A Finalist for the Costa Biography Award Longlisted for the Orwell Prize Named a Best Book of the Year by The Times (London) • New Statesman (London) • Daily Express (London) • Commonweal magazine In the summer of 1993, Thomas Harding traveled to Germany with his grandmother to visit a small house by a lake on the outskirts of Berlin. It had been her “soul place,” she said—a holiday home for her and her family, but also a refuge—until the 1930s, when the Nazis’ rise to power forced them to leave. The trip was his grandmother’s chance to remember her childhood sanctuary as it was. But the house had changed, and when Harding returned once again nearly twenty years later, it was about to be demolished. It now belonged to the government, and as Harding began to inquire about whether the house could be saved, he unearthed secrets that had lain hidden for decades. Slowly he began to piece together the lives of the five families who had lived there: a wealthy landowner, a prosperous Jewish family, a renowned composer, a widow and her children, a Stasi informant. All had made the house their home, and all but one had been forced out. The house had weathered storms, fires and abandonment, witnessed violence, betrayals and murders, and had withstood the trauma of a world war and the dividing of a nation. Breathtaking in scope and intimate in its detail, The House by the Lake is a groundbreaking and revelatory new history of Germany, told over a tumultuous century through the story of a small wooden house.
the house by the lake
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"Anna is content with her well-ordered life in San Francisco. However, when her beloved grandfather, Max, reveals that they are part of an aristocratic family who during World War II were forced to leave their estate in Prussia, Anna embarks on a quest to retrieve a precious item Max left there over seventy years ago"--
History comes home in a deeply moving, exquisitely illustrated tale of a small house, taken by the Nazis, that harbors a succession of families--and becomes a quiet witness to a tumultuous century. The days went around like a wheel. The sun rose, warming the walls of the house. On the outskirts of Berlin, Germany, a wooden cottage stands on the shore of a lake. Over the course of a hundred years, this little house played host to a kind Jewish doctor and his family, a successful Nazi composer, wartime refugees, and a secret-police informant. During that time, as a world war came and went and the Berlin Wall arose just a stone's throw from the back door, the house filled up with myriad everyday moments. And when that time was over, and the dwelling was empty and derelict, the great-grandson of the man who built the house felt compelled to bring it back to life and listen to the story it had to tell. Illuminated by Britta Teckentrup's magnificent illustrations, Thomas Harding's narration reads like a haunting fairy tale--a lyrical picture-book rendering of the story he first shared in an acclaimed personal history for adult readers.
A criminal lawyer with a cool head and a passion for logic, David wakes up to find himself confined to a small, sparsely furnished room, unable to remember what happened the day before. With the help of his doctor, David begins to coax memories out of the darkness, before the details of a terrible secret emerge. (1 act, 1 male, 1 female).
Nestled into the green hillside by beautiful Lake Maggiore in northern Italy, there is a dilapidated villa. Even in its current state of disrepair, those who find it know that there is something magnetic about the place. They imagine the villa in its prime surrounded by sculpted topiaries, white peacocks frolicking among sprawling cypress trees, and stone figures standing guard—a more prosperous and mysterious past. Diana Marshall, an American designer traveling in Italy in the hopes of finding inspiration after the death of her husband, is captivated by the structure. In the lines and shadows and secret places of the abandoned relic, she sees a chance to capture her passion again—for life, for art, for beauty. She throws all caution and sense to the wind and commits to breathing life into the grand old home. With the help of a cunning financier with an agenda of his own, she makes plans to give the abandoned structure a complete renovation. As the project progresses, tantalizing hints of the villa’s past begin to emerge. Layer by layer, the residue of another lifetime dares Diana to dig deeper for the truth. Visitors to the villa bring morsels of information that, when pieced together, begin to tell a story of its involvement in the darkest part of twentieth-century history. As she learns more about the building’s nefarious past and the reality of those former inhabitants, Diana begins to fear the worst.
Rebecca York is feeling confident with a clear head, a happy heart, and a new plan in hand. Just back from spending six months in France, Rebecca leisurely walks around the grounds of her godmother's historic house on a Texas lake while dreaming of converting it into an elegant bed-and-breakfast and saving it from encroaching land developers. But just as she settles in to spend her first night at Maple Villa, a key turns the lock and the front door creaks open, revealing a man from Rebecca's past. Paul Drew, a distinguished foreign news correspondent and author, first met Rebecca nearly seventeen years ago and is still as charming as she remembers him. Except there is only one problem: Paul has also received a key to the endangered old lake residence from Rebecca's godmother and has already moved in to recuperate from a wound he received in the Middle East. But even as the sweet affection started many years ago between them begins to reawaken, neither Rebecca nor Paul can fathom the idea of giving up their individual dreams for Maple Villa. In this contemporary romance, attraction, passion, and strong aspirations bring two souls together in the face of adversity as an old house quietly awaits its destiny.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Bird Box comes a haunting tale of mystery and love, as a boy and a girl on their first date discover a strange house at the bottom of a lake--and a secret that will change their lives forever. So many love stories begin like this: It is summer. It is a beautiful night at a lake in the woods. They are seventeen. And it is their first date. But no other love story ends like this. For Jim and Amelia find something even stranger and more magical than first love: Under the water and in the darkness, there is a house at the bottom of the lake. They can't resist exploring it. What they find seems to be an ordinary house like any other on any street in their little town . . . except that it is underwater. But there is something inside it. Something that calls to them. Something that is telling them to come home . . .
Several months after moving into the Twin Palms Manor, a Room and Board facility in the old Westlake District of Los Angeles, retired police detective and widower, Ben Hollister suddenly vanishes, without a trace. Alarmed by his disappearance, Hollister's daughter, Dianne, begins to investigate. After speaking with Kate Barlow, the owner and manager of the Room and Board home, and getting nowhere, Dianne enlists the aid of Detective Lt. Frank McElroy, incidentally, a friend of her father. McElroy, in turn, assigns Detective Joe Kellermann, to physically move into the house, as part of an undercover operation. It is here that the young detective becomes involved with a myriad of characters-as one tenant describes it, Kate Barlow's menagerie of misfits. We soon learn that Hollister was the third tenant to have gone missing, in as many months. A roller coaster ride of suspense and greed-a woman's nefarious obsession to break all the rules. An illicit tale of deception, conspiracy, betrayal and murder.
Fabrizio Garrone is an impoverished but aristocratic translator who has been living a life of quiet desperation in Milan. He feels underappreciated and tormented by a persistent sense of having been cheated by life. But when he reads about a lost Viennese novel—The House on Moon Lake—in the journals of a late esteemed literary critic, he dreams that this project will put him on the cultural and literary map, and finally bring him the accolades that have eluded him. Fabrizio journeys to Vienna, tracks down the book, and translates it, and in so doing embarks on a nightmarish search for the truth behind the events depicted in it, as well as for clues about the tragic life of its forgotten author. When asked to write a short biography of the novelist, Fabrizio must invent details missing from the last three years of his subject’s life. The resulting biography is a publishing phenomenon. But the repercussions for Fabrizio are profound: he becomes the willing victim of a person he had thought to be fictional.