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Extended Audio Sample House Rules: A Memoir, by Rachel Sontag Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (990 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Rachel Sontag Narrator: Nicole Poole Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Author Rachel Sontag recounts her dysfunctional childhood in this shocking memoir. On the surface, Rachel’s physician father seemed perfect. He was well liked and equally respected in suburban Chicago. But home life was far different. An obsessive and manipulative man, he exercised complete control over everything, including the length of Rachel’s hair and fingernails. Eventually, Rachel fought to break free and make some sense of her damaged life. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “Fascinating.”

    Rosie O’Donnell

  • “Sontag’s lean writing captures the feeling of family as prison. Each time an outside observer recognizes her father’s manipulative cruelty, the reader feels a little surge of hope.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “As Rachel Sontag makes clear in her searing memoir, House Rules, emotional abuse can be as devastating, as cruel, as the most severe physical and sexual maltreament…What is remarkable and inspiring is that Sontag emerged from the situation a stronger person.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Sontag’s is a brave account, not only of what it’s like to take the brunt of an abusive parent’s wrath, but of what it means to have the courage to leave.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “With riveting candor and mature insight, she explores the profound complexity of her family relationships and offers a powerful story of survival, strength, and hope.”


  • “As riveting, passionate, and powerful a memoir as any I have read in recent years.”

    Phillip Lopate, award-winning author

  • “Sontag lays out the story of her family in prose as tautly strung and delicate as a high-wire…House Rules is a remarkable book that will move readers as surely as it will instruct them in the art of survival.”

    Dani Shapiro, author of Black & White

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Mari | 2/11/2014

    " Another day, another memoir. This girl's life was awful, in the psychological torment she endured by her dad and the impact of her weak mom staying with him. I kept hoping for it to get better, as in, she would break through and find a way to fully be free of him. And while she's estranged from her dad at the end (and therefore pretty much from her mom), it didn't seem very hopeful or happy. There wasn't really a message within the book, or a lesson to be learned. That made me think "I could do this," (meaning write a memoir, not be estranged from my family) BUT I'm not sure my family life is as interesting ... or that I would be able to publicly air it like Rachel does. I am interested in what happened after the book was published. If her dad exploded or if it's just continued to keep the rift between them growing wider. The author lives in NYC, as I do right now. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Johari | 2/6/2014

    " Engaging as a memoir, he father clearly has issues. IT gave a mesmerizing review of her life but since she is an adult with her own issues I wanted more of what her childhood meant for her as an adult. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Jeannie | 2/2/2014

    " 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 time and cheering her on the rest. Excellent memoir, I highly recommend this one! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Colette | 1/28/2014

    " The majority of the book was great - the ending seemed a little quick, and forced. "

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