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UnavailableThe History of Us
Currently unavailable on Scribd

The History of Us

Written by Leah Stewart

Narrated by Cassandra Campbell


Currently unavailable on Scribd

The History of Us

Written by Leah Stewart

Narrated by Cassandra Campbell

ratings:
3.5/5 (15 ratings)
Length:
12 hours
Released:
Jan 8, 2013
ISBN:
9781611209440
Format:
Audiobook

Description

Eloise Hempel is on her way to teach a class at Harvard when she receives devastating news. Her sister and her husband have been killed in a tragic accident, and Eloise must return home to Cincinnati to take her sister’s three children, Theodora, Josh, and Claire, out of the hands of her own incapable mother. Nearly two decades later, Eloise is still in that house, still thinking about what she left behind. With Claire leaving for New York City for a promising ballet career, Eloise has plans to finally embark on a life that’s hers alone. But when her mother makes a competition out of who inherits the house, and Claire reveals a life-changing secret, their makeshift family begins to fall apart.
Released:
Jan 8, 2013
ISBN:
9781611209440
Format:
Audiobook


About the author

Leah Stewart is the author of the novels The Myth of You and Me and Body of a Girl. A recipient of an NEA Literature Fellowship, she lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and their two young children. She teaches creative writing at the University of Cincinnati.


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Reviews

What people think about The History of Us

3.5
15 ratings / 8 Reviews
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Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (3/5)
    I received this book free as part of a Goodreads first-reads giveaway. That said, this was the first book I've read from this author and I only moderately liked it. It is about a somewhat self-centered woman who regrettably inherits her sister's three children (after she dies in a tragic accident), and is ill-equipped for the challenges that being a responsible guardian brings. I kept trying to really get into this book but I just couldn't, and consequently it will probably not be remembered for long. The story never really reached a crescendo to me. It was just about people struggling within their dysfunctional environment...trying to deal with relationship drama, as well as their own feelings about each other. I was never really pulled in and I didn't feel intensely about anyone in the story. The writing was good, and I found myself laughing out loud at times, but the story just didn't thrill me. Also, the author used too many "F" words unnecessarily, and that was becoming a bother to me as I don't feel that a truly great story needs a lot of profanity for it to be a success. It is for these reasons that I rate the book 3 stars.
  • (2/5)
    I found this a book of very variable quality writing. Some aspects were well written, but much of it was too 'tabloid' for my liking. The three orphaned children were not at all sympathetically or deeply developed, and their lives seemed to be stuck in early teenage romanticism. The 'lesbian' aunt was portrayed as being willing and able to easily switch from her long-time female relationship to having a sexual relationship with a man, with really minimal self examination. OK, I'm not a lesbian myself, but I reckon there's not many who would behave as superficially as this person. This book is indeed very location-oriented (Cincinnati), as other LibraryThing reviewers have observed, and that's not necessarily bad. A much more respectable author, Elizabeth Hay, has said "location is everything" but when she writes you can see the truth of her statement. Leah Stewart's writing does seem to me to be a bit less profound in making out that geographic connection. On the other hand, I've never been to Cincinnati, so I'd have to allow that possibility that it is the sort of place that doesn't have so much impact.
  • (5/5)
    Absolutely loved the development of this group of characters and their interactions---it seemed just as if I was there listening to each of them think and talk to each other. I grew to like all of them and their problems---really beautifully written and read in the audio version by Cassandra Campbell.
  • (3/5)
    hmmm...this novel had some interesting moments but it was a bit chick-lit-y and light for my tastes. most of the time, i wanted to tell these characters to smarten the f*ck up. they all seem stunted and not a lot of growth happened during the arc of the story. there were some great moments of humour and stewart nailed some great commentary on human nature, but overall it wasn't enough to make this a better read for me. i think this is one that falls into the 'missed potential' files. which is too bad.
  • (5/5)
    This was just published in 2013 and what a good book! I love how this author writes. It's another book about family relationships (4 members) and thwarted desires, and responsibility, and choices and love. I read it straight through today; couldn't put it down. It takes place in Cincinnati and deals with ballet, music, teaching, lesbianism and more, lol.
  • (3/5)
    The book begins with Eloise Hempel reveling in her life as a successfully published, Harvard Professor. She can hardly believe that she has achieved this dream. Her life is shattered with one phone call from her niece - her sister and brother in law have died on vacation and Eloise's mother is, well a useless piece of blubber unable to care for her three grandchildren. When Eloise arrives her mother, Francine basically decamps saying she can't handle things and leaves Eloise with the children. The eldest, Theo is afraid of leaving her grandmother's house so Eloise gives up everything she worked for to rear the children in her mother's monstrosity of a house in Cincinnati.The book then jumps in time to the children's adulthood. They have all received excellent educations and each one has a talent that Eloise has let fly. The children themselves though (if you ask me) are a bunch of entitled, whining, spoiled brats. Eloise is far from perfect but she never set out to be a mother and these kids are all about me, me, me. I had serious problems on a number of levels with this book the biggest one being there not being one likable character. It's hard to invest in a book when you really don't care about anyone in it. But the book did evoke strong emotions in that I wanted to scream at these kids because they didn't realize how good they had it; yes their parents died but they had someone who took rather good care of them and they weren't cold, starving or lacking for anything.*sigh*Books about this generation about drive me batty. Can you tell? I guess that perhaps I am just too old and I'll leave it at that. The writing is good which is the only reason I finished the book. I don't know if the author was intentionally keeping her characters stupid or blind to what was going on around them or the reader was just supposed to ignore that a woman studying for her post graduate degree (Theo, the eldest) had no concept of what it cost to run a big house in the city or to educate three children. Or that any of the kids understood the money involved in their upbringing. Or that none of them could figure out the romantic status of their aunt. Seriously - are they THAT self involved? If this is truly how this generation is being raised I'm glad I'm old. OK - I suppose I should rant in a book review....The characters ARE very well developed and there is a strong plot. This just was not a book for me.Rating:
  • (4/5)
    There’s that saying that you can’t pick your family. You know the one and have probably marveled at its truthfulness at one family event or another over the years. That’s sort of the point of The History of Us. It’s all about family, and all the great and annoying qualities you wouldn’t trade for the world mostly because those defining moments in life become great blog fodder. Yes, that.Eloise Hemple is a newly minted college professor when she receives a call informing her that her sister and brother-in-law have died in an accident. She rushes home and somehow never leaves; staying to raise children that aren’t hers but children she can’t live without --- the only part of her sister she has left. Life veers into the unfamiliar and instead of writing well-received research papers on her topic of choice, she’s struggling to pay the heating bills, ballet lessons, and save for college for three children that were not part of the future she imaged, and so carefully planned, for herself.I wanted to feel sorry for Eloise but I couldn’t because she wouldn’t let you. She knew from the moment she took that call that her life would never be what she thought, and hoped, it would be. Her three children (and they are her children), Theo, Josh, and Claire, are a different story though. Her niece Theo is a self-righteous, annoying person who thinks she’s been slighted her whole life. Yes, she lost parents but Eloise went out of her way to ensure she never lacked for anything giving up any hope of a life she might have had for Theo’s sake. When Eloise finally starts to want a life of her own after raising the three siblings, Theo balks and does everything she can to blame her for any bit of unhappiness she feels or has ever felt. Josh, well, he copes like he always does. Claire throws every plan on its head with a decision no one saw coming. All in all, life in most families.There are the ones you feel sad for, the ones you get annoyed by, and the ones you just like no matter what. Stewart manages all the personalities well and doesn’t let you like or dislike anyone of these characters too much. It’s a heartwarming story and if you happen to like family drama, I’d give this one a try. You’ll be annoyed, you’ll possibly want to yell at a character or two, then you’ll finish the book, grab a glass of wine and head back in that room with your family knowing it will all work out somehow. Or at the very least, you’ll come out of it with a story to tell.
  • (3/5)
    The book begins with Eloise Hempel reveling in her life as a successfully published, Harvard Professor. She can hardly believe that she has achieved this dream. Her life is shattered with one phone call from her niece - her sister and brother in law have died on vacation and Eloise's mother is, well a useless piece of blubber unable to care for her three grandchildren. When Eloise arrives her mother, Francine basically decamps saying she can't handle things and leaves Eloise with the children. The eldest, Theo is afraid of leaving her grandmother's house so Eloise gives up everything she worked for to rear the children in her mother's monstrosity of a house in Cincinnati.The book then jumps in time to the children's adulthood. They have all received excellent educations and each one has a talent that Eloise has let fly. The children themselves though (if you ask me) are a bunch of entitled, whining, spoiled brats. Eloise is far from perfect but she never set out to be a mother and these kids are all about me, me, me. I had serious problems on a number of levels with this book the biggest one being there not being one likable character. It's hard to invest in a book when you really don't care about anyone in it. But the book did evoke strong emotions in that I wanted to scream at these kids because they didn't realize how good they had it; yes their parents died but they had someone who took rather good care of them and they weren't cold, starving or lacking for anything.*sigh*Books about this generation about drive me batty. Can you tell? I guess that perhaps I am just too old and I'll leave it at that. The writing is good which is the only reason I finished the book. I don't know if the author was intentionally keeping her characters stupid or blind to what was going on around them or the reader was just supposed to ignore that a woman studying for her post graduate degree (Theo, the eldest) had no concept of what it cost to run a big house in the city or to educate three children. Or that any of the kids understood the money involved in their upbringing. Or that none of them could figure out the romantic status of their aunt. Seriously - are they THAT self involved? If this is truly how this generation is being raised I'm glad I'm old. OK - I suppose I should rant in a book review....The characters ARE very well developed and there is a strong plot. This just was not a book for me.Rating: