House of Wonder

( 1 )

Overview

When we were little and I needed Warren, I would rub my earlobe.  And perhaps it was the alchemy of childhood, a magic that happened because I believed it could, but I swear it worked. He always came.

Theirs wasn’t always the misfit family in the neighborhood. Jenna Parsons’s childhood was one of block parties and barbecues, where her mother, a former beauty queen, continued her reign and her twin brother, Warren, was viewed as just another oddball kid. But as her ...

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House of Wonder

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Overview

When we were little and I needed Warren, I would rub my earlobe.  And perhaps it was the alchemy of childhood, a magic that happened because I believed it could, but I swear it worked. He always came.

Theirs wasn’t always the misfit family in the neighborhood. Jenna Parsons’s childhood was one of block parties and barbecues, where her mother, a former beauty queen, continued her reign and her twin brother, Warren, was viewed as just another oddball kid. But as her mother’s shopaholic habits intensified, and her brother’s behavior became viewed as more strange than quirky, Jenna sought to distance herself from them. She is devoted to her career and her four-year-old daughter, Rose. But now, in his peculiar way, Warren summons her back to 62 Royal Court.

What she finds there—a house in disrepair, a neighborhood on tenterhooks over a rash of petty thefts, and evidence of past traumas her mother has kept hidden—will challenge Jenna as never before. But as she stands by her family, she also begins to find beauty in unexpected places, strength in unlikely people, and a future she couldn’t have imagined. 

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
07/28/2014
Jenna has been running a design firm and independently raising a child; her twin brother, Warren, has been living with their mother and delivering pizza—at the overripe age of 37. In Royal Court, the neighborhood in suburban New Jersey they call home, houses are for sale but no one is buying. Mysterious break-ins have the neighborhood gossiping, and Jenna’s mother pleads for Jenna to spend time at the family home. After returning to Royal Court, Jenna suspects the shabby state of the house is not the real reason her mother wants her company—this becomes apparent after Warren comes home brutally beaten. Soon, the police are on their doorstep, and her brother is linked to the string of petty thefts in the neighborhood. In order for Jenna to keep her family together, she must accept the truth about her brother and mother. The story’s realism is believable and the prose is solid, but Healy’s (Can I Get an Amen?) loosely crafted characters lead generic emotional lives that play out in the confines of a generic suburban drama. (Sept.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451239877
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 9/2/2014
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 179,622
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Sarah Healy lives with her husband and three sons in Vermont, where she works in marketing consultancy. She is the author of two novels: Can I Get an Amen? and House of Wonder.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 2, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Jenna and Warren grew up as twins in a small New Jersey town thr

    Jenna and Warren grew up as twins in a small New Jersey town throughout the 1950s and thereafter.  Their mother was a famous beauty queen who was primed for fame but neglected and abused in every other way.  Jenna was born without trouble but Warren had to be delivered half an hour later by C-section.  Warren has an obvious mental disability but is sweet, loving, smart and extremely sensitive to those whom he trusts.  He and Jenna have an obviously close relationship; all they have to do is pull on an earlobe when in distress and the other will come to help immediately!
    Jenna is grown now and has a daughter of her own, Rose.  She is drawn back to her hometown when her mother starts exhibiting strange behavior arising from shopaholic tendencies.  One senses something else is wrong with Priscilla but as with Warren the disorder is never named and that’s a good thing as the reader is drawn to learn more about them rather than stereotypically labeling them and fitting future behaviors to that label.  We also are able to discern the positive aspects of their personality that we might miss otherwise!
    This is the story of Jenna returning to help her mother and Warren, who is beat up severely and accused of the random, frequent robberies in the neighborhood.  Add to that that Rose’s absent Dad has now returned and wants to be a father, although his new wife makes everything more than difficult.  The bright life in Jenna’s world is an old high school friend Bobby who is preparing to be a doctor and his daughter Gabby.  Both of their children have a prescient feeling about their relationship which makes it all the more endearing as their relationship grows into something lovely!
    Many secrets are gradually revealed throughout this novel that hurt but hurt less than the lack of ability to explain the way things have evolved with Priscilla and her family and her husband.  There’s something wonderfully unique about this story that manages even in the worst of scenes to maintain a respect and love for each other that supersedes all else.  Love isn’t easy but it is healing when one sticks around long enough to observe, reflect and act rather than react.  Love is precious in this highly recommended novel about family, dysfunction, mystery and growth!

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