The House We Grew Up In: A Novel

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From the New York Times bestselling author of Then She Was Gone

OUR 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 it’s 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 children’s art, to her husband’s 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 county’s 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 in—to 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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More by Lisa Jewell

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The instant New York Times and #1 Sunday Times bestselling author of the “riveting thriller” (PopSugar) Then She Was Gone delivers another suspenseful page-turner about a shocking murder in a picturesque and well-to-do English town, perfect “for fans of Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train, and Luckiest Girl Alive” (Library Journal).

Melville Heights is one of the nicest neighborhoods in Bristol, England; home to doctors and lawyers and old-money academics. It’s not the sort of place where people are brutally murdered in their own kitchens. But it is the sort of place where everyone has a secret. And everyone is watching you.

As the headmaster credited with turning around the local school, Tom Fitzwilliam is beloved by one and all—including Joey Mullen, his new neighbor, who quickly develops an intense infatuation with this thoroughly charming yet unavailable man. Joey thinks her crush is a secret, but Tom’s teenaged son Freddie—a prodigy with aspirations of becoming a spy for MI5—excels in observing people and has witnessed Joey behaving strangely around his father.

One of Tom’s students, Jenna Tripp, also lives on the same street, and she’s not convinced her teacher is as squeaky clean as he seems. For one thing, he has taken a particular liking to her best friend and fellow classmate, and Jenna’s mother—whose mental health has admittedly been deteriorating in recent years—is convinced that Mr. Fitzwilliam is stalking her.

Meanwhile, twenty years earlier, a schoolgirl writes in her diary, charting her doomed obsession with a handsome young English teacher named Mr. Fitzwilliam…

In Lisa Jewell’s latest brilliant “bone-chilling suspense” (People) no one is who they seem—and everyone is hiding something. Who has been murdered—and who would have wanted one of their neighbors dead? As “Jewell teases out her twisty plot at just the right pace” (Booklist, starred review), you will be kept guessing until the startling revelation on the very last page.
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“An acutely observed family drama with bone-chilling suspense.” —People

“Jewell teases out her twisty plot at just the right pace, leaving readers on the edge of their seats. Her multilayered characters are sheer perfection, and even the most astute thriller reader won’t see where everything is going until the final threads are unknotted.” —Booklist, starred review

“Sharply written with twists and turns, Jewell’s latest will please fans of Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train, or Luckiest Girl Alive." —Library Journal

Ellie Mack was the perfect daughter. She was fifteen, the youngest of three. She was beloved by her parents, friends, and teachers. She and her boyfriend made a teenaged golden couple. She was days away from an idyllic post-exams summer vacation, with her whole life ahead of her.

And then she was gone.

Now, her mother Laurel Mack is trying to put her life back together. It’s been ten years since her daughter disappeared, seven years since her marriage ended, and only months since the last clue in Ellie’s case was unearthed. So when she meets an unexpectedly charming man in a café, no one is more surprised than Laurel at how quickly their flirtation develops into something deeper. Before she knows it, she’s meeting Floyd’s daughters—and his youngest, Poppy, takes Laurel’s breath away.

Because looking at Poppy is like looking at Ellie. And now, the unanswered questions she’s tried so hard to put to rest begin to haunt Laurel anew. Where did Ellie go? Did she really run away from home, as the police have long suspected, or was there a more sinister reason for her disappearance? Who is Floyd, really? And why does his daughter remind Laurel so viscerally of her own missing girl?
3.8
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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Aug 12, 2014
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Pages
400
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ISBN
9781476703015
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Family Life / General
Fiction / Thrillers / Suspense
Fiction / Women
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“An acutely observed family drama with bone-chilling suspense.” —People

“Jewell teases out her twisty plot at just the right pace, leaving readers on the edge of their seats. Her multilayered characters are sheer perfection, and even the most astute thriller reader won’t see where everything is going until the final threads are unknotted.” —Booklist, starred review

“Sharply written with twists and turns, Jewell’s latest will please fans of Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train, or Luckiest Girl Alive." —Library Journal

Ellie Mack was the perfect daughter. She was fifteen, the youngest of three. She was beloved by her parents, friends, and teachers. She and her boyfriend made a teenaged golden couple. She was days away from an idyllic post-exams summer vacation, with her whole life ahead of her.

And then she was gone.

Now, her mother Laurel Mack is trying to put her life back together. It’s been ten years since her daughter disappeared, seven years since her marriage ended, and only months since the last clue in Ellie’s case was unearthed. So when she meets an unexpectedly charming man in a café, no one is more surprised than Laurel at how quickly their flirtation develops into something deeper. Before she knows it, she’s meeting Floyd’s daughters—and his youngest, Poppy, takes Laurel’s breath away.

Because looking at Poppy is like looking at Ellie. And now, the unanswered questions she’s tried so hard to put to rest begin to haunt Laurel anew. Where did Ellie go? Did she really run away from home, as the police have long suspected, or was there a more sinister reason for her disappearance? Who is Floyd, really? And why does his daughter remind Laurel so viscerally of her own missing girl?
“McCreight creates a world that pulls us in completely and genuinely, with characters that can enrage, amuse, and fill us with empathy. It’s a thrilling novel.”—GILLIAN FLYNN, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Gone Girl

Motherhood hasn’t been easy for Molly Anderson, and the years since the loss of her second child have been a particular struggle. But six months after moving from New York City to sophisticated Ridgedale, New Jersey, she’s finally enjoying life again, as mother of a five-year-old daughter and fledgling arts reporter for the local paper. But this tenuous stability is threatened when the body of a newborn is found in the woods behind prestigious Ridgedale University and Molly is assigned the story. Over the objections of her increasingly concerned husband, Molly dives into reporting, determined to prove herself by uncovering the truth. What she finds is a decades-old trail of dark secrets that winds through every corner of the town.

Told from the perspectives of Molly; Barbara, wife of Ridgedale’s police chief, whose faltering son is unraveling her picture-perfect life; and a sixteen-year old high school dropout, Sandy, who is dealing with her wayward mother, Where They Found Her reveals that the tragic truth about what happened to the baby lies at the unexpected intersection of these three very different women’s lives. It is a taut and profoundly moving novel about mothers and daughters—the fierce bonds that unite them and the deceit that can drive them apart. But most of all it’s about the heartbreakingly high price of history. The past can be artfully denied, but never truly buried.

“I devoured Finding Jake. The tension is almost unbearable in this thriller-cum-character study as layer after layer of a father’s soul are revealed as reflected in the character of his missing son. Utterly engrossing.”—Alice LaPlante, New York Times bestselling author of Circle of Wives and Turn of Mind

Simon Connolly’s successful wife has gone to her law office each day, while he has stayed home to raise their children—Jake and Laney. He has tried to do the best for the kids. For sunny, outgoing Laney, it’s been easy. But Jake is different. He has always been on the quiet side, preferring the company of his small group of friends to popularity and organized sports. Now that his children are in high school, Simon should be able to relax, to worry less. He’s never given that chance.

On a warm November day, he receives a text: There has been a shooting at the high school.

Racing to the rendezvous point, Simon is forced to wait with scores of other anxious parents as one by one, they are reunited with their children. Their numbers dwindle, eventually leaving Simon alone. That is when he learns that Jake is the only child missing.

As his worst nightmare unfolds, Simon’s thoughts race. Where is Jake? What happened in those final moments? Jake could not have done this—or could he? Did Simon miss the signs? As rumors begin to ricochet, amplified by an invasive media and the fear swallowing their community, Simon must find answers.

But there is only one way to understand what has happened . . . he must find Jake.

“Harrowing.” —New York Times Book Review

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