The Yellow House
In 1961, 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 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 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 Yellow House Details

TitleThe Yellow House
Author
ReleaseAug 13th, 2019
PublisherGrove Press
ISBN-139780802125088
Rating
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Biography, Biography Memoir

The Yellow House Review

  • Nancy Oakes
    January 1, 1970
    http://www.nonfictionrealstuff.com/20...I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hence a big fat five stars, and were there more I would give those as well. It is beyond excellent, poignant, funny at times but always very down to earth and real; it is a book that deserves any and all awards that may come its way in the future. The Yellow House is genuinely that good. just read the blog post.
    more
  • Obsidian
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 more 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 more focused it would have resonated more. 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 more of the story.The setting of New Orleans East surprised me. I had no idea such a place existed. I wanted to read more 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.
    more
  • Lynn
    January 1, 1970
    This memoir is about a family, a city (New Orleans) and a storm (Katrina). A closer look reveals an additional story about race, class, and identity. Closer still exposes how the US consistently fails and marginalizes poor black families. Katrina is simply one large link in a rusty, poorly maintained, unwieldy chain that is Black America. This is a phenomenal and artfully written book. The author deftly tells her family’s story which is deeply embedded in New Orleans, their neighborhood, and “Th This memoir is about a family, a city (New Orleans) and a storm (Katrina). A closer look reveals an additional story about race, class, and identity. Closer still exposes how the US consistently fails and marginalizes poor black families. Katrina is simply one large link in a rusty, poorly maintained, unwieldy chain that is Black America. This is a phenomenal and artfully written book. The author deftly tells her family’s story which is deeply embedded in New Orleans, their neighborhood, and “The Yellow House” which housed 12 children and their mother Ivory Mae.
    more
  • Stacey A. Prose and Palate
    January 1, 1970
    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 sto 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 more 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 more 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.
    more
  • Mary
    January 1, 1970
    On one level, “The Yellow House” by Sarah M. Broom is the story of one house in New Orleans East and the family who made it their home for over 40 years. But it is so much more—the story of the city of New Orleans and the ways it both burrows into its residents’ souls and betrays them and their loyalty over and over again; the story of the toll poverty and racism takes on black Americans; the story of Katrina and climate change and the catastrophic results of poor urban planning. “Remembering is On one level, “The Yellow House” by Sarah M. Broom is the story of one house in New Orleans East and the family who made it their home for over 40 years. But it is so much more—the story of the city of New Orleans and the ways it both burrows into its residents’ souls and betrays them and their loyalty over and over again; the story of the toll poverty and racism takes on black Americans; the story of Katrina and climate change and the catastrophic results of poor urban planning. “Remembering is a chair that it is hard to sit still in,” Broom writes, and yet she does so beautifully, taking the reader back to her family’s roots in the New Orleans of the early 20th century under Jim Crow and segregation, through her mother Ivory Mae’s marriages and her siblings’ births in the 50s and 60s and the purchase of what became known as “the yellow house” in 1961. These early sections are necessary for placing the story of the house within the context of the family, the city, and the times—and Ivory Mae is a compelling central character—but it is when Broom’s own narrative voice and memories take over following her birth in the waning hours of 1979 that “The Yellow House” really comes into its own. Broom’s descriptions of her childhood and particularly her memories of her childhood friend, Alvin—“Our relationship is so long that I cannot remember ever first meeting. He is hide-and-go-seek in wet summer air and five-cent Laffy Taffys with knock-knock jokes on the wrapper”—are both universal and unique to her, and are particularly poignant in light of Alvin’s early death, which Broom has already noted and which give these memories the air of elegy. No book about New Orleans covering the year 2005 can avoid mention of Hurricane Katrina, and “The Yellow House” is no exception, as Broom describes her family’s evacuation experiences and the harrowing stories of two of her brothers who chose to ride out the storm. These passages make the horror of Katrina and the incompetence of the rescue efforts viscerally real, but what I found more powerful was the narrative of her family’s exile and displacement in the hurricane’s aftermath that begins where most Katrina narratives end. The Yellow House, and Broom’s family’s sense of place and of belonging, were additional victims of Katrina, and the city’s Road Home program—a “massive failure for most applicants, a dead end, a procedural loop, bungled and exhausting, built to tire you out and make you throw up your hands”—takes 11 years to finally settle with Ivory Mae, a final betrayal which seems a fitting place to end “The Yellow House.” There’s so much more in this book that I can’t encompass in a review. Read it.Thank you to NetGalley and Grove Press for providing me with an ARC of this title in return for my honest review.
    more
  • Janet
    January 1, 1970
    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, I 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 more 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 B&Bs but this NEW YORKER article is about the house ... https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/20...This 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 more 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 B&Bs but this "New Yorker" article is about the house ... https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/20... Read the article as it is a precursor to this book. (Its images are on my facebook review).
    more
  • Lisa Taddeo
    January 1, 1970
    Masterful. Large-scale and granular at once. Quietly stunning prose. Wow.
  • Will
    January 1, 1970
    Sarah M. Broom's debut combines the highly personal with the journalist investigative eye, creating an engrossing, heartfelt memoir that is, simply put, so much more than the traditional memoir. Broom delivers a loving tribute to family, the history of a place (New Orleans East), the horrors of Hurricane Katrina, a withering view of racism, social injustice, political incompetence and more. Tying everything together, of course, is a house and all that a house and home represents, even long after Sarah M. Broom's debut combines the highly personal with the journalist investigative eye, creating an engrossing, heartfelt memoir that is, simply put, so much more than the traditional memoir. Broom delivers a loving tribute to family, the history of a place (New Orleans East), the horrors of Hurricane Katrina, a withering view of racism, social injustice, political incompetence and more. Tying everything together, of course, is a house and all that a house and home represents, even long after it has been wiped from the map.
    more
  • Melissa Dee
    January 1, 1970
    The Yellow House is the central character in this book. The house Sarah Broom grew up in, was destroyed in Katrina, and before and afterwards continues to be a central pole in her life. Broom’s large and complex family with its multi-generational brothers, sisters, aunties and cousins, lived in New Orleans East. Largely abandoned by the city government in favor of the tourist drawing French Quarter, her neighborhood was disproportionately impacted by Katrina. While her family physically survived The Yellow House is the central character in this book. The house Sarah Broom grew up in, was destroyed in Katrina, and before and afterwards continues to be a central pole in her life. Broom’s large and complex family with its multi-generational brothers, sisters, aunties and cousins, lived in New Orleans East. Largely abandoned by the city government in favor of the tourist drawing French Quarter, her neighborhood was disproportionately impacted by Katrina. While her family physically survived the hurricane and its aftermath, its effects were profound and long-lasting.I was fascinated by this modern history of New Orleans.I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
    more
  • Never Without a Book™
    January 1, 1970
    I loved every bit of this story, Its engrossing and funny. I promise you won’t want to put this one down. It’s a must read.
  • Martha Toll
    January 1, 1970
    Here's my review for NPR Books https://www.npr.org/2019/08/13/750449...
  • Lauren Christensen
    January 1, 1970
    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.
  • Nanette
    January 1, 1970
    An absolute masterpiece, and one of my favorite books of 2019. Sarah M. Broom takes huge events and ideas--Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent displacement of the Black residents of New Orleans, what "family" and "home" mean, how places become significant in our lives--and combines them with an intimate, personal story. There's so much here that it's difficult to describe succinctly, but you should read this. It's moving and heartbreaking and beautiful and essential.
    more
  • Erica
    January 1, 1970
    New Orleans was the first place where I ever really lived on my own, away from parents and dorms, free to explore and set down baby roots. We moved back north two months before Katrina, which Broom calls the Water, which revealed so many more layers about the city and its inhabitants' value and place. Broom focuses her story on New Orleans East, a part of the city I only (rarely) passed over on the highway, and uncovers even more layers that still reinforce the overall "feeling" of the city (whi New Orleans was the first place where I ever really lived on my own, away from parents and dorms, free to explore and set down baby roots. We moved back north two months before Katrina, which Broom calls the Water, which revealed so many more layers about the city and its inhabitants' value and place. Broom focuses her story on New Orleans East, a part of the city I only (rarely) passed over on the highway, and uncovers even more layers that still reinforce the overall "feeling" of the city (which she refers to as a "city of feelings" - spot on). So much goodness and sadness in this story.
    more
  • Niki
    January 1, 1970
    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 more in depth revue coming soon.
  • Carole Knoles
    January 1, 1970
    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 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.
    more
  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    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. Begi 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!
    more
  • Virginia McGee Butler
    January 1, 1970
    The beginning of The Yellow House: A Memoir takes the reader on a New Orleans map trip to find the house where the author grew up. Like someone beside you on the journey, author Sarah Broom points out landmarks and tells what happened there on the way. Even as the book has barely started, the reader is drawn into her words and feelings, anticipating all that is to come. Ivory Mae Broom, Sarah’s mother and a central figure in this memoir, bought a shotgun house in 1961 in what she saw as a nice n The beginning of The Yellow House: A Memoir takes the reader on a New Orleans map trip to find the house where the author grew up. Like someone beside you on the journey, author Sarah Broom points out landmarks and tells what happened there on the way. Even as the book has barely started, the reader is drawn into her words and feelings, anticipating all that is to come. Ivory Mae Broom, Sarah’s mother and a central figure in this memoir, bought a shotgun house in 1961 in what she saw as a nice neighborhood of New Orleans East. Postwar optimism and the promise of a NASA plant made the house seem like an opportune investment for her family. Ivory Mae would be married twice to husbands that died, leaving her with the assumption that she was bad luck for those men and the decision to remain a single parent raising their twelve children. The author Sarah, born six months after her father’s death was the last child until the Yellow House took on the role of the thirteenth and most difficult child. The story is of house and family told with honesty. For instance, in 1994 as her grandmother’s mind faded and her brother got into addiction, “My job was to keep Grandmother inside and to keep our brother Darryl out. Grandmother couldn’t be trusted to know where she belonged. Darryl would connive and steal for crack.” The narrative could be divided into before the Water and after the Water, as she calls Katrina. In their first view of the yellow house post-Katrina, she says, “Birds were living in our childhood home. When we approached it with its broken-out windows, they flew away, en masse. Her record of the ensuing attempt for her family and the property to return so some sense of normality, shows the professionalism of the journalist she has become and the heartfelt personal angst of longing for that which no longer exist.When all is said and done, two of her brothers brag that their official mail addresses still cite the location of the Yellow House although there no longer remains a 4121 Wilson mailbox that she always placed in her childhood drawings of the house. Carl promises to dig a hole and put one up.This memoir makes personal and authentic a side of New Orleans not often seen by the tourist trade. It gives honest insight into the struggles, successes, and failures of one extended family and of the larger community as it dealt with the Water and its aftermath.
    more
  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    "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 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,
    more
  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    I wanted to like this memoir, which tells the story of a family's home in New Orleans over a period of decades before and after it is ruined by Hurricane Katrina. Unfortunately, the threads of the story felt too loosely tied together from the beginning. When Sarah Broom shows up in her own book (after she has introduced her grandmother's and mother's generations), the book grows more lively. Even then, however, the story feels disjointed. Broom writes about going to college but not how she got f I wanted to like this memoir, which tells the story of a family's home in New Orleans over a period of decades before and after it is ruined by Hurricane Katrina. Unfortunately, the threads of the story felt too loosely tied together from the beginning. When Sarah Broom shows up in her own book (after she has introduced her grandmother's and mother's generations), the book grows more lively. Even then, however, the story feels disjointed. Broom writes about going to college but not how she got from school to Oprah's magazine. She writes about leaving the magazine to work overseas but not why she returns to the U.S. She describes working for former NOLA Mayor Ray Nagin, but glosses over her departure from that job as well. While sections of the book are elegantly written, the parts don't make up a meaningful whole. Note: I received an advance reader copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Janilyn Kocher
    January 1, 1970
    An interesting read about the youngest member of a large family whose lives focused around a house her mother owned for five decades. The author delves into her family history, which is fascinating reading. However, it's easy to sometimes get lost with all of the names and who is who. Over the years the house became delapitated and eventually had to be demolished after Hurricane Katrina. The house had been a focal point of the family for many years, but although it's now gone, the real anchor is An interesting read about the youngest member of a large family whose lives focused around a house her mother owned for five decades. The author delves into her family history, which is fascinating reading. However, it's easy to sometimes get lost with all of the names and who is who. Over the years the house became delapitated and eventually had to be demolished after Hurricane Katrina. The house had been a focal point of the family for many years, but although it's now gone, the real anchor is the family connections among the siblings. Thanks to both Edelweiss and NetGalley for the early copies.
    more
  • Chava
    January 1, 1970
    I found the story very interesting but it was extremely hard for me to get into it. I picked it and gave up immediately several times before I forced myself to finish it. This is an ambitious book that covers generations worth of a family history in New Orleans, one of America's most fascinating cities. Behind the story of the Yellow House and its inhabitants, is a story about persistence, loyalty, and strength. I would recommend this book only to those who have a specific interest in New Orlean I found the story very interesting but it was extremely hard for me to get into it. I picked it and gave up immediately several times before I forced myself to finish it. This is an ambitious book that covers generations worth of a family history in New Orleans, one of America's most fascinating cities. Behind the story of the Yellow House and its inhabitants, is a story about persistence, loyalty, and strength. I would recommend this book only to those who have a specific interest in New Orleans and/or Southern family dynamics. Thank you to NetGalley, Grove Press, and Sarah M. Broom for allowing me to access an advance release copy in exchange for my honest review.
    more
  • Kristine
    January 1, 1970
    The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early August.Quite epic, well-versed and rounded story of a large family from New Orleans during the 20th century. Yet, you get the distinct feeling that this is like an enhanced photo album with inside stories and events that you’d share between cousins and siblings, and, while they’d totally get it and understand, an outside party might just nod along, not fully connected to it all.
    more
  • Kristina Leonard
    January 1, 1970
    I've always had an on-off love affair with New Orleans, a city I've visited frequently for several decades. Still, reading Broom's memoir about the home that came to be her family's home in the early 1960s was a marvel of history, class, racial relations, and untold stories about Hurricane Katrina- all in regard to a city I thought I knew fairly well. I hope her memoir continues to find an audience.
    more
  • Carley Moore
    January 1, 1970
    One of the best memoirs I've ever read and I read a lot of memoirs. It's an exploration of family, housing, East New Orleans, Katrina, siblings, history, and black America. I won't forget it and I savored every sentence. Broom is a talented writer. She took her time with this book and it shows.
    more
  • Dee
    January 1, 1970
    I would give this ten stars if I could.
  • Lawanna Jackson
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you
  • Elaine Pasky
    January 1, 1970
    Decided not to read
  • Lauren
    January 1, 1970
    Reading this book and carrying it around (to New Orleans in April where everything was too close to the surface to read it) and all over New York (where I experienced Katrina and—as @sarah_m_broom calls it—the Water from afar) was like spending an inordinate amount of time in deep conversation with a new friend. A friend whom you realize you share an enormous history thanks to geography, circumstance, tragedy, governmental and environmental disaster. All that and a very complicated relationship Reading this book and carrying it around (to New Orleans in April where everything was too close to the surface to read it) and all over New York (where I experienced Katrina and—as @sarah_m_broom calls it—the Water from afar) was like spending an inordinate amount of time in deep conversation with a new friend. A friend whom you realize you share an enormous history thanks to geography, circumstance, tragedy, governmental and environmental disaster. All that and a very complicated relationship to that geography. Via car, I grew up 12 minutes away from Sarah, but we lived in completely different worlds. (That said, no one outside New Orleans knows the neighborhoods we grew up in.) And yet, we both experienced a huge loss in 2005 and ever since. But our complicated relationships with the city existed long before that. I’m telling you about my feelings about this book because it’s impossible for me to avoid it when I think about how personal this book is and how all New Orleanians are connected (and implicated?) in its fate—how all Americans are connected and implicated in the fate of New Orleans. THE YELLOW HOUSE is an epic memoir that transcends the genre to become a living history and testament to the unsung people of New Orleans East, a neighborhood almost entirely unknown to non-locals. Why do neighborhoods become ignored and forgotten? Why is it so important to name and lay claim to geography? It’s also a remarkable portrait of an African-American family and the challenges they faced throughout the 20th century through the present—issues of family, home, access to resources and information, transit, freedom to depart, freedom to return, freedom to hold onto a place of their very own. Reading this book, it occurred to me that Sarah Broom and I worked almost around the corner from one another when Katrina happened. I wish someone could have connected two native New Orleanians struggling to piece together something that felt impossible to grasp—even now. But I am grateful to read her book, urge you to do so when it’s published next month, and hope to write more soon.
    more
  • SundayAtDusk
    January 1, 1970
    In this memoir, which is written in a somewhat free association manner, Sarah M. Broom explores her family, her own diverse life, and the city that will never let her go--New Orleans. Even when the Water wrecks the yellow house her mother bought in 1961, Ms. Broom discovers she has to return to New Orleans and to what remains of her childhood home and neighborhood. It’s been difficult trying to figure out why I liked this memoir so much, since often I don’t like free association type memoirs and In this memoir, which is written in a somewhat free association manner, Sarah M. Broom explores her family, her own diverse life, and the city that will never let her go--New Orleans. Even when the Water wrecks the yellow house her mother bought in 1961, Ms. Broom discovers she has to return to New Orleans and to what remains of her childhood home and neighborhood. It’s been difficult trying to figure out why I liked this memoir so much, since often I don’t like free association type memoirs and quickly lose patience with them. I don’t know . . . maybe it’s because when the author is hanging out on her old street after Hurricane Katrina, with her brother and a few others, her undying attachment to the land, to the city, to her family makes her life and New Orleans seem . . . eternal.(Note: I received a free e-ARC of this book from NetGalley and the publisher.)
    more
Write a review