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Download House Rules: A Memoir Audiobook

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: March 2008 ISBN: 9781436141253
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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!

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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.”

    Booklist

  • “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 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 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 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 Colette | 1/28/2014

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

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marylar | 1/13/2014

    " was a very sad book but ,it was well writin , it gave ya a look into the lives of everyone effected . "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Alyce | 1/6/2014

    " It isn't until the last chapter that the author attempts to delve deeper into the pathology of her past. Unfortunately it was too little, too late for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenna | 12/26/2013

    " 4.5 stars-This was a great book and a quick read. It made me even more grateful for the wonderful relationship I have with my father because unfortunately, this author did not have that at all. Would reccomend this one! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tari | 12/24/2013

    " 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 speaks to the resilency and strength that exists in Rachel to find a way out and reclaim herself. This book is heartbreaking to read, but I couldn't put it down. Then again, I tend to love depressing memoirs. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leticia | 12/20/2013

    " It's so sad to know that there are so many children like Rachel that are abused (emotionally and/or physically) by the people that should love and cherish them most, their parents! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 MaryAnn | 11/25/2013

    " Not as good as her others, but still hard to put down :) A pretty good portrayal of someone with Asperger's with lots of good info to help understand what it is. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Augie Spreechicago | 10/21/2013

    " This book took me deep into the memories of my own dysfunctional family and at the same time helped me realize the strength that is not from such adversity. I couldn't put it down "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 3/7/2013

    " The cruelty of emotional abuse comes out full force in this story about Rachel Sontag's childhood. Her father was the abuser but I believe her mother mentally abused her just as much for allowing it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emily | 12/2/2012

    " I thought this memoir was very similar in nature to The Glass Castle, which coincidentally I finished right before I started this one. I loved this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rebekah Glass | 9/16/2012

    " I actually read this book twice. I was drawn in to Rachel's story and all that she went through. It's written well, and was a quick read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Roberta | 7/28/2012

    " Found this one at the bookstore and couldn't put it down. Memoir from an Evanston girl whose father has "House Rules" they all must live by. Wonderful view into dysfunctional families. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beth Dalrymple | 7/1/2012

    " A powerful memoir of a father obsessed with control and his daughter's struggle to remove herself from his "house prison". "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liz | 1/29/2012

    " sad and courageous true tale of emotional abuse in a family .... had a hard time putting down...and bizarre (and not very believable) response/defense from parent on his blog... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cari | 7/10/2011

    " This is a shocking good book about abuse but not in the typical way - it was a real eye opener for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynne | 3/16/2011

    " For the author to emerge from this family as (seemingly) "together" as she is, is amazing. I highly recommend this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emily | 3/7/2011

    " I thought this memoir was very similar in nature to The Glass Castle, which coincidentally I finished right before I started this one. I loved this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary | 2/8/2011

    " While this was interesting study about growing up with a mentally ill father, the publisher's blurb promised more that the book delivered. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kristen | 2/3/2011

    " I felt as if I knew her. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pam | 1/23/2011

    " I have actually LIVED this book with my step-father! This is a very emotional, gut wrenching book. I actually had the anxiety come back to me by reading some scenes. Very well written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 1/13/2011

    " Quote I have marked:

    The crying felt similar to the emotional exhaustion at the end of a long breakup, when both people, their hurt blurred and their hearts beginning to untangle, can see for a second the person they once loved.

    p. 216 "

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