The House Uptown by Melissa Ginsburg [Book Review]

Book Review

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Title: The House Uptown

Author: Melissa Ginsburg

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Publish Date: March 16, 2021

Genre: Domestic Suspense

Series: na

My Rating: 4/5

The House Uptown by Melissa Ginsburg


Melissa Ginsburg’s The House Uptown is an emotional coming-of-age novel about a young girl who goes to live with her eccentric grandmother in New Orleans after the death of her mother

Ava, fourteen years old and totally on her own, has still not fully processed her mother’s death when she finds herself on a train heading to New Orleans, to stay with Lane, the grandmother she barely remembers.

Lane is a well-known artist in the New Orleans art scene. She spends most of her days in a pot-smoke haze, sipping iced coffee, and painting, which has been her singular focus for years. Her grip on reality is shaky at best, but her work provides a comfort.

Ava’s arrival unsettles Lane. The girl bears an uncanny resemblance to her daughter, whom she was estranged from before her death. Now her presence is dredging up painful and disturbing memories, which forces Lane to retreat even further into her own mind. As Ava and Lane attempt to find their way and form a bond, the oppressive heat and history of New Orleans bears down on them, forcing a reckoning neither of them are ready for.

The House Uptown by Melissa Ginsburg


After her mother’s death, fourteen-year-old Ava moves to New Orleans to live with her grandmother. Ava’s grandmother, Lane, is an eccentric artist suffering from dementia. Ava tries to navigate her new living situation, but Lane is not exactly welcoming.

A slow-paced, character-driven novel. This book combines coming-of-age and family drama with a little suspense. I found this to be an enjoyable read, but can see where other readers may be disappointed in how the book is categorized. It’s more like literary fiction, and readers looking for a true suspense novel should look elsewhere.

Well-drawn characters in an incredible setting. Atmospheric, unique, and intriguing.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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