The Irresistible Henry House by Lisa Grunwald
A Novel

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Synopsis

In this captivating novel, bestselling author Lisa Grunwald gives us the sweeping tale of an irresistible hero and the many women who love him. In the middle of the twentieth century, in a home economics program at a prominent university, orphaned babies are being used to teach mothering skills to young women. For Henry House, raised in these unlikely circumstances, finding real love and learning to trust will prove to be the work of a lifetime. From his earliest days as a “practice baby” through his adult adventures in 1960s New York City, Disney’s Burbank studios, and the delirious world of the Beatles’ London, Henry remains handsome, charming, universally adored—but unable to return the affections of the many women who try to lay claim to his heart. It is not until Henry comes face-to-face with the truths of his past that he finds a chance for real love.

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About Lisa Grunwald

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Lisa Grunwald is the author of the novels Whatever Makes You Happy, New Year's Eve, The Theory of Everything, and Summer. Along with her husband, journalist Stephen J. Adler, she edited the bestselling anthologies Women's Letters and Letters of the Century. Grunwald is a former contributing editor to Life and a former features editor of Esquire. She and Adler live in New York City with their two children.
 
Published March 10, 2010 by Random House. 450 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Irresistible Henry House

Kirkus Reviews

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Though she’s firmly wedded to the parenting wisdom of that era (e.g., babies must be trained, not indulged), Martha finds long-dormant maternal yearnings awakened by winsome Henry.

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The New York Times

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Grunwald writes in “The Irresistible Henry House,” her neatly wrought but charm-heavy novel about Henry and his eccentricities.

Mar 15 2010 | Read Full Review of The Irresistible Henry House:...

The New York Times

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Lisa Grunwald’s thoughtful novel imagines the life of a midcentury orphan used as a “practice baby” in a college home economics program.

Mar 28 2010 | Read Full Review of The Irresistible Henry House:...

Book Reporter

When Grunwald learned about the existence of a practice baby program at Cornell University, she did what any good novelist would: she asked herself what would happen to those practice babies as they tried to make their way out of the classroom and into the real world.

Jan 22 2011 | Read Full Review of The Irresistible Henry House:...

Entertainment Weekly

In The Irresistible Henry House, Lisa Grunwald's epic and thoroughly engrossing fifth novel, we meet Henry House, the "practice baby" in a home economics program at a women's college circa 1946.

Mar 17 2010 | Read Full Review of The Irresistible Henry House:...

The Washington Post

It's hard to accept that receiving the adoring, if scientifically scheduled, care of many mothers instead of one would be so traumatic for a baby, and Henry seems a very pallid, passive and self-centered figure to attract so much devotion from women and girls.

Mar 20 2010 | Read Full Review of The Irresistible Henry House:...

NJ.com

Martha Gaines has a tough job: She runs the practice house at Wilton College, an all-girls’ school somewhere in Pennsylvania.

Mar 14 2010 | Read Full Review of The Irresistible Henry House:...

Bookmarks Magazine

Elaine Showalter Critical Summary Comparisons of Henry to Forrest Gump, Oliver Twist, Huck Finn, Benjamin Button, and Harry Potter abound, which offer promise to Grunwald's novel.

Mar 22 2010 | Read Full Review of The Irresistible Henry House:...

Oprah.com

Random House Given up for adoption as an infant, handsome Henry House is being raised in a so-called practice house, a building where college girls studying home economics take turns acting as his loving mother, changing his diapers, reading to him—and then disappearing when the course ends.

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Oprah.com

Given up for adoption as an infant, handsome Henry House is being raised in a so-called practice house, a building where college girls studying home economics take turns acting as his loving mother, changing his diapers, reading to him—and then disappearing when the course ends.

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Kepler's

Back in the 1940’s, it was not uncommon in home economics courses to have a “practice house” where young women were taught that everything could be learned in a scientific way, including motherhood.

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