Good afternoon, bloggers! I just finished my required reading—The Two-Family House—for an upcoming book club, and I’m happy to share this with you.
In 1940s Brooklyn, a blizzard is approaching. In a two-family brownstone are two mothers who are sisters by marriage. Rose is dutiful and quiet, who just wants to please her distant and difficult husband, Mort. Helen, although exhausted from raising four rambunctious boys, is caring, warm, and patient. During the blizzard, Rose and Helen go into labor at the same time, with both babies born minutes apart. Throughout the years, both women have raised their families side by side, supporting each other, and bonding like sisters.
After the storm has passed, both families go about their normal lives. As the years pass, however, the once-deep friendship between Rose and Helen starts to unravel. Rose hasn’t been the same since the the blizzard and Helen can’t figure out the reason, nor can both families. It all eventually leads back to one misguided choice, a secret between Rose and Helen that can affect both families, should it ever be revealed.
I was immediately interested in this story when it first came out and I’m happy for having the opportunity to read it. It wasn’t what I expected. Some of the characters had me a bit frustrated—like the relationship between Mort and his brother Abe, Helen’s husband—yet made me want to know their story. At times, it had me asking, “Why are you all this way?” And some scenes had me near tears, but I was enjoying the whole book.
As always, feel free to post your comments. Happy reading!
About the author: Lynda Cohen Loigman grew up in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. She earned a B.A. in English and American literature from Harvard College and J.D. from Columbia Law School. She is now a student at the Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College and lives with her husband and two children in Chappaqua, New York. Follow her on Twitter.