Eloise Hempel is on her way to teach a class at Harvard when she receives a devastating phone call. Her sister and brother-in-law have been killed in a tragic accident, and Eloise must return home to Cincinnati to take their three children, Theodora, Josh, and Claire, out of the hands of her own incapable mother. She moves back into her mother’s century-old house and, after her mother leaves, pours her own money into its upkeep.
Nearly two decades later, Eloise is still in that house with now-grown Theo, Josh, and Claire, still thinking about the career and life she left behind, even as she pushes the kids to move on. With Claire leaving for New York City for a promising ballet career, Eloise plans to finally sell the house and start a life that’s hers alone. But when her mother creates a competition for which of them gets the house and Claire turns out to have a life-changing secret, their makeshift family begins to fall apart.
Filled with warmth, wisdom, and tenderness, and called “a poignant exploration of the meaning of family” (Booklist), The History of Us tells a heartrending story of loss, sibling relationships, and the life you make in the path not taken.