By Lynda Cohen Loigman
5 out of 5 stars
The two families that live in The Two-Family House are really like one big family. Abe and Helen have 4 boys and live on the top story. They are a happy family, the only thing missing is the daughter that Helen would love to have. Mort and Rose (Mort is Abe’s brother) are a different story. Mort is a tough kind of bird. You don’t get a lot of excitement or much of anything from him really. They have three daughters and Rose thinks if Mort has a son, life would change. Things do change dramatically on a night when a blizzard hits. Mort and Abe are out of town on box company business. Rose and Helen, both pregnant, go into labor at the same time. The doctor cannot get there in the storm so a midwife comes and delivers the babies. Rose gets the son she thinks Mort wants and Helen finally has a daughter. But something happens that night that changes the families forever. Rose and Helen, always as close as sisters, have the most dramatic change in their relationship. Rose seems to go off the deep end. Helen tries to help but nothing is the same. We follow their lives through the years and watch the kids grow. We also find out the secret of that night but I am not going to give anything away. (Even if I had it figured out right away.)
I seem to be on a family story kick and that’s okay. Linda Cohen Loigman struck the perfect chord of family dynamics and the changes that they go through. Even if they didn’t have this big secret between them, I think this family would have changed anyway, especially as the kids grew and went on their own. Each character was flushed out perfectly. While reading the chapter that individual characters stories were told, you would have known who they were without their names even there.For a debut novel, she scored big time. And yes, I was in tears at the ending, yet again.
I happily received a copy of this book from Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review.