The Irresistible Henry House: A Novel
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In this captivating novel, bestselling author Lisa Grunwald gives us the sweeping tale of an irresistible hero and the many women who love him. In the middle of the twentieth century, in a home economics program at a prominent university, orphaned babies are being used to teach mothering skills to young women. For Henry House, raised in these unlikely circumstances, finding real love and learning to trust will prove to be the work of a lifetime. From his earliest days as a “practice baby” through his adult adventures in 1960s New York City, Disney’s Burbank studios, and the delirious world of the Beatles’ London, Henry remains handsome, charming, universally adored—but unable to return the affections of the many women who try to lay claim to his heart. It is not until Henry comes face-to-face with the truths of his past that he finds a chance for real love.
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(remember George? Of course you don’t) and a number of projects, one of which has just come to fruition. To find out more, you’ll have to write to me. That’s right, write to me, doofus. Love always, MJ Henry looked up. Victoria was standing in the doorway of the sitting room. “I have had a profound insight,” she said. She walked to the other end of the sofa and straddled its arm, like a child playing horse. “And what is that?” Henry asked her, wishing she’d go away. “Do you realize that,
‘Damn’?” “Right.” “Damn.” “I don’t suppose you know where your thermometer is?” Henry shrugged. “Do you have any reds?” he asked. He coughed then—one deep, long, alarming bronchial bray. When he was finished, his eyes had filled with tears. Meanwhile, Hazel’s protests from downstairs had turned into a full-throated yell. “I have to go see to her,” Vera said. “Are you going to be okay?” she asked. He nodded and was about to speak, but then he started to cough again. “No. You’d better come
looked glazed. Whenever he had time between classes or after meals, he filled his Falk Book with these images, and his best days were the ones on which he had art class. THE ASSIGNMENT HENRY CARED MOST ABOUT was the multipart one that Charlie announced during the very first class of sophomore year. For what would be counted as the equivalent of a term paper and a final exam, the students were asked to create self-portraits using no fewer than five different perspectives, or “lenses,” as Charlie
portfolio open on his desk, lit a cigarette, leaned back in his streamlined blue plastic chair, flapped his tie onto the center of his short-sleeved, buttoned shirt, and proceeded to tell Henry that he would never be getting this chance if it weren’t for Mary Poppins. For the last decade or so, Morrow explained, Disney’s films had been mostly live-action, and most of the studio’s animators had been working for the Mouseketeers show, for Disneyland, or for the coming World’s Fair. Morrow took a
bet. No work to get her at all, and probably not much more to keep her. But something about Annie held promise for him, too: he pictured her gripping him tightly, and the need he imagined in her was somehow more compelling than the need he felt in himself. He didn’t know why he wanted it, but he let himself imagine that, for the first time, it might be nice to have a girlfriend whom he allowed to need him. THE ONLY WOMAN HENRY THOUGHT ABOUT during the workday was Mary Poppins. Emem had read the