Three Story House: A Novel

Paperback | August 19, 2014 | Large Print

byCourtney Miller Santo

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Renovating an historic Memphis house together, three cousins discover that their spectacular failures in love, career, and family provide the foundation for their future happiness in this warm and poignant novel from the author of The Roots of the Olive Tree that is reminiscent of The Postmistress, The Secret Life of Bees, and Kristin Hannah’s novels.

Nearing thirty and trying to avoid the inescapable fact that they have failed to live up to everyone’s expectations and their own aspirations, cousins and childhood best friends Lizzie, Elyse, and Isobel seek respite in an oddly-shaped, three-story house that sits on a bluff sixty feet above the Mississippi.

As they work to restore the almost condemned house, each woman faces uncomfortable truths about their own failings. Lizzie seeks answers to a long-held family secret about her father in her grandmother’s jumble of mementos and the home’s hidden spaces. Elyse’s obsession with an old flame leads her to a harrowing mistake that threatens to destroy her sister’s wedding, and Isobel’s quest for celebrity tempts her to betray confidences in ways that would irreparably damage her two cousins.

Told in three parts from the perspective of each of the women, this sharply observed account of the restoration of a house built out of spite, but filled with memories of love is also an account of friendship and how relying on each other’s insights and strengths provides the women a way to get what they need instead of what they want.

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From the Publisher

Renovating an historic Memphis house together, three cousins discover that their spectacular failures in love, career, and family provide the foundation for their future happiness in this warm and poignant novel from the author of The Roots of the Olive Tree that is reminiscent of The Postmistress, The Secret Life of Bees, and Kristin ...

From the Jacket

Nearing thirty and trying to avoid the inescapable fact that they have failed to live up to everyone's expectations and their own aspirations, cousins and childhood best friends Lizzie, Elyse, and Isobel seek respite in an oddly shaped, three-story house that sits on a bluff sixty feet above the Mississippi River.As they work to restor...

Courtney Miller Santo teaches creative writing to college students and lives in Memphis with her husband, two children, and retired racing greyhound.

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Format:Paperback | Large PrintDimensions:512 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.02 inPublished:August 19, 2014Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062344293

ISBN - 13:9780062344298

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“Santo’s lush descriptions, rich dialogue, and vivid characters will sweep you away—but it’s the acuity with which she handles the emotionally fraught, primally loyal mother-daughter relationships that will have you nodding along in recognition.”—Redbook Magazine“[A] lively, complicated tale. She capably illustrates the truisms that too high expectations usually lead to disappointments, and that human relationships are messy, contingent and ever-changing. I’m betting Santo will deliver a strong second novel, and I’m eager to see where her fertile imagination takes her next.—Minneapolis Star Tribune on The Roots of the Olive Tree[M]oving....Santo’s power is in description and word choice, and this is where she truly shines. Overall, THE ROOTS OF THE OLIVE TREE is an ambitious and compelling novel, which will have readers thinking about the powers of olives and their oil long after the reading is finished.—Bookreporter.com on The Roots of the Olive Tree“This sparkling debut delves deep into the tension and love felt in the complex relationship that mothers and daughters share.... This book is one of the best debut novels in a while.”—The Examiner (Tulsa), on The Roots of the Olive TreeThe Roots of the Olive Tree is beautiful, from the description of Hill house to the feisty nature of the family’s matriarch. The women have their vices and their virtues, and they must work together as a family to continue the Keller family, and its legacy, into the next generation.—Spencer Daily Reporter on The Roots of the Olive Tree