Nancy's Reviews > The Glass Room

The Glass Room by Simon Mawer
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's review
May 01, 10

bookshelves: book-club, ww2, memorable
Read from April 29 to May 01, 2010

This book was a compelling read for me for several reasons:

. . . IF we need any reminder of the painful history of Eastern Europe, this book very capably does that;
. . . it also paints a sensitive, three-dimensional portrait of a piece of modern domestic architecture that illustrates how central a home can be to a culture and entire way of life;
. . . and The Glass Room also tells a moving story about the priveleged people who lived or socialized in the Modernist masterpiece but were not immune to personal suffering.

The principal characters in Mawer's book were the couple that commissioned the very avant garde home in Czechoslovakia in the late 1920's. Their home symbolized a free, creative society to the owners but that world soon gave way to the threat of Nazi persecution.

If I had to find a weakness in The Glass Room, I didn't find the Landauer's (the homeowners) as fully realized as some of the secondary characters. The novel unfolded around their marriage and their plans, but I found their love interests to be far more interesting characters overall.
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