House Rules

House Rules

A compelling, at times horrifying work that is impossible to put down, House Rules will stand beside Running With Scissors and The Glass Castle as a memoir that cracks open the shell of a desperately dysfunctional family with impressive grace and humour. Rachel Sontag grew up the daughter of a well-liked doctor in an upper middle class suburb of Chicago. The view from outsi A compelling, at times horrifying work that is impossible to put down, House Rules will stand beside Running With Sci...

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Title:House Rules
Author:Rachel Sontag
Rating:
Genres:Autobiography
ISBN:House Rules
ISBN
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:261 pages pages

House Rules Reviews

  • M
    May 13, 2010
    Wow is this a trip. Sontag describes in painstaking - literally - detail the horrors she grew up with under the thumb of a controlling, abusive father who, while he never hit her, hurt her in far deeper ways, and her mother who refuses to take a stand. This read like a darker Glass Cas...
  • Jaime
    Jun 21, 2009
    This memoir illustrates the emotional abuse the author suffered at the hands of her father. Steve Sontag was sick--that's obvious. He was the ultimate manipulator, playing mind games and challenging Rachel to bouts of emotional "chicken." What I found most bothersome, however, was her ...
  • Lydia Presley
    Dec 08, 2009
    Imagine you are a young teenage girl. Imagine you had just been in an accident through no fault of your own, or your mothers (the driver). Imagine you are standing outside of the car, speaking to the police, with your home just down the road, and your mother sends you to get your fathe...
  • Nancy
    Feb 11, 2010
    This was a book I couldn't put down. It's a disturbing true story of a family where the dad is a tyrant. The mom and 2 daughters never know when or what will set him off. He tries to teach "lessons" to them but with severe, unreasonable discipline. He treats the mother as one of the ch...
  • Mata
    Jul 27, 2010
    An interesting memoir, written by a woman who grew up psychologically abused by her father who was obsessed with her and raising her to be perfect. Hard to read at times, at other times I just couldn?t put it down. She?s a gifted writer and, maybe thanks to lots of therapy, has a c...
  • Rhonda Rae Baker
    Jun 02, 2009
    WOW...this is a memoir that everyone should read! Deeply moving and psychologically charged...I can't say enough good things about this story. It's real and life is real, this memoir will open your eyes. Weather you've been abused, neglected, or wondered what was going on in another pe...
  • Iva
    May 21, 2008
    Grew up in Evanston--expose of her family. Interesting, compelling, but made me uncomfortable. ...
  • Juliette
    Feb 08, 2015
    I was going to give this memoir 2 1/2 stars, but then I started thinking about Catcher in the Rye and it bumped my rating up another half star. "If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like...
  • Madeleine
    Dec 25, 2012
    I have a tendency to annotate, underline and lovingly deface my reading material. I promised myself that I'd go easy on this one, settling for the less-permanently-marring dog-ear method when something really jumped out at me; otherwise, I'd be leaving a trail of graffiti that would re...
  • Jeanne
    Mar 29, 2010
    ALA 2011 I can't believe that people have compared this memoir to Glass Castle. Sontag's father is a monster, but her writing style is whiny. It never seemed to me that Jeanette Walls was trying to make people feel sorry for her; she wasn't complaining about the way her family was--jus...
  • Jeannie
    Sep 29, 2011
    Riveting memoir of growing up with an asshole for a father and a mother who cared more for the fathers feelings than her own children. It was so sad to read about Rachel's childhood but inspiring to know she survived it to come out a better person. I found myself mad as hell half the t...
  • Moira Russell
    Feb 21, 2012
    A very good book, but no way would I compare it with Running with Scissors; it's far more hypnotic and harrowing, less jokey. Rachel Sontag's father never physically or sexually abused her, her sister or her mother; instead he went after them verbally with a ritual savagery night after...
  • Tari
    Jan 19, 2009
    This book was amazingly, brilliantly written and recounts a childhood consisting of cruelty and emotional abuse. It is a perfect illustration of the devastating yet subtle effects of abuse that is psychological but not physical, and that exists in a life of so-called privilege. It also...
  • Kate
    Jan 05, 2017
    Painful at times to read, but complex and addictive in its grotesquely fascinating portrait of a narcissistic parent. I couldn't put it down and read the book in one day. Raw and real, with anger but also some understanding, we come to know the different aspects of her deeply dysfuncti...
  • Jill
    Oct 03, 2010
    I was totally sucked in to the this book from page one. This was an extremely frustrating story of a girl who lives within the super controlling and manipulative world of her father. The emotional abuse that she suffered because of him is outrageous. This book chronicled her childho...
  • Kim
    Mar 23, 2011
    I am not sure why I do this to myslef - I seem unable to stop reading books about the screwed up situations people grew up in. What is wrong with people that they treat their kids so strangely? Rachel's dad is cruel and abusive in the weirdest way. What he does seems loving and prot...
  • Cleo Bannister
    Jan 26, 2014
    This memoir is written in a way which never seems to exaggerate the psychological abuse Rachel suffered at the hands of her father but at the same time leaves the reader in no doubt about how damaging this was. Of course this kind of abuse is the hardest to detect, the hardest to reaso...
  • Jackie
    May 12, 2010
    mehh. Certainly did not live up to the hype of being like Glass Palace and Running with Scissors. Sure the family was f*@ked up and the dad was a super whack job but the story read like a court case as to why this girl could justify never talking to her dad again. Glass Palace and Runn...
  • Rebs
    Apr 15, 2011
    Personally, I don't think this was strong enough for a book. A long article, sure. But not a book, especially since it missed a lot of the introspection that you see in the books of, say, Augusten Burroughs, who also writes about his fucked-up childhood. ...
  • Kayla Joy
    Jun 28, 2010
    I did not enjoy this book. I felt like I read, read, read and I got no where in the book. There was no main event in the book, I felt like the author continuously just restated everything she already thought and felt. The only reason I kept reading the book is because I thought that th...
  • Jessica
    Jun 07, 2011
    I think I have lost count on how many times I have been in trouble with my parents. I used to think that I was judged unfairly and quickly began to complain about how unfair life was. That is why ?House Rules? by Rachel Sontag caught my attention. The main character, Rachel has alw...
  • Kim Brittingham
    May 04, 2011
    For anyone who's been on the receiving end of emotional abuse from a less-than-stable parent, House Rules is something of a comfort. It's a reminder that you're not the only one who understands that abuse doesn't always leave a child black-and-blue -- at least not in a physical sense. ...
  • Marisa
    Jan 01, 2011
    I admit I had high expectations when I cracked this book open because Rachel is a childhood friend of mine. I learned about the book before it was published because her lawyer called me to explain that I had a miniscule role in the story and they were verifying that she was actually wr...
  • Michelle
    Nov 12, 2014
    I related with her it broke my heart too. I liked the added essays at the end. ...
  • Neha
    Oct 30, 2012
    House Rules by Rachel Sontag, autobiography. This memoir is about a young girl who has issues with her father. At times she considers him and her hero; however, other times she considers him as her enemy. The book shows you the life of Rachel and how her father is constantly taking ove...
  • Sally Monem
    Mar 04, 2013
    House Rules by Rachel Sontag is an autobiography of her life and childhood struggle with her unique family situation. Rachel grew up with a very controlling father, who created a very structured lifestyle for Rachel and her sister, Jenny. Rachel's father's life was filled with rules an...
  • Emily Crow
    May 08, 2016
    Tolstoy famously said (paraphrasing) that happy families are all alike, but each unhappy family is miserable in their own unique way. I think if he'd been alive during the glut of sucky childhood memoirs, he might have changed his mind about that. In this one, Sontag describes the purg...
  • Bekki Fowell
    Aug 06, 2014
    Slow & not as good as I was expecting, I feel bad in saying that because it is someone's autobiography, but I did not like this read. ...
  • Hannah Evans
    Dec 15, 2018
    Rachel is so brave. As someone who feels a compulsive need to tell my most painful stories but fears the consequences, I admire her courage to write this book so honestly yet compassionately. This book changed me, and I?m so glad it exists. Rachel is, without a doubt, a hero and insp...
  • Anne Ross
    Aug 12, 2018
    Definitely a painful read--the cruelty was suffocating. The writing was magical, and the narrator's present-day perspective lent much to interpreting the events. Extremely well done! ...