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Other People's Houses

3.47  ·  Rating Details ·  184 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
Originally published in 1964 and hailed by critics including Cynthia Ozick and Elie Wiesel, Other People’s Houses is Lore Segal’s internationally acclaimed semi-autobiographical first novel.

Nine months after Hitler takes Austria, a ten-year-old girl leaves Vienna aboard a children’s transport that is to take her and several hundred children to safety in England. For the ne
Paperback, 320 pages
Published August 1st 1994 by The New Press (first published 1964)
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I really feel humble to write this review for an autobiographical memoir by an award-winning author who was nominated for the Pullitzer Prize in 2008. Then I console myself with the idea that I am an ordinary reader with limited knowledge of literature and creative writing. It is kind of a relief, since it allows me to use a creative freedom in my review for which I do not have to apologize!

Other People's Houses deals with a ten-year old Jewish girl's life after Hitler came into power and Jewish
Angela M
Aug 29, 2014 Angela M rated it really liked it
Many of the books that I have read about survivors of the Holocaust are about those who somehow survived the dire, heinous conditions of the camps. This is a different story. This is about a young girl whose fate saved her from the camps but yet, as a ten year old girl, experienced the separation from her family and her home in Austria. And while this fate is obviously so much better than having perished in the camps or having to live through the horrors and survive them, this is a story of bein ...more
Ayelet Waldman
Dec 14, 2013 Ayelet Waldman rated it it was amazing
She is one of my new favorite novelists.
This book went on far too long; it really should have ended when the war did, or at least when the author left England for the Dominican Republic. Instead it continued for like 125 pages more, with stories of teaching English, conflicts with the author's mother, encounters with other expatriates, etc etc etc. And on top of that, the book ends very abruptly, basically: "So my grandma died and I got married to this one dude I haven't mentioned before now, and we have a couple of kids. The End." Lo ...more
I probably am in the minority in giving this 3 stars. It is the story of a girl that could have easily ended up in camps but was saved by staying with families in England. It is told in such a matter of fact way that it appears to me almost ungrateful. I did not find this story to be sentimental or powerful. Good story but I thought there were parts that could have been explored more and less of others.
Elena Davis
Mar 23, 2010 Elena Davis rated it liked it
I first learned of Lore Segal when I watched the documentary DVD, "Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport". This book expands on her family's flight
from Austria by way of Paris, England, Dominican Republic.
There are many gaps in information and jumps in chronology and then there is her mother's ever present influence.
Jul 09, 2016 Sherry rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had high hopes for this book. I found it quite interesting when the book was describing Lore's early life. However, as she became an adult the story seemed very disjointed. Disappointed.
Lorna Halnan
Oct 22, 2016 Lorna Halnan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-read
I didn't really like this one much. It was very jumbled and jarring, but maybe it was meant to be as the author was moved from house to house quite often. But after she was an adult it just got more vague. I don't recommend this book unless you're interested in the fate of the Jews from Vienna, Austria who got out.
Sep 15, 2011 Kerfe rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Segal calls this a novel, based on her experience, but I suspect it is mostly fact. Unsentimental, yet moving; the emotions evoked are real, not contrived.

She says she did not wish to write another Holocaust Book, and though always There, the Holocaust is not the focus of the narrative. Segal does not dwell on Hitler's actions, the family menmbers, friends, aquaintances lost, perhaps because the story is told very believably from the point of view of a child, one who seems to have only known thi
Sep 11, 2014 Tracy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I found the beginning of this book extremely interesting. The thought of the children being transported away to England to live in "Other Peoples Houses" is something that held my attention.
It was pretty plain that the Austrian Jewish people who fled their homeland did not have any idea what was happening to the Jewish people in their homeland and the other nations that were taken over by Germany during the war. The thing that was not very entertaining was the time that came after the war; the t
Mary Ann
Dec 23, 2014 Mary Ann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an absorbing story beautifully written. I am a bit puzzled as to why the author chose to call it a novel when it is clear from her Preface that it is a memoir. A very intelligent little girl from an educated, well-to-do Viennese family celebrates her tenth birthday in March 1938 just before the Anschluss. Shortly thereafter she is one of several hundred Austrian-Jewish children to participate in the Children's Transport to carry them to safety. Lore arrives in Dover, England and is looke ...more
Apr 12, 2013 Janice added it
Touching and lyrically written fiction-memoir about a Jewish girl sent from her home in Vienna to England on the Kindertransport. Unlike many of the Kindertransport children, who never saw their parents again, Lore's parents make it out of Vienna and join her, but they're stuck doing menial jobs, and her father, already in delicate health, dies at quite a young age. She and her mother end up in the Dominican Republic, where Trujillo is surprisingly welcoming to Jewish refugees ... what a shock, ...more
Edwina Hall Callan
Aug 22, 2014 Edwina Hall Callan rated it did not like it
Shelves: library-book, 2014
What a whine-fest!
If I were that hateful, selfish and mean, I certainly wouldn't be writing a book and telling the whole world about it.
Her poor, pitiful me attitude got on my last nerve and mostly what I felt while reading this was disgust. She just might be the most ungrateful and disrespectful woman ever born.
If I had ever talked to my Parents and Grandparents in the manner that she does ... well, let's just say that I would have spent my entire childhood bloody and bruised.
And, if I had ever
Mar 21, 2010 Jeannine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
As a young girl, Segal (an Austrian Jew) was sent to live in England as part of the Kinder Transport. As she admits in the introduction, it's hard to tell how much of this is actually fictional as some of it she recounts in the documentary about the Kinder Transport (Into the Arms of Strangers).

What I loved about this book is that the heroine, Lore, is not a sentimental girl. She maybe doesn't even realize she's in the middle of something historical. She has feelings about her parents that any a
May 14, 2012 Shelley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is fascinating, not only because of the interesting subject, but for me, especially for the unusually cold and dispassionate voice in which it is written. It is autobiographical 'fiction' and reads like a truly moving memoir, detailing how her life becomes being 'owned' by family after family like contraband and without explanation how this impacts on her adult life and relationships. Extremely interesting and readable: highly recommended.
May 13, 2015 Melissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
I cannot praise this book enough. With every page I was pulled deeper and deeper in, I could not put it down. I felt like I was sitting down listening to a friend talk, or a grandparent telling a story. It is easy to read and think everyone should read this book.

I was given this book in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley.
Jan 11, 2015 Lorri rated it liked it
I have read other books re the Kindertransport, from memoirs to novels, and Other People's Houses did not measure up, in my opinion.

The first 100 or so pages were fine, after that, I lost interest. Those pages would have made a good novella, in my opinion. I did finish the book.
Nov 07, 2013 Linda rated it liked it
Billed as fiction, but is close to the real story of a young Jewish girl sent to Britain to escape pre-war Austria. Her experiences there are interesting, but the story flags as it moves into her post-war adult life.
Feb 05, 2016 Laurie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Choppy and erratic

The first half was interesting, but then it jumped to America and it seemed the author was writing under water or in a dream. Nothing was connected and she WAS MORE AND MORE UNLIKEABLE. Sorry for the caps.
May 10, 2011 Allie rated it really liked it
While not quite as polished as her more recent short stories, Segal's debut novel is still a fascinating and absorbing read.
Annie McInnes
Mar 27, 2016 Annie McInnes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Other People's Houses

This was entertaining. It gave me an insight into the lives of the Jewish children who were sent out of their countries to be safe during the war.
Julie Hubbard
Julie Hubbard rated it really liked it
Sep 02, 2016
Romina rated it it was ok
Oct 10, 2010
Jen rated it it was ok
Nov 10, 2015
Hillary rated it liked it
Sep 16, 2016
Emily rated it it was ok
Jul 05, 2012
Luann rated it liked it
Nov 22, 2009
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Mar 26, 2008
Bobbie rated it liked it
Aug 05, 2015
Bev rated it it was ok
Sep 28, 2010
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Lore Segal was born in Vienna in 1928. In 1938, she arrived in England as one of the thousands of Jewish children brought out of Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia by the Kindertransport and lived with several foster families in succession. She graduated from the University of London and, after a sojourn in Trujillo's Dominican Republic, came to New York City. She married the editor David Segal ...more
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