Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Summer At Gaglow” as Want to Read:
Summer At Gaglow
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Summer At Gaglow

3.3 of 5 stars 3.30  ·  rating details  ·  207 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Sarah is already in her late twenties with an acting career in London and a baby on the way when she learns from her father about Gaglow, his family's grand East German country estate that was seized before the war. With the fall of the Berlin Wall, the estate will now come back to them.

Sarah attempts to solicit from her father all he knows about Gaglow: the three lucky si
Paperback, 256 pages
Published July 10th 1999 by Harper Perennial (first published 1997)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Summer At Gaglow, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Summer At Gaglow

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 364)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Three sisters in the time preceding and during World War I in Germany find common ground in their disdain for their mother and love of their brother. In a parallel story in the present day, three half-sisters in England find common ground in their love for and frustration with their father, among other things. These stories are told in alternating chapters. In the center of them all, looming like a shadow, is a grand home in the German countryside, Gaglow.

Gaglow is given as payment of a debt to
"Summer at Gaglow" gives the reader a glimpse into pre-WWI Germany with its many nuances of class and culture. Gaglow itself is the country home that represents the loss of civility for the Belgard’s, a wealthy Jewish family. The family made up of an eccentric mother, proper father, duty-bound son, and three daughters, the youngest being Eva. The book also tells a parallel modern-day story of Eva’s granddaughter Sarah and her search for her own identity leading her back to the pivotal family hom ...more
I read this quite a while ago and very much enjoyed it,I really want to find it again.
Sally Knotwell
From the first page, I felt as though I would not hate this book. Most of the time I either Love a book or I HATE it. This book was really a faster read than I expected it to be. At times, I stopped to wonder about what the whole point of the book was. And the ending was confusing to say the least. It didn't seem to end. I felt as though the author had nothing else to say so she placed a period at the end of the sentence and shut the cover! I can, however, see how family histories can be distort ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Summer at Gaglow tells two related stories from two different time periods, connected by family ties and the German country estate, Gaglow, of the title. Freud tells of the World War One experiences of three Jewish sisters -- Bina, Martha and Eva -- living in Germany with their governess, their parents and their brother, Emanuel. Alternate chapters are narrated by Sarah, a new single mother living in late-twentieth-century London. Sarah's father, Michael, is the son of Eva. He is a painter and h ...more
Reminded me of Jane Austen, a tad slow in the first half, occasionally interrupted by modern-day offshoot chapters that never quite seemed relevant. Even the ending failed to deliver conclusive closure. The book does leave a general feeling of contentment.
Jul 21, 2012 Fiona rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
Lots that is interesting in this book, in particular details of the experience of World War I from the German perspective, and also the sections on the modern day character sitting for a painting by her father, presumably based on the writer's own experiences with her father, Lucian Freud. Overall it feels a little slight, and not as deeply engaging as its subject matter suggests, and also I found the ending rather abrupt and unsatisfying. The "twist" is obvious ages beforehand, and everything e ...more
This was a book club selection. I'm not particularly wild about books that jump from the present to the past & back again. Books with that premise have to be absolutely engrossing to keep my attention. This book wasn't engrossing in the least. I didn't relate or like any of the characters and I found the book rather dull & plodding. I hate to say that I didn't finish another book from the book club, but I have to admit that I didn't finish the book. It just didn't keep my interest.
I stayed up too late reading this book. I wanted to give the character Brina a good shake. She was more destructive to the family than the war.It was the tale of four generations of a German Jewish family. It was a story of family ties and a house that bound them even after the family had scattered across Europe.
A beautiful, delicate book about families, loss and redemption. The tale moves back and forth from World War I Germany to modern England, with a country home called Gaglow the emotional anchor for two different generations. Esther Freud's writing is evocative but powerful.
Lynn Kearney
I'm probably more interested in what I assume are the semi- autobiographical details of the author's famous family - she's the daughter of painter Lucian Freud and the great granddaughter of Sigmund - than I was in the plot. Very readable though.
Annie Guthrie
Interesting book which held my interest.....but the vendetta inspired by the Nanny toward the Mother seemed bizarre.....just did not ring true to me....
Eh. Disappointing in the end. Every book of hers that I've read is a pleasant enough read but isn't weighty enough to make much of an impression.
Very atmospheric and a pleasant read. Especially loved learning about the painter's process as I have always been a fan of Lucian Freud's art.
interesting flip flop from past to present, all the family secrets weren't revealed though
Kristi Jones
thought provoking book about family history, memory and what can never be retrieved.
Sarah Sammis
I remember liking the book but the details are fuzzy.
Msl0nelyheart marked it as to-read
Jul 27, 2015
Bree marked it as to-read
Jul 26, 2015
Tammy Wooding
Tammy Wooding marked it as to-read
Jul 23, 2015
Lauren marked it as to-read
Jul 21, 2015
P marked it as to-read
Jul 14, 2015
Jodi marked it as to-read
Jul 06, 2015
April Isaacs
April Isaacs marked it as to-read
Jun 22, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 12 13 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Providence
  • The Flower Boy
  • Emma Brown
  • Bone House
  • The Shadow Catcher (Daughters of Eden Trilogy #1)
  • A Spell of Winter
  • The Hiding Place
  • Indigo
  • A World of Love
  • Other Kingdoms
  • Everything You Need
  • Friendly Fire
  • Buxton Spice
  • Peripheral Vision
  • Careless
  • The Ebony Tower
  • Juggling
  • The Mysteries of Glass
Esther Freud was born in London in 1963. As a young child she travelled through Morocco with her mother and sister, returning to England aged six where she attended a Rudolf Steiner school in Sussex.

In 1979 she moved to London to study Drama, going on to work as an actress, both in theatre and television, and forming her own company with fellow actress/writer Kitty Aldridge - The Norfolk Broads.
More about Esther Freud...
Hideous Kinky Love Falls Mr Mac and Me Lucky Break The Sea House

Share This Book