For big thinkers and soul searchers: Why The Children’s House is the perfect Christmas gift

For big thinkers and soul searchers: Why The Children’s House is the perfect Christmas gift

Choosing which books to buy as gifts at Christmas can be tricky and with the silly season well underway, we’re here to recommend some great books for the special people in your life. Our next recommendation is The Children’s House.

Alice Nelson’s The Children’s House is an ode to the idea of families in all their mysteries and complexities, and the hope that creates them. Nelson skillfully weaves the shared stories of multiple characters, resulting in a beautifully told novel that explores the profound consolations we find in one another, if we are brave enough to search.

Moving at a gentle pace, The Children’s House is the perfect gift for readers who like to take thing slow and truly immerse themselves in a book. Featuring true-to-life characters and stories, this novel is an emotional and moving one, with a lot to say about the shifting attitudes to refugees and immigrants, and about some of the moral questions of our times.

There’s a great deal of meticulously researched history in the story too, not only as the back stories of characters, but also the ways in which historical events have the power to alter lives.

The Children’s House is astute, moving and ultimately optimistic, a richly rewarding reading experience that leaves you with a lot to think about.

About The Author:

Alice Nelson was named one of the Sydney Morning Herald’s Best Young Australian Novelists for her first novel, The Last Sky. Alice’s short fiction, essays and reviews have appeared in publications such as The Sydney Review of Books, The Asia Literary Review, Southerly Magazine and the West Australian Newspaper. The Children’s House is her second novel.

Read our review of The Children’s House here, or purchase a copy here.

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                      Synopsis

                      Marina, 'the gypsy scholar' a writer and academic and her psychoanalyst husband Jacob were each born on Kibbutzes in Israel. Their families moved to America when their children were young. When they meet at a university in California, Marina is a grad-student and Jacob is a successful practitioner and teacher and has a young son, Ben, from a disastrous marriage. The family moves to a brownstone in Harlem, formerly a small convent and shelter run by nuns.Marina has a loving relationship with Ben but has not been able to conceive her own child. Constance, a young refugee from Rwanda, who knows the house from when the nuns occupied it, comes to rely on Marina's growing attachment to and care for her son, Gabrielle.After dropping out of college Ben is unmoored and comes to work at the local grocery store where he befriends a young woman who is an undocumented immigrant. After learning that Gizela, Marina's long disappeared mother has died, Jacob and his tight knit loving family, Ben and Alma, Constance and Gabrielle all join Marina in her mother's former home to celebrate Christmas, coming together, and the unusually structured family they have formed.Alice Nelson skilfully weaves together these shared stories of displacement and trauma into a beautifully told hope-filled and outstanding novel.
                      Alice Nelson
                      About the author

                      Alice Nelson

                      Alice Nelson is an award-winning author. She is the recipient of the T. A. G. Hungerford Award and the "Sydney Morning Herald" Best Young Australian Novelist of the Year award.

                      Books by Alice Nelson

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