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Summer At Gaglow

3.35  ·  Rating details ·  252 Ratings  ·  22 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)
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Oct 31, 2011 rated it liked it
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
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Moushumi Ghosh
Mar 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely enjoyed reading this Esther Freud book. After 'Hideous Kinky', I would say this is the book that matches that standard.

When reading about the Second World War, the 'other side', is not usually focused on. We know what happened to the British, French and Indians. (Disclaimer: This is just my opinion and reflects my access to books and my reading pattern only. If you have had a different experience, feel free to contradict.) There are so many books - fiction and non fiction- in popul
Sally Knotwell
May 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, book-club
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
May 16, 2014 rated it liked it
"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
Apr 10, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
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
Freya Stewart
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Apr 22, 2012 rated it liked it
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
May 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
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.
Oct 09, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In de serie 'boeken voor de zomer met 'zomer' in de titel': de moeite waard. De rest van het oeuvre verkennen bleek niet zo'n nodige uitstap. Hoe 'Zomer in Gaglow' aanspreekt omwille van zijn connectie over generaties heen, zozeer herhaalt het thema zich in andere boeken (bv. liefdesval). Desondanks is één werk van Freud lezen (ook over generaties heen?) niet overbodig.
Apr 28, 2010 rated it liked it
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.
Apr 01, 2014 rated it liked it
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.
Aug 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 09, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Sep 05, 2010 rated it it was ok
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....
Melanie Vidrine
May 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
very good book
Apr 18, 2013 rated it liked it
interesting flip flop from past to present, all the family secrets weren't revealed though
Nov 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.
Jan 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Beautiful book and story. Sad - but a real life experience that many - many people have in their own histories. Told well.
Aug 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
I registered a book at!
Sep 14, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: england, germany
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.
Munirah Ruslan
rated it really liked it
Aug 07, 2010
Judith Praag
rated it it was amazing
Mar 21, 2011
Farm Mum
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Jun 13, 2009
rated it it was ok
Apr 04, 2011
Gretchen Fisher
rated it it was ok
Apr 04, 2009
Lisa Aitken
rated it really liked it
Apr 13, 2011
Gerti Wouters
rated it it was amazing
Dec 13, 2015
rated it liked it
Nov 09, 2014
Morticia Adams
rated it liked it
Jun 01, 2011
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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...

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