A compelling, at times horrifying work that is impossible to put down, House Rules will stand beside Running With Scissors and The Glass Castle as ...more From Goodreads:
Rachel Sontag grew up the daughter of a well-liked doctor in an upper middle class suburb of Chicago. The view from outside couldn't have been more perfect. But within the walls of the family home, Rachel's life was controlled and indeed terrorized by her father's serious depression. In prose that is both precise and rich, Rachel's childhood experience unfolds in a chronological recounting that shows how her father became more and more disturbed as Rachel grew up.
A visceral and wrenching exploration of the impact of a damaged psyche on those nearest to him, House Rules will keep you reading even when you most wish you could look away.
While I enjoyed reading this memoir, it was difficult to read about the mental/verbal abuse that Rachel's father bestowed upon her. I would visibly cringe at times at some of the things that her father said to her, all the while Rachel was constantly seeking love and acceptance from him.
Besides experiencing a strong dislike for the father, I felt ambivalence towards Rachel's mother and sister. I felt that Rachel's mother should have supported her more....although I think I understood why she couldn't (or wouldn't). Her life with her controlling husband was already a living hell and she did not want to make things worse. Rachel's sister was more or less the "invisible" child, where Rachel was on the receiving end of her father's constant attention, whether it be good or bad.
House Rules is a truly compelling memoir that was arduous to read but almost impossible for me to put down. Highly recommended!
- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (March 24, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0061341231
- ISBN-13: 978-0061341236