The Yellow House

The Yellow House

Book - 2019 | First Grove Atlantic edition
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"Sarah M. Broom's [memoir] 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."-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, NY : Grove Press, an imprint of Grove Atlantic, 2019
Edition: First Grove Atlantic edition
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9780802125088
Branch Call Number: 976.33506 B7919Y 2019
Characteristics: 376 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Mar 18, 2021

Ordinary journalistic writing; poor storytelling; tedious.

Feb 22, 2021

A layered, compelling memoir of a life spent both running from and towards what it is that makes family and the concept of home. Born the youngest child of 12 into a family of siblings born across decades, Sarah's childhood is built on the memories and mythologies of others in the crumbling yellow house that her mother was once so proud of. With her father dying as Sarah is born, the family does what they can to survive in the forgotten neighborhoods of East New Orleans. Sarah Broom paints a vivid picture of her world and how she took every opportunity to leave it, eventually traveling all over the world. Yet somehow it kept calling her back.

Jan 31, 2021

This book is a set of reminiscences about place (New Orleans and particularly the Yellow House) and family (The extended Broom family) as written by Sarah the youngest of twelve siblings. By her writing, it is clear that she observes and notes with some poignancy the events from grand parents to her generation and comments on them with some introspection. The events span the changing of societal attitudes towards civil rights as well as the local politics of New Orleans both before and after Katrina. The author shares with her readers both the good and the bad that occur with a perspective that allows the reader to see and hear and experience lives growing up in an environment that I suspect will be unfamiliar for most people outside of New Orleans. I just wish that the publisher had taken the time to print better copies of the photos. It is good that she has taken the time to write and I look forward to her next book.

Sandra Konrad
Dec 21, 2020

I'm not going to finish this book, though I've tried. There is no character to follow in any meaningful way, the narrative is extremely jumpy, the recollection of utterances distracting. More than the photos, a family tree and map of New Orleans would have helped orient.

Dec 18, 2020

Excellent writing but I couldn't have gotten through it except for some strange reasons I love New Orleans. It wasn't what I expected, was more about family ties and grieving. I thought it would be about the corruption and injustice in N.O. in the aftermath of Katrina. I remember watching Katrina for days on tv not even imagining how horrible it must have been to go through it.
Kind of hard to keep track of all the family once you get into cousins and nieces and nephews and half sisters and half brothers, big family.

mko123 Dec 15, 2020

A big, rambling family lived in this tinkered together but beloved Yellow House. The house was in the invisible section of greater New Orleans-part residential and part industrial. When Katrina came, the water washed away all vestiges of the house. The family scattered. But the yearning for their own piece of earth would draw them back. A daughter and brilliant author Sara Broom traveled the world but came back to piece together what happened to her home in this forgotten, marginalized part of the mythical New Orleans. This book is a eulogy to her family and the memory of her childhood home.

Oct 29, 2020

I loved this book. From the very beginning I did a family tree, so I could keep track of the many family members. With that, it was a snap!
The house was the nucleus of a wonderful story about family.

Sep 03, 2020

NO woman w 12 children.

Aug 27, 2020

Having been asked to read,
drawn to the place, I need
to overcome a casualness on subject
familiar, avoid another experience abject.

Intimate narration won me over,
inconsistent, my mind only hover.
Families of Lolo to Mo, bloom,
struggling, Ivory Mae to all Broom.
Story of a house as home,
Spokesperson gifted and roam.
From Harlem to 4121 Wilson,
Creole living to land of African.
Survivors' dirge on Water,
Viva la vida French Quarter.
Personal stories expanded to some
grave topics, not a profound tome.

Aug 07, 2020

The author writes about her family growing up in East New Orleans, a large area east of the French Quarter built on marshland. What was once a thriving neighborhood slowly devolved into an industrial zone vulnerable to flooding, a direct consequence of overzealous development and neglect by politicians. The family home is more than a yellow house. It is where babies are born, kids raised, milestones celebrated. In the wake of Katrina’s destruction, members of the family scatter to different regions of the country. Even so, you can almost see the ethereal ties that keep them tethered to the family home. This is a story of family bonds, human resilience, and the universal desire for all families to want a home to call their own. It took 11 years before the author’s mother received a grant for compensation of the loss of her home, the yellow house.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at TPL

To Top