The House That Made Us by Alice Cavanagh
Review by Kelly Lacey
I have often said that when you purchase a house along with the keys it should come with a journal or book filled with the life of the house.
The book is all about a house called Sunnyside and those that lived within her walls. We get to experience the house through a photograph album.
I had to say I was not prepared for the effect the book would have on me. Whilst that overused expression of a rollercoaster of emotions would fit my time with the book. It just isn’t a big enough example. A space shuttle to mars might fit better. I felt emotionally spent in the best way at the end of the book. I have read many books but none that had me having high highs and soul-destroying lows chapter after chapter.
You should prepare yourself to meet a clique of characters that are heart stay ones and that you won’t want to leave.
Mac and Marie are newlyweds that move into Sunnyside. With no idea how life will turn out and we get to go on the journey with them. I don’t want to give any spoilers so I am being very careful. I loved the story of the hamster and it had me laughing out loud. This down-to-earth and hardworking family will feel like home to you.
The writing is so clever and it was really hard to predict what was going to happen. Which was totally refreshing and a welcome change. Each chapter leaves you with questions that all get answered. A creative and brilliant idea re the photograph album. We have piles of albums that stop abruptly in the late ’90s when the age of digital media was born. I used to love going to John Menzies to pick up the photos with my mum.
The book will make you reflect on your own life and family. The people that helped draw the map of your life and of course the home that your heart resides in. It made me hug my parents a little harder and be really proud of the life we have had so far. It hasn’t always been easy but the love has been in abundance.
I won’t ever forget this book and now alongside The Book Thief, I will be telling all my friends to read it. A perfect read for a book club. You could really learn a lot about people and their own lives.
I am jealous that you get to meet them for the first time. Please give them my love.
All the stars!
One Day meets Up: The House That Made Us is a love story – and a life story – told through a series of photographs and based on a true story
When Mac and Marie marry and find a home of their own, Mac takes a snap of themselves outside their newbuild bungalow, the garden bare and the paint on the front door still wet. It becomes a tradition, this snap, and slowly the photographs build into an album of a fifty-year partnership.
Every year they take a photo and though things change around them – the garden matures, the fashions change, they grow older – the one constant is their love. Every year, come rain, come shine, from the Seventies through the decades, every photo tells the story of their love.
Until the last photo, where the couple becomes one, and their story comes to an end…
A wonderful feature with Alice Cavanagh on the Simon Schuster website.
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