannah No, no, get started! I was pretty appalled by Bill and Beth, but I thought the dad and Kayleigh relationship was kind of sweet. Just me? 🙄 I definitely thought Kayleigh was reasonable to call out Beth when Beth threw the temper tantrum at Vicky‘s funeral. That said, again, I couldn‘t believe suddenly it was ok to bring Kayleigh to the house at the end (though I realize that Whatshisname wanted to meet Tia). (edited) 3mo
pigeonsandcrows @Susannah I just thought the entire Bill and Beth affair was so ugly and long lived, so potentially devastating to Meg, and then it's all resolved in the end with a wave of the hand. "Oh, he just slept with my sister for years because she was the part of me I wouldn't let him get to. Well, we just decided to be happy so it's all awesome now, Bill and I will just help Beth raise her baby, no biggie." Huh? 3mo
pigeonsandcrows @Susannah I thought Bill was a morally repugnant sleaze. Kayleigh may have had a chip on her shoulder, but so far as I could see, there was no moral reason she and Colin weren't free to do as they pleased in terms of having a relationship. The Rory-Colin-Kayleigh love triangle was left unresolved in the end, and I'm not sure Kayleigh was going to despise the sisters any less, so the ending was a cop out IMHO. 3mo
pigeonsandcrows @Susannah I mean, what was the take home message here? Everything is forgivable and the important thing is for families to stick together no matter how everyone behaves? Their big failure was just not loving each other enough before, and now all their relationships are going to be great since Lorelei is dead and the trash is out of the house??? Was that your take on it? 3mo
Susannah Simply put, yes. I got that cleaning the trash out of the house was symbolic, but how can we believe that they won‘t all just start building up another bunch of petty and not-so-petty resentments? And I totally agree that Meg‘s vague acceptance of Bill and Beth‘s affair did not work AT ALL. Like, what part of Meg could Bill not get to that, um, Beth kept between her two large breasts? 🤦‍♀️ That was just a massive rationalization on Meg‘s part. 3mo
Susannah And I have known too many estrangements in my own family to know that you don‘t just magically get over them. (edited) 3mo
pigeonsandcrows @Susannah Ditto, my family does repressed trauma, narcissistic parents, and estrangement super well and I found this ending a bit hard to swallow. 😉 (edited) 3mo
pigeonsandcrows @Susannah I love how we're just producing a string of spoilers here. I mean, yes, super yuck, Bill just wanted Beth for sex, and Beth apparently didn't even like the sex but was just too passive and underdeveloped as a human being to say no? She finally felt validated in her existence because Meg's partner wanted to sleep with her? And Meg's response to finding all of this out was to kick him out for a while, then force him to marry her? (edited) 3mo
Susannah I know. It‘s just icky. Funny how Colin and Kayleigh are portrayed as questionable (like, I got a judgmental vibe from the writer, not just for the sake of the story), but the Beth-Bill story is treated as much more normal. WTH? 3mo
Susannah Also Bill cheated on Meg! With her sister! How is this not a permanent dealbreaker?! 3mo
Susannah Spoiler, spoiler, spoiler 🤣 3mo
pigeonsandcrows @Susannah I couldn't agree more with your comments. I feel the level of betrayal Bill and Beth exhibited was such that Meg realistically would've decided they were both dead to her. At a minimum, I would have expected her to have grave reservations about having either of them be her closest allies and confidantes, but she's portrayed as just taking it in stride and forgiving and forgetting and remaining enmeshed with both of them, which Huh? (edited) 3mo
Susannah Because, la, la, la, family and forgiveness, the end. That‘s not how any family I know works. 3mo
pigeonsandcrows @Susannah I despised the character of Lorelei. Jewell did a great job portraying a narcissistic parent who values her little rituals of love more than she values the feelings of her actual children, but I also felt like she wanted us to feel sympathetic towards her- ugh. Did you think the emails were meant to make us understand her motivations, or were they more of a way of advancing the story by throwing in reveals and plot summaries? 3mo
pigeonsandcrows @Susannah I'll stop commenting now as I know we're supposed to discuss on Saturday. I don't want to run out of steam. Although thankfully I don't get the sense anyone else really *loved* this book, especially since Jennifer didn't remember the ending! 3mo
Susannah The latter. I hated those letters. I thought they were just exposition, and they took up way too much space. 3mo
41 likes1 stack add24 comments
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Susannah
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I‘m not too keen on the heaps upon heaps of drama in this book, but wow, is it readable. I‘ve burned through 300 pages in the last three days.

#bookclub #currentlyreading

jillrhudy Sometimes heaps and heaps of drama is all that keeps me awake long enough to get through a chapter or two! 2mo
33 likes1 comment
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pigeonsandcrows
This post contains spoilers
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Like so much of this book, I just don't know whether to laugh at the absurdity or just feel really sad and disgusted.

Susannah Both. Or rather, all. 3mo
3 likes1 comment
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pigeonsandcrows
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Reading this one for my book club. It's an exploration of the struggles of the adult children in the Bird family to launch into the world in the face of parental mental illness and pathological grief. It hits a bit close to home in terms of my own family, and I don't think I'd continue reading it if it weren't for my book club.

swishandflick Welcome to Litsy! 😄👏🏽 3mo
Librarybelle Welcome to Litsy! 3mo
Emilymdxn I hope you get on with the book okay! Welcome to the community 🥰 3mo
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TCLinrow Welcome to Litsy 😊🎉🎊 3mo
AmyK1 Welcome to Litsy! 3mo
RaimeyGallant Welcome! 3mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Welcome to Litsy!! 3mo
wanderinglynn Welcome to Litsy! 👋🏻 3mo
Cweeeevs Welcome to Litsy! 😄 3mo
VioletBramble Welcome to Litsy! 3mo
Melissa_J Welcome to Litsy from a fellow Canuck 😊 3mo
Reading_in_the_meadow So I totally read it as paranormal mental health. Parental mental health makes much more sense! 3mo
Reading_in_the_meadow *mental illness. I'm going back to sleep now 😂 3mo
pigeonsandcrows @Melissa_J Thanks! 🙂 In the interest of full disclosure, I am originally from the States, but my family and I are living in Alberta for work. That being said, which part of the country are you in, if I may ask? 3mo
pigeonsandcrows @Reading_in_the_meadow A book focusing on paranormal mental health and illness sounds right up my alley! Ha! 😁 3mo
Reading_in_the_meadow @pigeonsandcrows 😂😂😂 I have to admit, I was confused, but also very curious! 3mo
LitsyWelcomeWagon Welcome to Litsy! Here are links to #Litsytips: http://bit.ly/litsytips and #LitsyHowTo videos: goo.gl/UrCpoU. There‘s lots of fun things to do: book exchanges, buddy reads, photo challenges and more! @litsywelcomewagon 3mo
Eggs Welcome to Litsy 🤗 2mo
Nute Welcome to Litsy! It‘s a warm and friendly community. I know that you will enjoy yourself here. I‘m looking forward to getting to know you!🙂 A book that hits close to home can be a tough read, be kind to yourself!💕 2mo
pigeonsandcrows @Nute Thank you so much! That was definitely a tough read for me.
2mo
67 likes4 stack adds21 comments
review
Nitpickyabouttrains
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Pickpick

A family suffers a tragedy and the ripples are felt decades later. The kids grow up and apart. Their parents make choices they don‘t understand. But eventually they all have to deal with their issues.

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Peaslady
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Pickpick

I've not read a Lisa Jewel since I was a teenager and the book I did read was a trashy chick lit that didn't inspire me to read more. But someone I trust lent me their copy of this book and I've got to admit I really enjoyed it. It's still an easy read, but it's well written for its genre and a gripping and unusual story. It flits between past and present, exploring the lives of a family whose mother is a hoarder from their different perspectives.

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VanessaCW
Pickpick

An excellent read about a dysfunctional family featuring hoarding. I really loved this one. I enjoy family dramas and this one hit the spot for me. I‘ve never read a book by Lisa Jewell before, either, so I will definitely be reading more. “You are all pebbles from the same beach. Look after each other.” Good advice!

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VanessaCW
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I‘ve just started this one. It‘s been on Mt TBR for a while. I‘m reading it along with my face-to-face book group. Enjoying it so far.

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christinehk
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I was intrigued from the beginning, however, the last 1/4 of the novel could have been condensed. The characters almost got “annoying” to read about - it‘s a very dysfunctional and convoluted family - although cleverly written.

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Aswenson
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I know a book has hooked me when I can read it on the elliptical. 😅 🏃🏻‍♀️ Jewell is an expert at building tension and suspense!

SilversReviews This was good...ENJOY!! 10mo
47 likes1 comment
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AKwaz
Pickpick

“Wherever you find yourselves, you are all pebbles from the same beach. Look after each other.” I really enjoyed this one - cringe-worthy at times, but a nice message that after all the twists and turns in life you can find your way home to your family.

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ShookBelf
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Pickpick

Families - you can't live with them, you can't live without them. That is, in a nutshell, what this story is all about. Despite a mother with mental health issues and a peculiar brother, whose suicide is the crux around which the rest of the story revolves, it is essentially an exploration of the depth of guilt, animosity but above all else, love shared by family members.
'You are all pebbles from the same beach
4🌟 for audiobook version

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Laru79
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Pickpick

This was a really interesting insight into the family of a hoarder - I had to read as I pack up my house for moving (very slowly as we don‘t have a move date yet). I am by no means a hoarder but I am very sentimental and do like to keep objects which mean something to me. BUT I have managed to get rid of some stuff, so I‘m not like Lorelei yet!! Jewell‘s books are always well written and this was no exception!

24 likes2 stack adds
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Bren912
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Pickpick

Families are all different and certain events either pull you closer or pull you apart. This story does both. It‘s sad and sweet and haunting. Each member reacts differently and each has their own level of grief, growth and light bulb moments. It‘s a fast read with a long tug at your heart. #sisters

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Bren912
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“It was none of us...it was all of us”. When deciding on whose fault it is when families unravel...

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Bren912
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Lorelei calls her own kettle what it is. Black.

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Kaye
House We Grew Up in | Lisa Jewell
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House We Grew Up In
Howatch, Susan
Happy Days
Hummingbird CAKE 🍰. ( never had it but it sure sounds tasty , except I‘d use regular frosting instead of cream cheese 😝 ).

#manicmonday #letterh. @JoScho

JoScho Hummingbird cake is amazing! 1y
Kaye I bet it tastes really good still warm from the oven. Even without frosting. It sounds a bit like banana nut bread with some added flavors tossed in. @JoScho 1y
JoScho @Kaye yep! I would put it in the carrot cake family I think. 1y
See All 6 Comments
Stacy_31 I kind of wondered how you would work cake into the letter “H.” 😂😂 1y
Kaye I‘m going to try cake for every letter. So far I got them all but I may run into a snag sooner or later. @Stacy_31 1y
Stacy_31 @kaye I‘ve noticed that, and look forward to reading all of the kinds of cake you come up with. 😊 1y
80 likes6 comments
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Bren912
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This book is apparently about hoarding and how it came about. I think my grandma may have been one, albeit organized. And i know exactly why it happened to her. 😔. So I‘m either spending a quiet Saturday night reading or end up cleaning.

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Andrew65
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Pickpick

I‘m not sure I can say I ‘enjoyed‘ this book as it was sad on so many levels 😢, & certainly not one to read when you are feeling low! That said thought it was an excellent read if sad! 😰 It tells the journey of a family through its trials and tribulations that rock the family following a key tragic event. I was pleased to see that it ended on a positive note but what a journey. That said it was very well written and played with all my emotions.

Cathythoughts Great review... looking forward to my first Lisa Jewel soon 1y
Anovelobsession Thanks for the review!! I‘m definitely going to pick it up, 1y
Andrew65 @Anovelobsession Hope you enjoy it, I do tend to enjoy her books but not sure I‘d put this as her best. (edited) 1y
72 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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Andrew65
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Will be coming away from my #MakeMeReadIt Challenge temporarily whilst I read this book as it is due back at the library in 2 days and doubtless will have people waiting on a reservation list! Do tend to love books written by Lisa Jewell.

MelissaSue81 This looks good! I‘m contemplating taking a break from my #makemereadit books as well to get through some library books 1y
Andrew65 @MelissaSue81 Those due dates come round so quickly, and no guarantee that you can get them out again. Lisa Jewell books are always interesting and yet to be disappointed by one. 1y
Anovelobsession I‘ve had this one on my TBR for a looooong time. Let us know how you like it! 1y
See All 6 Comments
Andrew65 @Anovelobsession Will do 👍 1y
Cathythoughts Just got my first Lisa Jewel yesterday, I hope I like her 1y
Andrew65 @Cathythoughts I‘ve read 6 of hers and enjoyed them all, but not read that one. Hope you enjoy it. (edited) 1y
71 likes5 stack adds6 comments
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Purrfectpages
House We Grew Up in | Lisa Jewell
Mehso-so

I know this is a winner in many people‘s eyes, but I had a hard time connecting with this book. In the beginning I struggled keeping all the characters straight, and the back and forth of the timeline didn‘t help much. But once I got a handle on the characters and story, I had a hard time liking any of them. As the book wore on I felt more sympathetic to everyone, but the way things were brushed under the carpet, so to speak, irked me.

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Purrfectpages
House We Grew Up in | Lisa Jewell
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A non-Litsy friend recommended this one to me, so I‘ll check it out next!

SilversReviews It wasn‘t bad....it actually was interesting. 1y
JacqMac I just finished it and I really liked it. 1y
48 likes1 stack add2 comments
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JacqMac
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Pickpick

Sometimes a book comes into your life at just the right time. This book, at this time, for me, was perfect. I give it all the stars! And now I have a book hangover.

EchoLogical Always a good feeling! 1y
Andrew65 Love Lisa Jewell! 1y
Kaye Great book 1y
See All 8 Comments
JacqMac @Andrew65 She is a new favourite of mine. I have put more on hold at the library. 1y
JacqMac @EchoLogical It really is. I love it when it happens. 1y
JacqMac @Kaye It was mush better than I expected. 1y
Andrew65 @JacqMac I have this one on hold at the library. 1y
JacqMac @Andrew65 👍 It‘s worth the wait. 1y
58 likes2 stack adds8 comments
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JacqMac
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It‘s finally cooling off a little. It looks like it might thunder soon. I‘m trying to play catch up with all these library holds while it‘s still nice outside. The holds just keep coming!

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Eggs
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Pickpick

I've read other Lisa jewell books and this isn't my favorite but still a pick for me. This family put the 'fun' in dysfunction! Is there a family without some dysfunction?? No it's a continuum; because of our vulnerabilities and humanness. The thread running through this story circles around Easter Sunday. Enjoy!

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Eggs
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#readingresolutions #coverlove @Jess7
How do I love thee, cover? Because I'm on the cover: 🍳 of course

rubyslippersreads 😂🥚😂 2y
AmyG Ha! 2y
Briget66 Lol too cute! 2y
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TheReadingMermaid That's great 😂😂😂 2y
Eggs Thanks for the sweet and happy comments 🥚💛🥚💞 @rubyslippersreads @AmyG @Briget66 @TheReadingMermaid 2y
Reggie Lololololol, this was great. I smiled so big right now. Lol 2y
Eggs @Nerdgirl_Ms_Sorrells @Reggie Thanks ❣️Glad I could give you a smile or a chuckle 😊😊 2y
87 likes8 comments
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seglitis
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Pickpick

🌟🌟🌟 Loved this one. I really enjoy the way Lisa writes. This one being a favorite so far. Tough story. Kept me interested until the very end. About to start the Girls in the Garden, can't wait!

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Anovelobsession
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I flew home from Alaska to surprise my husband for the holiday weekend (and of course to see my animals 🤗). This is the extent of the plans for three days - not veer to far from here. This is Sammie with her Houston summer haircut!

JoScho Sammie is so cute! Enjoy your weekend!! 2y
Smrloomis Sooo cute! Hope the weekend is great! 2y
batsy Adorable! 😍🐶 2y
LauraBrook What a cutie! Enjoy your long weekend at home!!! 2y
Nute Love for Sammie. You can tell that she missed you. 2y
63 likes5 comments
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Jhullie
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Pickpick

A tragic story of a woman who‘s decline into hoarding goes largely unnoticed by her supposedly close family. A lot of the time while I was reading this I wanted to shake her children, yell into their self-absorbed faces, and demand that they help the poor woman. Not my favourite of Lisa Jewell‘s books but still worthy of a pick.

Alfrazier21 Beautiful picture!! 2y
tammysue Lovely photo 😊 2y
monkeygirlsmama Love your review/synopsis. Stacking 2y
Jhullie @Alfrazier21 @whatshesreadingnow thank you. The book centers around various Easters quite a bit so I went with a theme. 2y
44 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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Kaye
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The only one that comes to mind is The House We Grew Up In. Near the beginning, it starts with an Easter Egg Hunt when the kids are little.
Nope, just Sunday to us. Too old for egg hunts..
I like live plants so you can plant them in the yard.
Short stories, ok, but I prefer one long story.

#weekendchat. @CSeydel

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Jhullie
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First of all let me say that this is NOT my house. I am a collector of books but they all have a home and a shelf. I can see how hoarders become out of control though and as a theme in this book it is very powerfully explained.

GondorGirl My future MiL has strong hoarding tenancies. Between the junk and the twenty-five cats I can't go anywhere near her house. It's very sad, because she's a really nice lady and we want her to be a part of our lives... 2y
Jhullie @GondorGirl mine is the same. No cats though. Sadly she thinks all her junk is valuable and won‘t consider parting with any of it. 2y
55 likes5 stack adds2 comments
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Jhullie
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I look forward to my daily commute so that I can hear some more. Part of me loves the story and part of me wants to slap a certain character...hard!

Kaye I loved this book ! 2y
46 likes1 comment
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HardcoverHarlot
Pickpick

Omg yaaasssssss I loved this book. It was exactly what I needed to read now, as I‘ve read a string of merely okay books in a row. This was excellent.

johnnie_cakes I need to pick up her earlier stuff. I loved I Found You, and her upcoming one, Then She Was Gone. 2y
HardcoverHarlot @johnnie_cakes yes! I immediately added all of her other stuff to my TBR list 2y
27 likes2 comments
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HardcoverHarlot
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I‘ve had this ebook on hold since December and it finally checked out to me this morning!!! Loving it so far.

Bakingbookworm It‘s a wonderful read and my favourite book by this author. Enjoy! 2y
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Ncostell
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Pickpick

This was an engrossing book, a family saga dealing with many issues, especially hoarding and its effects on each family member. The power of secrets, regret and guilt is examined as well. Much of the book takes place on Easter Sunday over many years, so not really a Christmas book but I finally got it off hold from the library!

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Bostonmomx2
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A little reading this morning before we venture out and battle the shopping crowds 😩 #elvistheboston #bostonterrier #dogsoflitsy

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Bostonmomx2
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Next up. I only have 2 (or 3?) more to finish my #goodreadsgoal for 2017. I won‘t be posting my goal results or year in Goodreads or whatever it is until I‘ve read my last book of the year 😊

RiotMom This was such a good read! 2y
Kaye I loved this book ♥️✨♥️✨ 2y
Bostonmomx2 @RiotMom @Kaye that‘s good to hear. I put it on hold so long ago, I‘d completely forgotten why lol 2y
Suetara I love Lisa Jewell, and this was a great book. 2y
64 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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bookoflastpages
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#currentlyreading a recommendation from a patron

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CleverGirl
Pickpick

I enjoyed this one! I was a little disappointed in the Big Reveal, but I like a book about families and houses so that made up for it. I keep forgetting to take pictures!

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chemicalpink
Mehso-so

Overall pretty okay. Interesting for sure, but most of the characters were just so awful I didn't care about them or their relationships.

Bostonmomx2 I‘m 72% finished and just keeping...this family is a serious bag of crap. I don‘t like any of them....yet I keep reading 😂 2y
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chemicalpink
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Jerdencon
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Flying through this one.... really good so far!

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chemicalpink
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There is so much wrong with this character.

Bostonmomx2 Right? She‘s a disaster! 2y
3 likes1 comment
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Mindyrecycles
House We Grew Up in | Lisa Jewell
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Pickpick

This narrator is outstanding. #audiobookstogo #backtoreading

Cortg Good to know. I just read my first Lisa Jewell book and really enjoyed it. I'll have to try this audio! 2y
75 likes1 comment
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chemicalpink
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The human memory is such a cruel, frustrating thing, the way is just discards things without asking permission, precious things.

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Mccall0113
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😂😂😂

61 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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kellock
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Pickpick

I loved this book. I adore family saga novels full of revelations and wonderfully different characters and their interactions. Thus is what I should have read first on my holiday!