Friday, October 21, 2016

The Two-Family House - Lynda Cohen Loigman

Summary: Brooklyn, 1947: in the midst of a blizzard, in a two-family brownstone, two babies are born minutes apart to two women. They are sisters by marriage with an impenetrable bond forged before and during that dramatic night; but as the years progress, small cracks start to appear and their once deep friendship begins to unravel. No one knows why, and no one can stop it. One misguided choice; one moment of tragedy. Heartbreak wars with happiness and almost but not quite wins.

From debut novelist Lynda Cohen Loigman comes The Two-Family House, a moving family saga filled with heart, emotion, longing, love, and mystery. (Summary and pic from

I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

My Review: I enjoyed this book quite a lot, actually. It sounded interesting when I was reading the description, which is obviously why I requested it and am reviewing it, but I am happy to report that it even surprised me how much I liked it.

First off, I love how the book was divided into different perspectives. Each chapter was named after the different person’s perspective. I’m a sucker for this kind of writing. I’m kind of a black and white person like that. I don’t like guessing who’s saying what or doing what. Plus, it’s nice to be able to refer back to the chapter title if I get confused (which I didn’t). The chapters are concise, which keeps the story flowing and moving quickly.

Secondly, I think the story itself was really compelling. Children switched at birth and raised right next to each other as cousins? And it’s all a secret? I mean, you can see the drama coming a mile away, right? And of course this raises all types of interesting questions regarding nature versus nurture, how people react in stressful and uncharted territory, and, ultimately, what secrets should be told and what ones shouldn’t. It’s really very interesting. It’s not like the story pounds you over the head with this either. It allows the reader to think and draw conclusions on their own. There’s no forced opinion or belief of how things should be or how things should go. For this reason I think it would be an excellent book club book. There’s so much to discuss. I can see some very fun discussions about this.

I also enjoyed the writing. I felt like it wasn’t too wordy and yet it wasn’t just writing that didn’t get in the way. It was written such that you can understand the subtlety and appreciate the beauty of what’s going on, and a lot doesn’t have to be spelled out in order for a lot to be said. I admire authors that can do that. It’s a rare author that can make a book so accessible and yet have the writing be more than just not annoying.

This isn’t a super long book (another reason it would be great for a book club), but it certainly got a lot accomplished. I found myself thinking about it long after I’d finished reading it. It’s the kind of book that just brings up those questions that are fundamental and often taken for granted. I think it is especially pertinent to women, especially those who are pregnant or who have children, although I don’t think it excludes women in general from the discussion.

Like I said, I really enjoyed this. If you are looking for a book that is well-written and thought-provoking minus the heavy, this is your book.

My Rating: 4 Stars

For the sensitive reader: This book has some minor language.

1 comment:

Jordan @ForeverLostinLiterature said...

This one sounds really good. The premise itself sounds rather compelling, and your review makes it sound even better, so I'll have to check it out! Great review!


Related Posts with Thumbnails