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The Two-Family House

A Novel

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


"An emotional but dreamy novel that...will transport you far, far away from your next dreary Monday morning. You may do a lot of sobbing, but don't worry, you'll be smiling by the end." —Bustle, "12 Spring Break Reads To Help You Escape Normal Life"

**Buzzfeed, "14 Of The Most Buzzed-About Books"

**Popsugar, "6 Books You Should Read"

"A novel you won't be able to put down." —Diane Chamberlain, New York Times bestselling author

Brooklyn, 1947: In the midst of a blizzard, in a two-family brownstone, two babies are born, minutes apart. The mothers are sisters by marriage: dutiful, quiet Rose, who wants nothing more than to please her difficult husband; and warm, generous Helen, the exhausted mother of four rambunctious boys who seem to need her less and less each day. Raising their families side by side, supporting one another, Rose and Helen share an impenetrable bond forged before and during that dramatic winter night.

When the storm passes, life seems to return to normal; but as the years progress, small cracks start to appear and the once deep friendship between the two women begins to unravel. No one knows why, and no one can stop it. One misguided choice; one moment of tragedy. Heartbreak wars with happiness and almost, but not quite, wins. Moving and evocative, Lynda Cohen Loigman's debut novel The Two-Family House is a heart-wrenching, gripping multigenerational story, woven around the deepest of secrets.

From Publishers Weekly

Mar 14, 2016 – Loigman debut novel is an engrossing family saga set in post-war Brooklyn. It focuses on two families that are inextricably linked by blood, marriage, and a long-held secret. Brothers Abe and Mort took over their family box business when their father died, even though Mort had his heart set on studying mathematics. The brothers share a two-family house with their children and wives. As the story opens in 1947, wives Rose and Helen are themselves as close as sisters, happily bringing up their children together. Rose and Mort have three young daughters, and Helen and Abe, on the top floor, are bringing up four sons. Then, the two women get pregnant at the same time, deliver their babies together during a horrible blizzard, and make an instant decision to swap the babies that will change all of their lives forever. The story follows the brothers, their wives, and the children through decades. Loigman's use of shifting perspectives allows readers to witness first-hand the growing consequences of long-festering secrets and the insidious lies that cover them up. This historical family drama has a dark underbelly, but Loigman's decision to let the reader in on the secret allows the setting and mood of the novel take over as the characters move haltingly toward redemption and peace.

Customer Reviews

I had hoped for more

The first half of the book reminds of the short fiction that appeared in women’s magazines years ago: routine descriptions of family life.The seond half is more interesting as the characters become more nuanced and developed. Unfortunately, the book’s big reveal was entirely predictable. The author writes with grace and sensitivity, however, and I look forward to her next book.


I loved this book from beginning to end. I did not want it to end....I felt like I was part of the family.

Just did not enjoy it!

The Two-Family House by Lynda Cohen Loigman is the story about two brothers who share a family home. Mort, Rose, and their daughters live in the downstairs apartment. Abe, Helen, and their four boys live upstairs. The two brothers work together at Box Brothers. They make cardboard boxes for businesses. Helen and Rose end up pregnant at the same time with their babies due in January. Their children are born during a winter storm in Brooklyn in 1947. One woman wants a boy and the other a girl. They have the opportunity to get what they want and take it. See how this one choice (act) changes their lives and their families.

The Two-Family House is a slow starter. It is hard to get to keep reading this book, but I persisted. The novel was okay (satisfactory), but not wonderful. The story just plods along telling you what happens because of the decision these two women made (and one regrets it). The characters were flat. The Two-Family House is told in a first person point-of-view by various characters (which leads to confusion as it switches). The novel needed a little something (like maybe making it more of a secret) to make it more appealing. It needed more depth and interest. It reads more like a first or second draft, than a finished novel. I give The Two-Family House 2 out of 5 stars.

I received a complimentary copy of The Two-Family House from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Two-Family House
View in iTunes
  • $2.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Historical
  • Published: Mar 08, 2016
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Seller: Macmillan
  • Print Length: 374 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings

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