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From the critically acclaimed author of The Myth of You and Me, The History of Us is a heartrending story of love, loss, family, and the life you make in the path not taken.

Sometimes home is the hardest place to go

Eloise Hempel is on her way to teach her first class at Harvard when she receives the devastating news that her sister and her husband have been killed in a tragic accident. Eloise leaves her life in Cambridge and moves back into her family’s century-old house in Cincinnati, pouring her own money into the house’s upkeep and her heart into raising her sister’s three children, Theodora, Josh, and Claire.

Nearly twenty years later, the now-grown children seem ready to leave home, and Eloise plans to sell the house and finally start a life that’s hers alone. But when Eloise’s mother decides that they should all compete for the chance to keep the house and Claire reveals a life-changing secret, the makeshift family begins to fall apart and ultimately must decide what in life is worth fighting for.

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The History of Us
Average rating
3.6 / 5
Slow start... Good finish!
August 17th, 2015
I had some trouble getting into the story but can't definitively say whether that was my fault or the author's?!? I was sad to see the story end and wished things had been tied up a little neater. I wanted to KNOW, not assume, everyone would end up perfectly content with life. Well written and lots of meat on the characters which I truly appreciate!
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1 review
Moving story about an unexpected family.
July 21st, 2015
As a fan of contemporary literary fiction about unusual families, I really enjoyed this novel. After all, it's about an unexpected family - three children and the aunt who raises them following the untimely death of their parents - and since the story is seen through multiple viewpoints, I feel as though I've come to understand all four protagonists as well as many of the side characters (my favorite being Wes). In fact, they seem so real and three-dimensional to me that I can't stop wondering what happens to each of them after the book's satisfying ending.
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1 review
Well told story of great family dynamics
June 21st, 2015
28 yr old Eloise Hempel has achieved her life goal - she's out of Cincinnati and a new professor at Harvard in Boston, when a phone call from her niece Theo has her racing back to take up the responsibility of raising her sister's 3 children. In typical fashion, Francine has gone to her room abandoning her grandchildren when learning of the air crash that took the lives of Rachel and her husband, the children's parents. For 17 years Eloise has delayed her own life to raise Theo, Josh and Claire in the shadow of Rachel without support from anyone. With Claire now leaving home, Eloise wants to get on with her own life and get out of Cincinnati - but can she? Well told story that ends well when all start to really talk to each other and appreciate each other.
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1 review

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