The History of Us: A Novel

( 6 )

Overview

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 ...

See more details below
Paperback
$12.63
BN.com price
(Save 21%)$15.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (46) from $1.99   
  • New (8) from $8.53   
  • Used (38) from $1.99   
The History of Us: A Novel

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$11.65
BN.com price

Overview

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.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Boston Globe
“A sprawling novel with some of the off-kilter charm of Anne Tyler’s work, The History of Us glows with affection for its wounded, familiar characters.”
People Magazine
“Touching drama . . . Faced with urgent choices, Eloise and the grown kids react with varying degrees of wisdom and pigheadedness, but as Stewart tenderly demonstrates, they remain – for better or worse – a family.”
Parenting Magazine
“Stewart’s novel reminds us how family ties trump all else.”
From the Publisher
“A sprawling novel with some of the off-kilter charm of Anne Tyler’s work, The History of Us glows with affection for its wounded, familiar characters.”

“Touching drama . . . Faced with urgent choices, Eloise and the grown kids react with varying degrees of wisdom and pigheadedness, but as Stewart tenderly demonstrates, they remain – for better or worse – a family.”

“Stewart is a wonderful observer of family relationships, and she adroitly weaves the stories of Eloise and the children she’s raised—their work, their loves, their disappointments and dreams—while focusing on what ties families together, and what ultimately keeps those ties from breaking.”

“Stewart’s novel reminds us how family ties trump all else.”

“Domestic fiction fans favoring strong, intelligent characters will be intrigued by Stewart’s introspective examination of a family.”

"With a playwright’s precise, sometimes excoriating dialogue and an insightful novelist’s judicious use of interior monologue, Stewart crafts a tearful yet unsentimental family coming-of-age story."

“Stewart’s novel is an intimate exploration of a family in crisis and the different ways in which people cope with grief.”

“A poignant exploration of the meaning of family…the life they’ve lived was as much a gift as the life they lost.”

"The History of Us stays the course and shows how a family negotiates through a particular crisis. Leah Stewart seems to love her characters even when they are not especially lovable, and gives them space and time enough to grow and change."

“Leah Stewart possesses magic. It is awe-inspiring to see how clearly and sensitively she presents the numerous ways her characters are broken and then finds a way to offer some hope of healing. With the family at the heart of The History of Us, Stewart shows that she is unafraid of difficult characters and that she is equally unafraid of making sure they matter to us.”

WashingtonIndependent
“Stewart portrays the yearning and conflict of very recognizable people. . . . [She] makes the reader care about these good people — and applaud as each finally dares to break out of familial inertia, to act instead of yearn. . . . Like her mentors Eliot and Austen, Stewart explores the delicate dilemmas of family life: balancing loyalty and self-interest, giving and receiving joy and sorrow, achieving togetherness and separateness.”
Elin Hilderbrand
"A deeply human book: funny, tender, smart, self-aware."
Star Tribune
"Charming. . . Stewart weaves a smart, redemptive tale of maturation."
Washington Independent
“Stewart portrays the yearning and conflict of very recognizable people. . . . [She] makes the reader care about these good people — and applaud as each finally dares to break out of familial inertia, to act instead of yearn. . . . Like her mentors Eliot and Austen, Stewart explores the delicate dilemmas of family life: balancing loyalty and self-interest, giving and receiving joy and sorrow, achieving togetherness and separateness.”
People
“Touching drama . . . Faced with urgent choices, Eloise and the grown kids react with varying degrees of wisdom and pigheadedness, but as Stewart tenderly demonstrates, they remain – for better or worse – a family.”
Kevin Wilson
“Leah Stewart possesses magic. It is awe-inspiring to see how clearly and sensitively she presents the numerous ways her characters are broken and then finds a way to offer some hope of healing. With the family at the heart of The History of Us, Stewart shows that she is unafraid of difficult characters and that she is equally unafraid of making sure they matter to us.”
Allison Winn Scotch
"Tender and compelling, The History of Us explores how we define our family and who, ultimately, we are both with and without them. These characters and their stories stuck with me long after the final page, and Leah Stewart proves once again that she is a master of understanding the complexity of human nature."
Ann Hood
"Leah Stewart plunges deep into questions of home and heart. The History of Us is a lovely novel. Just lovely.”
Meg Waite Clayton
“A genuine and heartwarming story about the complicated thing we call family, and what it means to be home. I laughed. I cried. And I was very sorry to turn the last page.”
Booklist
“A poignant exploration of the meaning of family…the life they’ve lived was as much a gift as the life they lost.”
Marisa de los Santos
"This narrative voice is so alive. . . . I cherish this wry, funny, aching, intelligent character and this book!”
BookPage
“Stewart is a wonderful observer of family relationships, and she adroitly weaves the stories of Eloise and the children she’s raised—their work, their loves, their disappointments and dreams—while focusing on what ties families together, and what ultimately keeps those ties from breaking.”
BookReporter.com
"The History of Us stays the course and shows how a family negotiates through a particular crisis. Leah Stewart seems to love her characters even when they are not especially lovable, and gives them space and time enough to grow and change."
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781451672633
  • Publisher: Touchstone
  • Publication date: 8/6/2013
  • Pages: 367
  • Sales rank: 357,499
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Leah Stewart

Leah Stewart is the author of the novels Husband and Wife, The Myth of You and Me, and Body of a Girl. The recipient of an NEA Literature Fellowship, she teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Cincinnati and lives in Cincinnati with her husband and two children. Visit LeahStewart.com.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 25, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Teaching at Harvard is a dream come true for Eloise Hempel, but

    Teaching at Harvard is a dream come true for Eloise Hempel, but then she gets a life changing phone call. Her dream life ends, as she takes guardianship of his sister's three children.




    Fast forward, as her youngest niece, Claire is about to leave home to pursue her ballet career in New York. Eloise believes now she will able to pursue 'her' life. But Theo and Josh, the two oldest adult children, don't want to move out or move on. They are both stuck. As Eloise is about to throw them out, her mother decides to set up a competition between all of them to see who gets the house.




    Eloise has a secret relationship and waiting to pursue her dreams, Theo is dragging her feet to look for a grown-up life and having puppy love for one of Eloise's colleges, Josh is running from his successful music career, and Claire is hiding the most! With all the secrets coming to light everything begins to unravel.




    This novel really hit home for me. I got Theo on a number of different levels and issues. It was like no one got how she was still dealing with the loss of her parents all these years later. Eloise is in such a hurry for Theo to leave Cincinnati didn't seem to realize what the home, what the city meant to Theo. It's where her parents left her. In some way I related and understood each character and their motivations. None of them are perfect, none of them are totally likable or not likable. They are a family with all their issues. Not just current issues, but those ones we take with us from our childhood and seem to carry with us into our adulthood. A very character driven story!




    I was sad when the book ended. I wanted to keep turning pages and follow them. I wanted to see what was next for each of them. The History of Us is a story of a family and I very much recommend reading it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 23, 2013

    On the way to teach her Harvard class, Eloise Hempel finds out t

    On the way to teach her Harvard class, Eloise Hempel finds out that her sister and her husband have been killed in a tragic accident.  Eloise’s sister has left her as guardian of her three young children.  This causes her to return to Cincinnati to raise Theo, Josh, and Claire.  She moves into her mother’s house.  Her mother leaves, and Eloise goes about the raising and the upkeep of an ancient house.




    Now that the youngest, Claire, has moved out and onto her ballet career in New York, Eloise decides it is time to move on and sell the house.  But her mother and the children make this very difficult for Eloise.
    Every character is dealing with an issue.  Josh the quitting of a successful band and his ex-girlfriend.  Theo really wants the house and has a crush on an already taken guy.  Eloise wants to live her own life.




    I really felt like I was just reading a story.  At no point did I get sucked in and feel as if I was part of the story.  The potential was there and there were times that I felt close.  It seemed to be superficial, immature, and unfortunately lacking a great plot.




    I will say I did like Heather, Eloise’s “friend.”  She seemed to understand that Eloise needed to be forced to make changes and how the changes would work in their relationship.




    Overall, I cannot recommend this book, but have heard great things about Leah Stewart’s previous book and look forward to reading it. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)