The Two-Family House by Lynda Cohen Loigman: A Book Review

I can’t remember where I got the suggestion for this book, but, I had high hopes for it.  Unfortunately, those hopes were dashed.

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While The Two-Family House by Lynda Cohen Loigman got rave reviews on Amazon and Good Reads, I’m afraid I can’t share in the enthusiasm.

The story is about two families that live in a house together–one family upstairs, and one family downstairs.  The upstairs family is headed by Abe, his wife Helen, and their four boys.  Downstairs is Abe’s brother, Mort, his wife Rose, and their three daughters.  Mort is never happy, partly because he had to give up his college classes to help Abe run the family box business when their father dies.  However, Abe and his family are happy, and Rose does her best to enjoy her girls while working around Mort’s grumpiness.

Both women end up expecting at the same time, and in December, in the midst of a blizzard, Rose and Helen both go into labor at the same time, and their husbands are away on a business trip.  Right there, the author loses me.  What is the chance that both women are not only pregnant at the same time but both go into labor on the exact same night?

Something happens that night that irreparably damages that close relationship both families share.  The remainder of the book covers over 20 years’ time and analyzes the damage that occurs to the characters’ relationships.

My frustration with this book is that the author hints at what is behind the damage to the families, but she never outright says it until the last 50 or so pages in the book.  I don’t know if the reader is not supposed to be able to figure it out earlier?  I figured it out immediately, and my disbelief in the story grew.  Still, I kept reading on hoping there would be some twist or that the novel would redeem itself, but it didn’t.

I give this book 3 out of 5 stars on the Mom’s Plan’s scale.

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