The House We Grew Up In Summary & Study Guide

Lisa Jewell
This Study Guide consists of approximately 48 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The House We Grew Up In.
This section contains 516 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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The House We Grew Up In Summary & Study Guide Description

The House We Grew Up In Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell .

The House We Grew Up In, by Lisa Jewell, tells the story of the Bird family. From the exterior, the family appears to be a relatively happy, normal, suburban family. Lorelei and Colin are married and the parents of two daughters (Meg and Beth) and twin sons (Rory and Rhys). Each Easter, the family has an Easter egg hunt, which is one of Lorelei’s greatest pleasures in life. She loves the colorful foils on the chocolate eggs and the whimsy of the egg hunt. It appears to be a festive tradition until the Easter when Rhys goes into his bedroom while the rest of the family is downstairs and hangs himself. Rhys' suicide devastates the family, especially since he didn’t leave a note and the family is at a loss as to why he did it. While the family is in agreement that Rhys was a strange young man, the family begins to fracture following his death.

Lorelei and her neighbor Vicky build a strong friendship over time. The relationship continues to evolve into a romantic relationship, which leads to Lorelei and Colin getting a divorce. The cottage is divided into two residences; Colin lives on one side while Lorelei and Vicky live on the other. Meg moves out and into the city, eventually beginning a family of her own.

In reaction to her mother’s hoarding, Meg keeps a minimalist, immaculate home. Rory gets his girlfriend Kayleigh pregnant, and they move to a commune. The relationship is short lived leading Rory to move to Thailand, where he ends up working at a nightclub. Beth stays at home, feeling a strong sense of responsibility to staying there, even after Meg tries to convince her to move out. Beth begins an affair with Meg’s partner Bill. The affair comes to an end after Beth begins having panic attacks over the guilt she feels. Beth ends up following a man to Australia to try and start a new life, but the relationship is short lived.

Colin fosters a relationship with Kayleigh in order to remain close to his grandchild. Eventually, Colin and Kayleigh begin an affair, which infuriates Lorelei, who never liked Kayleigh from the start. Over time, Lorelei’s hoarding becomes extreme, leaving little room for people to maneuver through the house. Meg is revolted by the hoarding and it damages their relationship. Her hoarding also causes a rift in her relationship with Vicky. While they continue their relationship, Vicky moves out to provide a better environment for her children. When Vicky gets sick, Lorelei helps to care for her.

After Vicky dies from cancer, Lorelei feels isolated and alone and continues hoarding. She begins a correspondence relationship with Jim, a man she met online. She confides in him, ultimately revealing to him her darkest secrets, including what led Rhys to take his own life. Meg learns about Beth’s affair with Bill, which threatens to destroy their relationship permanently. After Lorelei unexpectedly dies, Meg is left to start sorting through the house, bringing the family together to finally heal.

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This section contains 516 words
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