Tag Archives: The House We Grew Up In

Lisa Jewell, my heart, and what makes a great story

14 Nov

My favourite author is Lisa Jewell.

Reading one of her books is like sitting down to a cup of tea and wadge of cake, with an old friend, in a cosy room, on a rainy day. Some of her early books have a great deal to do with the fact I moved to London. Such fantastic stories about people who lived in exotic locations like Finsbury Park. Oh, it was just all so exciting.

Years ago I dated a guy who worked for Heat Magazine. For my 26th birthday, he got me every Lisa Jewell book, signed by the lady herself, with little personal messages inside each and every front cover. Best. Present. Ever.

Her latest book ‘The House We Grew Up In’ came out over the summer. Of course, I had preordered on Amazon, so it arrived on its release day. Big and fat and ready for reading.

But I waited.

I wanted to enjoy it. To really soak up every word on every page. My anxiety levels were just too high in the summer, wondering why my boyfriend was treating me like a piece of shit on his shoe. And not even a very nice shoe at that.

After the pizza of doom I couldn’t read. My eyes went over the words but nothing actually made it into my poor, tired brain which was still playing, “I was never in love with you,” on repeat.

Well, I started the book this morning, sitting in toasty sunshine on the balcony, with a huge cup of coffee. One chapter in and I am smitten. I’ll spend the rest of the day on the beach getting absorbed in the lives of the characters Lisa has painted.

Her books always make me feel things. It’s impossible to turn the pages without smiling, and laughing, and thinking, and crying, and smiling again. Which is the mark of a great story, right?

So maybe my own story isn’t a tragedy. I just haven’t reached the end yet.