Having read Courtney Miller Santo’s first novel The Roots of the Olive Tree and loving it I was really looking forward to reading her newest novel Three Story House. Once again she delves into the drama of families with three cousins who have lost their sense of self and need to rediscover who they are and what they want. Three Story House is the journey the three women take to find themselves and restore a historic family home.
Cousins and best friends since childhood Lizzie, Elyse, and Isobel are all approaching thirty and none of them are happy with where they are in their lives. Lizzie is trying to recover once again from a surgery on her knee while thinking about the fact that her Olympic dreams are likely to be shattered. She’s hoping that spending time in her grandmother’s home and trying to save it from being destroyed will also allow her the chance to finally discover who her father is. When she finds some old family note cards she hopes that she may find the answers she so desperately wants. Elyse is stressed because her sister is marrying the man she wants, the man she used to be crazy about and probably still is. The question is what is she willing to do about it. As for Isobel she’s struggling with once being a child star but can’t seem to draw that stardom into her adult life no matter how much she wants it. As the women work to renovate the home they face their insecurities and failures in the hopes of starting over in an even better direction in their lives.
The novel is told in three parts with each woman telling her story which was okay but I think I would have liked to see their stories intertwined and told as a whole. I also really wanted more of the renovation of the house and wish that aspect had been taken more in depth than it was. For me the characters were okay but I didn’t form any connections with any of them although I liked them well enough. I found Three Story House to be a good summer read – it’s light and fun and a good way to spend a few hours. The author’s first novel though remains my favorite and I loved that she connected the two stories in a small way. One thing for sure is I love Courtney Miller Santo’s writing and I look forward to seeing what she tackles in her next novel!
Recommended for fans of women’s fiction.