Three Story House

Three Story House

4.6 3
by Courtney Miller Santo
     
 

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Renovating an historic Memphis house together, three cousins discover that their spectacular failures in love, career, and family provide the foundation for their future happiness in this warm and poignant novel from the author of The Roots of the Olive Tree that is reminiscent of The Postmistress, The Secret Life of Bees, and Kristin Hannah’s

Overview

Renovating an historic Memphis house together, three cousins discover that their spectacular failures in love, career, and family provide the foundation for their future happiness in this warm and poignant novel from the author of The Roots of the Olive Tree that is reminiscent of The Postmistress, The Secret Life of Bees, and Kristin Hannah’s novels.

Nearing thirty and trying to avoid the inescapable fact that they have failed to live up to everyone’s expectations and their own aspirations, cousins and childhood best friends Lizzie, Elyse, and Isobel seek respite in an oddly-shaped, three-story house that sits on a bluff sixty feet above the Mississippi.

As they work to restore the almost condemned house, each woman faces uncomfortable truths about their own failings. Lizzie seeks answers to a long-held family secret about her father in her grandmother’s jumble of mementos and the home’s hidden spaces. Elyse’s obsession with an old flame leads her to a harrowing mistake that threatens to destroy her sister’s wedding, and Isobel’s quest for celebrity tempts her to betray confidences in ways that would irreparably damage her two cousins.

Told in three parts from the perspective of each of the women, this sharply observed account of the restoration of a house built out of spite, but filled with memories of love is also an account of friendship and how relying on each other’s insights and strengths provides the women a way to get what they need instead of what they want.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
06/16/2014
Santo (The Roots of the Olive Tree) turns home improvement into a metaphor for self-discovery in this well-crafted novel. Cousins Lizzie, Elyse, and Isobel have been inseparable since childhood, when their family dubbed them the “Triplins”—a cross between cousins and triplets. Lizzie, under pressure by her estranged mother, reluctantly agrees to help save her late grandmother’s Memphis home from demolition. After all, she’s an elite soccer player who has just destroyed her ACL and has nothing but time on her hands. Hearing of Lizzie’s state of affairs, Elyse, whose sister is about to marry the man of Elyse’s dreams, and Isobel, a former child star at loose ends, join her. While slogging through the renovations, each woman must confront her own insecurities as well as a few surprising family secrets, including the truth of Lizzie’s parentage. Told in three parts, each from a different triplin’s point of view, the novel skillfully draws readers into its fictional world. Fans of historic homes will appreciate Santo’s focus on the number of repairs beloved old houses often require. Agent: Alexandra Machinist, ICM Partners. (Aug.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062130549
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
08/19/2014
Edition description:
Original
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
522,050
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Courtney Miller Santo teaches creative writing to college students and lives in Memphis with her husband, two children, and retired racing greyhound.

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Three Story House: A Novel 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Three Story House is a fictional novel by Courtney Miller Santo that tells the story of three cousins and their adventures as they work to fix a neglected, old three-story house, while simultaneously trying to figure out who they want to be when they grow up. The cousins come together and rely on each other’s strengths as they are forced to face their flaws and decide what they want for their futures.  The story started out a little slowly, but as the book progressed the characters developed into likeable, dynamic people. Even though they don’t quite have it all figured out, their flaws make them interesting and relatable. I liked that Ms. Santo made her characters people who make mistakes and have to deal with hard things, just like real life.  There are several things going for this book. I really like that this was a book about cousins that are also best friends because it’s not something I can remember reading a novel about before. I think the title, the structure of the book, and the focus on the house were cute and clever. I also really like that Ms. Santo wrote the book from the perspective of each cousin. It was the same basic story, just viewed through different lenses at different angles. I think I appreciated this because it allowed a more intimate relationship with each character, not just the perspective of the main character with snippets from the other characters.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to adults looking for something casual to read on the weekend.
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings Three cousins choose to move to a very old home in Memphis to fix it up and help each other get all of their lives back on a better track.  They each are having some speed bumps in life, so this is the perfect pause and reset. Divided into three parts to allow for each cousin to tell their own story, I loved how the full story kept moving as they each took turns to tell their parts, it was so different.  I loved how the chapters that took the reader back into the past for a supporting story were clearly labeled and didn't add any sort of confusion.  I can't even pick a favorite cousin because they were so perfectly different that each was so unique that I liked them for their own story.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago