Saturday, April 11, 2015

Book Spotlight and a Giveaway! The History of Us by Leah Stewart

I have sooooo many books! I have a ton of print books and probably even more e-books. The Book Spotlight feature that I post every Saturday is a way for me to clear my shelves and to share some of the books I have. There are a lot of different reasons that I might be letting some of my books go, the biggest one is that when we moved I discovered how many books I really do have. This feature is a way for my to cull my collection and to give someone else the opportunity to enjoy them.

The book that I am featuring this week is one that I have had in my TBR pile for quite some time. I recently bought it for my Kindle when it was on sale for a great price. Now it's on my TBR list on my Kindle. Ha! I still want to read it and I'll get it read some time, I know I will. So many books, so little time.    

Good luck and be sure to stop back next week!

The History of Us

The History of Us by Leah Stewart 
Paperback, 400 pages
Published August 6th 2013 by Touchstone

From the critically acclaimed author of The Myth of You and Me, The History of Us is a heartrending story of love, loss, family, and the life you make in the path not taken.

Sometimes home is the hardest place to go

Eloise Hempel is on her way to teach her first class at Harvard when she receives the devastating news that her sister and her husband have been killed in a tragic accident. Eloise leaves her life in Cambridge and moves back into her family's century-old house in Cincinnati, pouring her own money into the house's upkeep and her heart into raising her sister's three children, Theodora, Josh, and Claire.

Nearly twenty years later, the now-grown children seem ready to leave home, and Eloise plans to sell the house and finally start a life that's hers alone. But when Eloise's mother decides that they should all compete for the chance to keep the house and Claire reveals a life-changing secret, the makeshift family begins to fall apart and ultimately must decide what in life is worth fighting for.

About the author

Leah Stewart was born in 1973 at Laughlin Air Force Base in Texas, where her father was stationed. As a child, she lived in Virginia, Idaho, England, Kansas, and Virginia again. She went to high school in Clovis, New Mexico, a town featured in her second novel, The Myth of You and Me. She always wanted to be a writer, as evidenced by her college application essay.

At Vanderbilt University Leah was the editor of the student newspaper, the Vanderbilt Hustler, and spent summers interning for the Tennessean in Nashville and the Commercial Appeal in Memphis. The latter experience inspired her first novel, Body of a Girl. After college, Leah went to the MFA program at the University of Michigan, and then moved to Boston, where she put her master’s degree to work by taking a job as a secretary for the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She had an office with a door, and she wrote most of her first novel there.

Since then, Leah has worked as a secretary at Duke, a cataloguer in a used bookstore, a magazine editor, a copyeditor, and a staff member at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. She has been a visiting professor at Vanderbilt University, Sewanee, and Murray State University. The recipient of a 2010 NEA Literature Fellowship, Leah teaches in the University of Cincinnati’s creative writing program, and lives in Cincinnati with her husband and two children.

Connect with Leah

Be sure to check the sidebar for my current giveaways!


  1. Thank you for the awesome giveaways! It is a lovely and thoughtful way to introduce new authors to my list. The description of this book sounds like the kind of stories I love. Eloise sounds like a person with a huge heart for raising her sister's three children. I will be adding it to my to read list.

  2. Oooh, I love this kind of story. Looks great.

  3. Thanks for this captivating story which I would enjoy. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  4. I remember this book was acclaimed when it came out, so I entered the goodreads giveaway and have retained the impression of intrigue at the potential of the narrative enclosed in that visually pleasing cover. I hadn't remembered many particulars of the plot at all..

    What strikes me in reading this feature on the book is a personal detail. I've lived twice in the Cambridge, MA area -- including when I was an undergrad at Harvard. After both living there in later years and upon my graduation oh-so-long-ago, circumstances dictated domiciling in Southeastern Michigan quickly upon my reasons to be near Cambridge ceased. First time I went to attend U of M in Ann Arbor. I really, really prefer life out there to out here (still in MI, my heart loves only NJ all told -- star-crossed state love situation)..

    So, the point is I'm fascinated by the overlap in geographies, which while not too much of a coincidence in particular with the author's own bio (and isn't at all in the case of the character in the book given both states in question would declare war on anyone who would end having compared and not contrasted in summary and each point in discussing Cinci and that area of Ohio along with Ann Arbor and this area of MI.

    Yet, the fact of the move in the character's case and the overlap with the author is of special interest to me because such geographical circumstances have shaped a lot of big transitions in my adult life. The details of both women's stories have really captured my imagination and gained a hold on my heart now!

    Thanks for this feature and chance to win! Cheers, Kara S

  5. Sounds like a fascinating family drama. Thanks for the giveaway.

  6. This looks like an interesting story. Thanks!

  7. This sounds like it would be a good read, thanks for the chance!


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