As they renovate a 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 reminiscent of The Postmistress and The Secret Life of Bees
Approaching thirty and trying to avoid the inescapable fact that they have failed to live up to everyone's expectations as well as 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 River.
As they work to restore the nearly condemned house, each woman faces uncomfortable truths about her own failings. Lizzie seeks answers to a long-held family secret about her father in their 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 could irreparably damage her two cousins.
This sharply observed account of the restoration of a house built out of spite but filled with memories of love is also a tale of friendship and a lesson in how relying on one another's insights and strengths provides the women with a way to get what they need instead of what they want.
|Product dimensions:||5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
Courtney Miller Santo teaches creative writing at the University of Memphis, where she earned her MFA. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Los Angeles Review, Irreantum, Sunstone, and Segullah. She lives in Tennessee with her husband and two children.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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.
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.