Instaread Summary, Analysis & Review of Lynda Cohen Loigman’s The Two-Family House
Four out of five stars
This novel is based on a premise that has been used several times, although in this case it is not an accidental switch of babies in a hospital, but a deliberate one carried out by their mothers. Abe and Mort are brothers and their wives are Helen and Rose respectively. The two families share a two-family house in Brooklyn, New York and they are Jewish. Abe and Mort are also business partners.
The swapping of newborns takes place right after nearly simultaneous home births and is based on the desire of Mort to have a son after three daughters. Given that there are fundamental resentments between Abe and Mort, there is a good deal of room for difficulties.
However, from this summary, the novel just does not come across as being significantly interesting. The time context starts in 1947 at the bar mitzvah of Harry’s son and continues through 1970. It was a time of enormous social change in the United States, yet little of that seems to seep into the story. Most of the problems described in the summary are predictable, including two of the people falling in love but being unable to act on it because of their belief that they are cousins. Many of the difficulties between the four primary adults are also routine and are not described as being all that capable of grabbing your focus.
From the summary, it was clear that I have no interest in this novel. That makes it a good summary.