The Glass Room by Simon Mawer
I like books that have been nominated for awards because it means I have to think less about whether or not it is a 'good pick', because someone else has already made this decision for me!
This book is about the Landauer House, a fancy modern house built for the family in the late 1920's, and more specifically der Glassraum, the centerpiece of the house. Rather than follow the story of the owners, a Aryan-Jew couple, through WWII, the Holocaust and the aftermath, it follows the story of the house, and it's transition from family home, to a race-classification laboratory, to a ruin, to a children's hospital wing, and to it's final restoration of it's former glory, and the people that use and inhabit it throughout this journey.
Which is all well and good as a synopsis, but kind of sucks as a story line. Just as things start to get interesting in every sub-story, and you begin to like the characters and care about what happens to them (because don't get me wrong, it's really well written), they're dropped from the story, never to be seen again! So frustrating when you're desperate to know what happened to them, because the individual stories feel incomplete. It's only Liesl's story that really comes full-circle, and even she is forgotten during the middle chapters. It felt like it could've been such a wonderful book, being based around such an interesting time historical, and from a not-often-covered viewpoint of not being Jewish, but still having the flee. The characters were wonderful, but it felt like it was trying to be several different books at once, and spread it's self too thin, so it ended up being pretty disappointing.
I would probably give it a 6/10, because it was good whilst still being ultimately rubbish. The worst kind of books really.
P.S. We might be having our home visit to see if we're suitable foster parents (for cats) on Sunday! I'm doing a really bad job of containing my excitement about this. I basically just want to squeal constantly. I'll probably be tweeting about it constantly over the weekend if you want to follow/avoid :D
P.P.S. Hubby is walking through the door as I hit publish - good timing! Have a nice weekend y'all.