Monday, April 11, 2016

The Two Family House by Lynda Cohen Loigman

Brooklyn, 1947: In the midst of a blizzard, in a two-family brownstone, two babies are born, minutes apart. The mothers are sisters by marriage: dutiful, quiet Rose, who wants nothing more than to please her difficult husband; and warm, generous Helen, the exhausted mother of four rambunctious boys who seem to need her less and less each day. Raising their families side by side, supporting one another, Rose and Helen share an impenetrable bond forged before and during that dramatic winter night.
When the storm passes, life seems to return to normal; but as the years progress, small cracks start to appear and the once deep friendship between the two women begins to unravel. No one knows why, and no one can stop it. One misguided choice; one moment of tragedy. Heartbreak wars with happiness and almost, but not quite, wins. Moving and evocative, Lynda Cohen Loigman's debut novel The Two-Family House is a heart-wrenching, gripping multi-generational story, woven around the deepest of secrets.


This is a brilliantly written novel about two young sisters-in-law, Rose and Helen, living on two separate levels of the same house. Their brothers are two very different men - Helen's husband, Abe, is outgoing and happy and Mort is married to Rose. Mort is very serious and an introvert. The two women find themselves pregnant at the same time, and they enter into a secret pact, not realizing the impact it will have upon them, and their families. The character are vividly drawn and fascinating in personality. As the story progresses, relationships change, some deteriorating, others strengthening, and some of the characters slowly evolve into very different persons. The changes kept me fascinated, eager to read more about their evolving development, often surprised.

The setting was also very interesting - Brooklyn New York in the 1950's. It set the stage for the struggles and heartbreak that ensued. There is a great deal of depth and plenty to discuss, so I highly recommend this book for book clubs! Definitely a 5 star read!

Thank you to the author and publisher. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for visiting my blog,, where the greatest historical fiction is reviewed! For fascinating women of history bios and women's fiction please visit

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