Friday, August 27, 2010

The Irresistible Henry House

This book has an amazingly unique premise. It tells the story of Henry House a/k/a Henry Gaines. Henry is a practice baby. This means that he was born as an orphan and began his life living in a practice house at Wilton College. A practice house program is part of the home economics department. Here prospective mothers take turns learning how to raise a baby using the practice baby of the year. I had no clue that such a program ever existed and found the whole idea fascinating. The book continues to follow Henry through his life and shows how having numerous mothers influenced the person that Henry became.

I really enjoyed the first 1/3 of this book. About halfway the book was dragging big time. I think that Lisa Grunwald spent too much time growing Henry up. She could have easily skipped some of the troublesome teenage years and the book wouldn't have suffered (maybe even improved). But, once Henry starts working, the book picks back up. I don't think it was Henry's story got interesting so much as his jobs were interesting. Henry gets to work on projects that were iconic to pop culture history and it was fun imaging being a part of those worlds. 

I listened to this one on audiobook and the narrator did a pretty good job. I don't think the lag in the middle had anything to do with Oliver Wyman's narration. 

Give the book a try if you're interested in this sort of thing but don't feel guilty if you want to skip the middle.


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