Thursday, April 8, 2021

Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings



It's Friday . . . time to share book excerpts with:
  • Book Beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, where bloggers share the first sentence or more of a current read, as well as initial thoughts about the sentence(s), impressions of the book, or anything else that the opening inspires.  
  • The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice, where you grab a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% of an eBook), find one or more interesting sentences (no spoilers), and post them.

Today I'm featuring an upcoming read, The House Uptown by Melissa Ginsburg. The excerpts shared are from a hardcover version borrowed from the library.


The House Uptown: A Novel

Beginning: Prologue


Lane came awake to the sound of unoiled hinges, her heart pumping hard. She had been dreaming of a massive cloud, a storm that blew all the doors open, dread billowing around her.


Page 56:  Back then, when both her parents were alive, she used to think bad things came in from the outside, poaching from the edges of the field. Now she understood that even the house, the barns and sheds, the prairie fire crabapples and the oozing maples were made of death.


My thoughts:  I am drawn to this book because it centers on the relationship between a grandmother and granddaughter. The beginning excerpt is in the grandmother's voice, and the Page 56 snippet is in the granddaughter's.


From GoodReads:  For fans of Megan Abbott and Laura Lippman, 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, 14 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, going to stay with Lane, her grandmother whom she's never met.

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 working on the mural that 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. Ava, meanwhile, is entranced and frightened by her grandmother. She wants to be included in her eccentric life, but can't quite navigate Lane's tempestuous moods.

Attempting to keep the peace is Oliver, Lane's assistant and confidant. As this unlikely trio attempts to find their way and form a bond, the oppressive heat and history of New Orleans bears down on them, forcing them to a reckoning none of them is ready for.


This Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for the blog,  It cannot be republished without attribution. 

© 2021 Book Club Librarian All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Book Club Librarian without attribution, know that this post has been stolen and was used without permission. 


  1. The second excerpt gave me a chill. I like books that focus on multi-generational relationships. I hope you are enjoying this one, Catherine. Have a good weekend!

  2. This does sound like a great book. I'm drawn in by the synopsis and the quotes. I hope you enjoy this one when you get to it. Have a great weekend!

  3. I am a fan of grandmother/granddaughter books and in life. I am adding this one to my shelves...and here's mine: “MOTHER MAY I”

  4. I really like that 56!! Happy weekend!

  5. Oh that 56 is creepy! I enjoy granddaughter/grandmother relationship books because I was very close with my grandmother. This sounds like a great read!

  6. Ooh I love that we get to hear from both women! This one might make me miss my grandmothers, but I'm definitely intrigued by it! Thanks for dropping by my post and I hope you're having a lovely weekend :)