Book 19 – The House By The Lake by Thomas Harding

Set during the rise of Hitler, this is a factual story that takes you through the decades as seen through the various inhabitants of a lake house. The country was eventually divided and it’s Harding houseoriginal owners now faced a view of the Berlin wall rather than the lake. A must-read for all historians and would do well as part of school projects on the subject. An insightful and sobering read.

The House By The Lake was a very interesting and thought provoking read.  Hitler was never someone I wanted to know more about but it was good to read more on the subject about him, Germany’s division and his eventual rise to power. Personally, I found the book quite harrowing in parts, the brutal Russians and murderous Nazis have a lot to answer for. It didn’t stop me finishing it though as his writing style is very easy to read but I did need a break from it once or twice. 3.5/5

I have just finished The House by the Lake, our March book, and really enjoyed the way in which Thomas Harding wove the history of the Nazi uprising and fall over the century. It really opened my eyes to the fact that it all happened over a much longer period of time than I’d actually thought, quite naively. It really was eye opening to chart the move through time in the lives of all the different people who occupied the lake house and how they came to do so. I was fascinated and, at the same time, horrified by the turn of events. Got a bit fed up going to all the comments/notes at the end as, with my old Kindle, it’s not so easy to flick back and forward but I really enjoyed the history lesson, some new and revealing and other parts a reminder of how dreadful life can be when a nation is not happy, hasn’t work to keep the people housed, fed and nurtured and, in that atmosphere, Hitler could rise and conquer. 3.5/5.

One is well aware of the plight of the Jews in Germany in the run up to, and during, WW2 but I’m not sure I quite understood the horrors that befell German citizens once the allies agreed to carve up what was left of the country. It was thought provoking and pretty sobering reading 4/5

I started it with some trepidation. But surprised my self by enjoying it immensely . I particularly enjoyed reading about the history of the house from the acquisition of the land , it’s subsequent erection and latterly its fall into disrepair. It gave a fascinating insight into German social history and society’s changing values and attitude to Jews leading up to the First World War, the effect of both wars and finally the division of the land following the erection of the Berlin Wall. I was however somewhat disinterested in the minutiae of the respective families although as it was written by a descendant of the first family I guess it is understandable. Overall I enjoyed it. 3.5/5

TOTAL SCORE: 24.5/35



About Great Big Jar

Life is like a box of chocolates - well, it would be but I ate them all! I am a writer of children's stories and rhymes. I am currently testing the waters with two new stories for 8+ and 11+ readers - a new exciting genre to sink my teeth into. Drop by and say hello
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