REVIEW: THREE STORY HOUSE, BY COURTNEY MILLER SANTO

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The three girls met in 1993, at Silver Beach, Massachusetts. Lizzie Linwood, as the only child of an only child, was improbably now related to these two girls because of her mother’s marriage to Jim when she was seven years old.

They formed a unique connection, these three unexpected cousins, all born during the same month and year. Elyse and Isobel were full of questions for Lizzie, about her life and her dad. But Lizzie, who had lived only with her mother and grandmother in her Grandmother Mellie’s house in Memphis, had no knowledge of her father. Not his name, who he was, or what had happened to him. This fact of her life would haunt her.

Fast forward to November 2011, in Los Angeles, where Lizzie and Isobel have been living in their adulthood, and to a phone call that will take the two of them, joined also by Elyse, back to Memphis and a crumbling, condemned house. The three story house that had been home to Lizzie, and which needed major repairs, rested on a hill overlooking the Mississippi River, and would take them out of their real lives during its restoration. During the process, the house would come to symbolize all of their own failings. Struggling to overcome the challenges they will each discover truths about themselves and what they must do next.

Isobel had starred in a TV show in childhood, and now seeks to find her place in the industry via a reality show during the restoration. Elyse is trying to overcome her obsession with her old lover who is now going to marry her sister. And Lizzie, an athlete, is recovering from her third knee surgery, and wondering if she can ever play soccer again.

Three Story House took place mostly in Memphis during the restoration, but also flipped back and forth in time, revealing significant moments in the lives of the women, now almost thirty.

Divided into three sections, the story focused on each young woman, and I found parts of it fascinating. Within the walls of the old house were clues that could be sorted and assembled to point to some of the answers.

Strange and somewhat disconnected characters filled out the canvas, all having something to do with the past, or with the restoration. While the story dragged for me at times, in the end, there was a satisfactory resolution for each of them, in a sense; however, the revelations felt a little like a balloon that has gone flat. A lot of furor over nothing much. 3.5 stars.

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10 thoughts on “REVIEW: THREE STORY HOUSE, BY COURTNEY MILLER SANTO

    • You are right, Katherine; I don’t do audio, but I can imagine it would work out better. I kept setting the book aside, and yes, I was distracted this week, but I wasn’t overjoyed to come back to it. Thanks for stopping by.

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