The History of Us

Leah Stewart. Touchstone, $24.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-4516-7262-6
In Stewart’s new novel (after The Myth of You and Me), Eloise Hempel, at 45, is a history professor whose rising career is derailed when her sister dies, leaving her custody of her sister’s three children. Eloise returns home to Cincinnati, Ohio, where she does her best to raise Theodora, 11; middle-child Josh, and two-year-old Claire in her family’s large, enviable home. Seventeen years later, her sister’s children now adults, Eloise reveals her plan to sell the house and, maybe, move in with Heather, her secret girlfriend. But Theo, Josh, and Claire, none of whom want the house to be sold, confront Eloise, each other, and themselves; in trying to come to terms with adulthood and responsibility, they are all nearly ripped apart. Stewart’s novel is an intimate exploration of a family in crisis and the different ways in which people cope with grief. While the plot meanders and the characters seem paralyzed with indecision, readers will empathize with their plight. Unfortunately, the combination of a melodramatic story line and a focus on minutiae make for a forgettable read. Agent: Gail Hochman, Brandt & Hochman. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 10/15/2012
Release date: 01/08/2013
Open Ebook - 384 pages - 978-1-4516-7264-0
Paperback - 367 pages - 978-1-4516-7263-3
MP3 CD - 978-1-61120-945-7
Audio Product - 978-1-61120-946-4
Compact Disc - 978-1-61120-941-9
Hardcover - 525 pages - 978-1-4104-5711-0
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