The House We Called Home

· Sold by HarperCollins UK
8 reviews

About this ebook

Irresistible, feel-good fiction from Top 10 bestselling author Jenny Oliver...

***Shortlisted for The Golsboro Books Contemporary Romantic Novel Award***

Bestselling author Debbie Johnson says Jenny Oliver writes about ‘love, humour, family and hope – the perfect ingredients for a summer read'.

Escape with Jenny Oliver’s next uplifting read, The Summer We Ran Away, available June 2020!!

The house where Stella and her sister Amy grew up never changes – the red front door, the breath-taking view over the Cornish coast, her parents in their usual spots on the sofa. Except this summer, things feel a little different...

Stella’s father is nowhere to be seen, yet her mother – in suspiciously new Per Una jeans – seems curiously unfazed by his absence, and more eager to talk about her mysterious dog-walking buddy Mitch.

Stella’s sister Amy has returned home with a new boyfriend she can barely stand and a secret to hide, and Stella’s husband Jack has something he wants to get off his chest too. Even Frank Sinatra, the dog, has a guilty air about him.
This summer, change is in the air for the Whitethorns...

Warm, funny and gloriously feel-good, this is the perfect summer read for fans of Veronica Henry and Milly Johnson.

Praise for Jenny Oliver:

‘Love, humour, family and hope – the perfect ingredients for a summer read' Debbie Johnson

‘This book made me want to fly to Spain and dance on the beach with a glass of sangria in my hand. The perfect summer read’ Sarah Morgan

‘Brilliantly written, this is packed full of humour and there is a wonderful thread of love... A perfect holiday read’ The Sun

‘Dramatic and fun!’ My Weekly

‘Heartwarming, funny and wonderfully observed, The House We Called Home explores one family's wake-up call with wit and wisdom. Jenny Oliver's characters are so real and relatable they could just walk off the page’ Fiona Harper

‘Jenny Oliver does a brilliant job’ Woman

Ratings and reviews

8 reviews
Midge Odonnell
February 26, 2019
3.5 Stars Once I got around 50 pages in to the book I started to enjoy it, but it does take perseverance to get that far. There is a lot of information thrown at us initially and, to be perfectly honest, all of the characters are initially painted as being pretty much a complete bunch of horrors. The kind of people you cross the road to avoid in real life. Gloria(?) and Graham, the matriarch and patriarch of the family, have a stale marriage - she has a wandering eye and he just wanders off. Stella and Jack and their 2 children are, respectively, a narcissist and a fantasist. Amy is childlike and entitled and has got herself in to a bit of a pickle with a one night stand. There is some character progression through the book, fortunately, but I never really warmed to any of the characters or the situation they found themselves in, with the exception of Amy. Once you realise the reasons why she is like she is it starts to make sense and at least by the end of the book she is starting to shoulder the burden of being responsible for herself. I'm not entirely sure where the tagline "The magical, laugh out loud..." comes from though. It is sheer hyperbole as there is nothing magical about watching families fracture and then try to rebuild - and it is very definitely try. I came away with the feeling that Gloria(?) and Graham may reconcile and that Amy was sorted but I give Stella and Jack 6 months - tops - before they snide each other to death. There is a little bit of humour but certainly not enough to make you snort let alone laugh out loud. Most of what little there is comes more from denigration of one character by another, whilst reflecting family life pretty accurately it doesn't work as well on the page because those sort of asides need body language to balance them out, in writing they just seem offensive. That said I did enjoy the pacing of the story and finding out the history of the Whitethorn sisters. I did feel it was more of a kitchen sink drama-lite than a comedy though, fortunately I like that kind of book too. It does raise some interesting points about how families perceive each other and how it is all to easy to slot in to familiar childhood roles when everyone gets together.
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About the author

Jenny Oliver wrote her first book on holiday when she was ten years old. Illustrated with cut-out supermodels from her sister's Vogue, it was an epic, sweeping love story not so loosely based Dynasty. Since then Jenny has gone on to get an English degree and a job in publishing that's taught her what it takes to write a novel (without the help of the supermodels).

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