Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Interview with the author of THE HOUSE WE GREW UP IN Lisa Jewell

I love the cover and the title.  I am looking forward to reading this book.

Doesn't it look and sound amazing?

Lisa Jewell, an internationally bestselling author whose new book, THE HOUSE WE GREW UP IN, is on sale this August from Atria.

Lisa is a UK bestseller year after year, but we think THE HOUSE WE GREW UP IN is her finest book yet. It has something for everyone: family tragedies, hoarding, late in life internet lovers, mother/daughter and father/son battles.

It’s enchanting, heartbreaking, beautiful, fun and full of emotional depth. We hope you love it as much as we do!

1) Tell us about the first book you ever purchased.

Strangely, I don’t have this memory at all. My sisters and I were library kids, our mother took us every week, so maybe I didn’t even buy a book as a child! My earliest memory of taking a book out of the library was one of the Ant & Bee series of books; these were quirky, almost surreal books about best friends Ant (an ant) and Bee (a bee) who travelled around together having offbeat adventures. I didn’t know it at the time but they were written by an educationalist to teach children to read by themselves.

2) Have you ever read a book in order to impress someone?

I was married to an intellectual in my early twenties and read pretty much every book on his shelves in order to impress him! The heaviest was probably a book of Noam Chomsky essays. My current husband forced One Hundred Years of Solitude onto me in the early days of our relationship, which I read to please him. And on which we still remain entirely divided.

3) What was your favorite book as a child?

I was a self-guided reader as a child and went quickly from the classics (the Secret Garden, the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe) to more adult books. But my favourites were my Agatha Christies. I read four a week until I’d bled the library dry.

4) Is there an author who inspired you to be a writer?

When I was between jobs as a twenty something, still thinking that writing books was something only self-referential men and middle-aged women did, I read High Fidelity by Nick Hornby. It turned my thinking around and made me realise that there was a market for a younger, lighter, contemporary voice, and that it needed to be female. I started writing my first novel later that week.

5) Is there something on your bookshelves we’d be surprised to find there?

Quite the opposite, I think you’d find my bookshelves utterly predictable. Just piles and piles of page-turn-y contemporary fiction.

6) Tell me a funny/odd/interesting anecdote from a reading, or book signing.

This is very odd and I’m not sure particularly funny, but a girl once came to a signing holding my backlist and asked me to sign them all to her unborn children as she thought she was going to die young. It was a very strange thing to find myself doing.

7) What book are you reading right now, and why?

I am reading a book called We Are Called To Rise by an American writer called Laura McBride. It was sent to me as a proof by her UK publishers and I’m reading it because they did such a good job of making it sound like I’d be mad not to. I’m a quarter of the way through and so far I would say they were right.

8) Is there a book you re-read over and over?

No, I never reread. My reading pile is too big and tantalizing.

9) What book have you recommended most recently?

I think it would probably have been the only non-fiction I read last year which was Love, Nina by Nina Stibbe, a memoir of very funny letters from the nanny of a famous literary editor in London sent home to her sister in the Midlands in 1980. I’m not sure what an American reader would make of it, it’s very idiosyncratic and achingly British, but it warmed my heart and made me laugh an awful lot.

10) What book do you feel everyone should read?

If a reader has the gumption, I don’t think anyone should go their grave without trying a Charles Dickens.


Is there any question you would like to answer, dear readers of my blog?  

If I myself were to answer a question it would be #8.  

I do NOT re-read a book either.  

Why do that when there are so many awesome books out there waiting for me.  :)

THANKS for stopping by.



Lisa Jewell was born and raised in north London, where she lives with her husband and two daughters.  

She is the internationally bestselling author of ten previous novels, including The Making of Us and Before I Met You.  

Find out more at: 

The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell is on sale August 12, 2014 

Content Courtesy of Atria Books


  1. Were you able to choose a question and answer it?

    Thanks for stopping.

  2. Oh my, having someone ask me to sign something for her unborn children would totally creep me out.

  3. That would be a bit odd.

    Thanks for stopping, Kathy.

  4. I downloaded my first book by this author last week...and I am eager to read The House We Grew Up In.

    I used to reread, but that was before I had so many books available to me.

    But I like to keep books, just in case.

  5. I keep my favorite books, but I rarely re-read.

    Thanks for stopping, Laurel.

  6. I do love this cover, and I think I have a copy....don't ask. I rarely re read, one exception is To Kill A Mockingbird which I've re-read many times and I'm currently listening to the audio. I liked your interview very much.

  7. Thanks for stopping, Anita.

    I am looking forward to the read. I received it in the mail today.

  8. Great interview and I like the cover too. That's sad about #6. I need to read Charles Dickens one day.

  9. I do love the cover.

    THANKS for stopping, Nadia.

    I received the book in the mail yesterday, and will start it in a week or so.

  10. Ok, the answer to #6 is just creepy!

  11. A few folks commented on that.

    THANKS for stopping, stacybuckeye.