The Yellow House

The Yellow HouseIn , Sarah M Broom S Mother Ivory Mae Bought A Shotgun House In The Then Promising Neighborhood Of New Orleans East And Built Her World Inside Of It It Was The Height Of The Space Race And The Neighborhood Was Home To A Major NASA Plant The Postwar Optimism Seemed Assured Widowed, Ivory Mae Remarried Sarah S Father Simon Broom Their Combined Family Would Eventually Number Twelve Children But After Simon Died, Six Months After Sarah S Birth, The Yellow House Would Become Ivory Mae S Thirteenth And Most Unruly ChildA Book Of Great Ambition, Sarah M Broom S The Yellow House Tells A Hundred Years Of Her Family And Their Relationship To Home In A Neglected Area Of One Of America S Most Mythologized Cities This Is The Story Of A Mother S Struggle Against A House S Entropy, And That Of A Prodigal Daughter Who Left Home Only To Reckon With The Pull That Home Exerts, Even After The Yellow House Was Wiped Off The Map After Hurricane Katrina The Yellow House Expands The Map Of New Orleans To Include The Stories Of Its Lesser Known Natives, Guided Deftly By One Of Its Native Daughters, To Demonstrate How Enduring Drives Of Clan, Pride, And Familial Love Resist And Defy Erasure Located In The Gap Between The Big Easy Of Tourist Guides And The New Orleans In Which Broom Was Raised, The Yellow House Is A Brilliant Memoir Of Place, Class, Race, The Seeping Rot Of Inequality, And The Internalized Shame That Often Follows It Is A Transformative, Deeply Moving Story From An Unparalleled New Voice Of Startling Clarity, Authority, And Power Please note that I received this book via NetGalley This did not affect my rating or review.Well cutting to the chase I really didn t like this one I was all ready to fall in love with a nonfiction story where the author talks about her family living in New Orleans East A place that I have never heard about Instead the big jumps around a lot and Broom at times talks about her family as if they were these people she doesn t know I kept getting confused everytime she talked about Simon Broom her father in a what I would call historical tone Due to this I really didn t get any type of emotion from her while reading this The book turns into something when she recounts Katrina and how scared she was for her brothers and mother But by then I felt myself just going through the motions to finish this one up I ended up bouncing to other books to finish in order to just put this one aside I started it weeks ago and just could not get into this The ending was perplexing and read as unfinished, at least to me There is a reason why I tend to not review memoirs I always feel badly if I don t like the book the author puts out since then in a way that makes it seem like I dislike them I think the only memoirs besides this one this year that I read was just Tan France s book And reading this one reminds me why I stay away from memoirs especially when they read like this The Yellow House tells the story of Sarah Broom s family growing up in a yellow house in New Orleans East Through a long winding road we get into Sarah s mother s family and father s family and how they ended up meeting and having I think children together Sarah ends up being the 13th child born to her mother and father and does not get to know him since he died several months after she was born From there we have Sarah talking about relatives, friends, her brothers, sister, her mother, etc She sometimes will call them brother, sister, or mother or other times talk about them in a totally removed voice Sarah tries to leave New Orleans East behind, but she feels it pull her when she goes off to places like New York When Katrina hits she finds herself wanting to be back in the city, but she has moved on from New Orleans East to the French Quarter properly where her family does not feel as if they fit in The writing I thought was too technical and dry I was glad that Broom included pictures to break up the book At times I don t know what Broom was going for Was she trying to write a history book or was she trying to provide commentary on New Orleans East And sometimes she would get into crime and statics and how bad New Orleans French Quarter had gotten She would jump around from paragraph to paragraph When she gets into when she leaves the country for Burundi I think, sorry reading these ARCS is a pain since I have a hard time trying to search later the book turns into something else and I just scratched my head The flow was awful from beginning to end I think if the book was focused it would have resonated At times she seems to want to upbraid her father for not finishing the Yellow House so that the family could live there and not be ashamed of it Other times she is angry that the family is ashamed of the house and can t have close friendships with others because of it I just maybe went seriously and was baffled My parents house was not a showcase and my dad was constantly knocking down a wall and we were dealing with construction here and there I remember living with plastic hanging from the wall between the living room and entryway for about 5 years My friends came over all of the time So did my brothers and relatives I guess our family just didn t care I don t know I think that I get the importance of owning your own home and having something that is yours and how important that is to African Americans especially when the housing market fell out and everyone owed money on a home they could no longer afford I just wish that had been of the story.The setting of New Orleans East surprised me I had no idea such a place existed I wanted to read of the history of that place Too bad most of the history books I saw were just about the French Quarter The ending was puzzling I don t know what Broom was going for there at all. Say the words New Orleans to people and images of Mardi Gras, beignets, jazz, voodoo, second lines, eclectic art and Saints football immediately spring to mind It is a city that is visited by millions of tourists a year and has been the musical and literary muse for countless artists and writers Past the hustle and bustle of Jackson Square and the Cathedral in the famous French Quarter, heading out East on I 10, is a part of New Orleans that doesn t make the travel brochures and tour bus stops There are no great literary works to browse on the shelves in bookstores telling the stories about the area and the people that call New Orleans East home Until now Part history lesson, part memoir, 100 percent unforgettable, The Yellow House is a look at the lives of Sarah Broom s family members as well as a powerful call out of a city, state and government plagued with corruption and systemic racism It is a story about home, identity, and family filled with writing that alternates from a sharp, seasoned reporter to that of a woman running seeking answers from the offices of Oprah Magazine in New York City to the mountains of Burundi after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina attempting to place what happened in New Orleans in a global context to understand how loss, danger, and forced migration play out in other parts of the world Throughout her book, Broom has expertly managed to walk the line between investigative journalist and displaced daughter and what she has given us within the pages of her story fills a void in Southern literature that has been sorely lacking in contemporary voice Huge thank you to Octavia Books who had early stock of this mighty work and were kind enough to ship it out to me last week I am still attempting to gather my thoughts to write an adequate, comprehensive review there is so much to unpack and cover I went through two pads of book tabs The Yellow House is out today and I wanted to be sure that it was on your radar All the stars. I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review From the publisher, as I do not regurgitate the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it.In 1961, Sarah M Broom s mother Ivory Mae bought a shotgun house in the then promising neighbourhood of New Orleans East and built her world inside of it It was the height of the Space Race and the neighbourhood was home to a major NASA plant the postwar optimism seemed assured Widowed, Ivory Mae remarried Sarah s father Simon Broom their combined family would eventually number twelve children But after Simon died, six months after Sarah s birth, the Yellow House would become Ivory Mae s thirteenth and most unruly child.A book of great ambition, Sarah M Broom s The Yellow House tells a hundred years of her family and their relationship to home in a neglected area of one of America s most mythologized cities This is the story of a mother s struggle against a house s entropy, and that of a prodigal daughter who left home only to reckon with the pull that home exerts, even after the Yellow House was wiped off the map after Hurricane Katrina The Yellow House expands the map of New Orleans to include the stories of its lesser known natives, guided deftly by one of its native daughters, to demonstrate how enduring drives of the clan, pride, and familial love resist and defy erasure Located in the gap between the Big Easy of tourist guides and the New Orleans in which Broom was raised, The Yellow House is a brilliant memoir of place, class, race, the seeping rot of inequality, and the internalized shame that often follows It is a transformative, deeply moving story from an unparalleled new voice of startling clarity, authority, and power.The only great thing about chicken pox at age 52 and being a speed reader is you can read and review four books a day..and this was an excellent book to have spent an hour or two or many on your side with.I do love New Orleans and when we go 14 trips and counting , we go way off the beaten trail as I am a photography nut and love shooting shotgun houses well, THAT WAS AN INTERESTING THING TO SAY..on my camera My husband has been sometimes been scared of some of the places we go, but as long as you have guts, politeness and bravado you need not worry IMHO By the way, if you are curious like I am and oy look for images of said Yellow House you will find a number of BBs but this NEW YORKER article is about the house book is a love song to New Orlean s unbeaten tails, history, loss, hurricanes before and including Katrina and the cities undying, never ending pull on its citizens and their amazing, differing histories There is to NOLA than Bourbon Street, Mardi Gras, drinking until you pass out and amazing food and Sarah Broom has written a love song to the city of her heritage It is just amazing and will be a BOOKCLUBPICK for seven upcoming club s read this autumn As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis outside of their incessant use on Instagram and Twitter so let s give it BTW, if you look for images of said Yellow House you will find a number of BBs but this New Yorker article is about the house Read the article as it is a precursor to this book Its images are on my facebook review. Masterful Large scale and granular at once Quietly stunning prose Wow. Here s my review for NPR Books A New Orleans memoir, a Katrina memoir, but most importantly an American story that s as urgent and universal as it is intimate and lyrical. I recieved a digital copy from Netgalley for my honest review The writing was really good though I had a hard time getting into this story A in depth revue coming soon. Phew This book that I was so anticipating was a bit of hard going for me I like many, many others love New Orleans and have deep admiration for it s people I visit as often as I can I own a wonderful library of books of all types relating to that city Of course, as a visitor, one is not able to invite a stranger to sit right down and tell you all about your life growing up in this fabulous place The Yellow House was a opportunity to hear such a story Let me start with the hard stuff first Throughout I had strong feeling of discontent and ambivalence coming from the author that I found pretty disconcerting How cheated does she feel by her father s death before she has a chance to know him Is she attached to the fraying Yellow House or dislike it Does the city of her birth call her home or is she happy to escape it Am I and my ilk, as tourists, guilty for our embrace of the romance and magic of New Orleans given the undoubtably serious problems that exist there The book s detail shows that Katrina, though her family s experience, was just as harrowing as it appeared on t.v All of that aside, the author s love for her family shines through It begins with the story of two really wonderful women Grandmother Lolo and her daughter Ivory who is the mother of twelve children that she has raised in the Yellow House Both are hardworking with a sense of grace and refinement I enjoyed very much reading about this family. I received an ARC of this book from the publisher, Grove Atlantic, in exchange for an honest review Opinions are my own.The Yellow House opens with an image of a man, the author s brother, sitting in a wooden chair at a wooden table on a patch of land in New Orleans East where a house once stood It ends with this man, Carl, cutting the grass, still the memory keeper In between, Sarah M Broom weaves an intricate history of a family, a house, a neighborhood, a city, a country, and a globe Beginning with her great grandmother and moving through her mother and aunt and uncle, her father, her 11 siblings and herself, and her nieces and nephews, Broom tells the story of one Black New Orleans family and the place where they lived, where they were rooted, where they became themselves and it became them She creates a detailed map, both geographical and metaphorical, and deeply explores the ways in which identity is rooted to family, family to place, place to meaning, in a web of beauty and pain This book is meticulously researched and relies also on interviews Broom conducted with most of the members of her sprawling family But the through line is her own journey to understand herself in relation to the place, the yellow house that used to be green, the house of her mother s ownership and her father s ghost, the house of pride and shame, the house she resented and yet deeply loved and could not escape, even when it literally no longer existed This book is an attempt to understand to understand Broom s own ties to a house, street, city and nation to understand the personal in the context of the global to understand family and community From New York to Burundi and back from the promise of prosperity in New Orleans East to the raw exposure of inequity after Katrina from her own work as a writer for O Magazine and an employee of a Burundian radical radio station and a speech writer for New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin so fascinating , Broom has created something epic with this book.This is a demanding read, in that it deftly weaves metaphor, loads of history, personal accounts, and just a lot of people to keep track of but this is crucial to the sense of family and community together into a meandering narrative that spans nearly a century The Yellow House isn t a confessional work something I must admit I often really love in memoir in fact sometimes I felt like things I was curious about were skipped over but it is personal as well as universal The writing is straightforward but the sentences are dense I learned a lot about a place I knew almost nothing about, and it was really well contextualized It took me a long time to read but it was worth every minute Highly recommend The Yellow House tells the story of a literal yellow house in New Orleans East Author Sarah M Broom grew up in the shotgun house that was owned by her mother and became her mother s thirteenth and most unruly child.The first part of the book tells the story of Sarah s family and how they came to live in the yellow house The second half of the book tells of her search for identity and adventure as she tried to escape her home and eventually returned to the city where it resided I appreciated the book s insights into the life and culture of New Orleans during the 1900s through the rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina The author also has a pleasant writing style that s easy to read The book is a bit boring in places, though, and parts of it seem to have nothing to do with her quest for a home of her own.Readers who like New Orleans, family histories and memoirs will like The Yellow House It did make me think about the lengths I would go to find a place where I truly belong.Note adult language,

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  • Hardcover
  • 376 pages
  • The Yellow House
  • Sarah M. Broom
  • 09 June 2019
  • 9780802125088