The Irresistible Henry House

By Lisa Grunwald
(Random House, Hardcover, 9781400063000, 432pp.)

Publication Date: March 16, 2010

List Price: $25.00*
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the April 2010 Indie Notables
“Can too many mothers spoil the child? They do in the case of Henry House, an orphan raised in a college home economics 'practice house' in the 1950s. Henry becomes adept at pleasing all of his 'practice mothers,' but at a price. He'll spend his young adulthood figuring out not only how to attract love, but also how to give it. An insightful and bittersweet read.”
-- Molly Young, Orinda Books, Orinda, CA


It is the middle of the twentieth century, and in a home economics program at a prominent university, real babies are being used to teach mothering skills to young women. For a young man raised in these unlikely circumstances, finding real love and learning to trust will prove to be the work of a lifetime. In this captivating novel, bestselling author Lisa Grunwald gives us the sweeping tale of an irresistible hero and the many women who love him.

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—and never entirely accessible to the many women he conquers but can never entirely trust.

Filled with unforgettable characters, settings, and action, The Irresistible Henry House portrays the cultural tumult of the mid-twentieth century even as it explores the inner tumult of a young man trying to transcend a damaged childhood. For it is not until Henry House comes face-to-face with the real truths of his past that he finds a chance for real love.

About the Author

Lisa Grunwald is the author of the novels Whatever Makes You Happy, New Year’s Eve, The Theory of Everything, and Summer. Along with her husband, BusinessWeek editor in chief Stephen J. Adler, she edited the bestselling anthologies Women’s Letters and Letters of the Century. Grunwald is a former contributing editor to Life and a former features editor of Esquire.

Thursday, Jan 6, 2011

From 1919 to 1969, college home economics programs had "practice apartments" where young women learned the domestic arts, including how to mother by caring for infants lent by local orphanages to live at the school. Author Lisa Grunwald shares the history she discovered in researching her novel The Irresistible Henry House. More at

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