Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Book Review: The House by the Lake by Ella Carey {Kindle Unlimited}

Book: The House by the Lake

Author: Ella Carey

Pages: 234

Read in: 3 hours

Read on: Kindle

Plot Summary: Anna is content with her well-ordered life in San Francisco. But her world is turned upside down when her beloved grandfather, Max, reveals a startling secret: Anna is part of an aristocratic family who lost everything during World War II. What’s more, Max was forced to leave behind a precious item over seventy years ago in their estate in old Prussia. It’s now his ardent wish that Anna retrieve it.
Anna burns with questions as she heads for Germany: What memento could be so important to her grandfather? And why did he keep their history hidden? As she searches for answers, she finds herself drawn to Wil, a man who may hold the key to unlock the mystery. Together they discover that her family’s secrets are linked with an abandoned apartment in Paris, and these secrets go deeper than she ever imagined.
Alternating between 1930s Europe and the present, The House by the Lake illuminates the destiny of a family caught in the tumult of history.
Things I Liked: 
1. Almost every historical fiction book manages to interest me. So, this was no exception. Also, the promise of a mysterious past with its root in Germany during WWII was an added hook. 
2. This book paints a very vivid picture of the life of the swish set in Germany and France (actually, let's just say Europe) in the inter-war period. Summers in Lake Geneva, fall in Paris and so on.. the author's vivid description of the places, food, costumes etc. brought that era alive. 
3. The characters in this book were quite interesting.. Max, the girl he fell in love with, Wil, Anna.. they are all nicely etched. 
4. The events of the past were handled with a lot of sensitivity and empathy.. Max's decision to join Hitler's army and how much he angst over it plus the many reasons different people had to join the Nazi cause were diverse and varied and I am glad there are books pointing this out. Not everyone can or should be tarred by the same brush. 
Things I Didn't Like: 
1. I wish there were more chapters from the 1930s and less of present day chapters. I was quite annoyed with Anna's whining and nervousness. Somehow I didn't get why she was so anxious, so nervous.. I get it, the possibility that your family were a bunch of pro-Nazi aristocrats must be..umm.. difficult to deal with, I guess.. but if that's in the past, then why angst so much about it?! Max was hardly sending her to dig out a Nazi uniform out of the floorboards of his old bedroom! Anyway, the past storyline was way more interesting than the present day storyline. 
2. I wish the big mystery of the abandoned Paris apartment was not so-out-of-the-blue! I mean, I enjoy  big twist but, man, this you do not see coming! 
Rating: 3.5/5 
A pretty enjoyable and quick read; fans of historical fiction will enjoy this book. 

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