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In My Mother's House
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In My Mother's House

3.32  ·  Rating details ·  87 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
In My Mother's House is a beautiful, haunting, and expertly told novel about a daughter’s obsession to understand her mother’s commitment to silence about their family’s experiences during WWII Vienna. The story of Elizabeth and her mother Jenny is remarkable for its fullness of details: the pieces of family silver the grandmother mails to Jenny, piece by piece, over
Paperback, 272 pages
Published October 1st 2004 by Picador (first published 2003)
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Dale Harcombe
Nov 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Three and a half stars.
This is a poignant novel, beautifully written as it tells the stories of two women - Genevieve and her daughter Elizabeth. Sadly it is another book that shows a difficult mother and daughter relationship threaded with distance and lack of communication. During her life Genevieve refuses to divulge much to her daughter of her life in Vienna and experiences during World War 2. This is not a fast paced novel but it is one that gently draws the reader into the story. The narra
Nov 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
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Mar 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Distance in any sort of a relationship where there once was none hurts, confuses, and, even after it's repaired, remains with us. It is this experience that Margaret McMullan describes in her novel In My Mother's House.

The novel revolves around one family's history with the Nazi occupation of Austria, but it's not really about that. McMullan seems to center on how the Engel de Baszi family was affected by the war, but underneath she weaves a tale of their family history and how it is passed dow
Feb 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cover-to-cover
This book is written by Margaret McMullan who is a local author here in southern Indiana. She is going to be at our local library tomorrow for a book discussion and so I wanted to read her book and then go enjoy the discussion. I think this is a beautifully written book. It is told from 2 different voices--Jenny, who was born in Vienna and her daughter, Elizabeth who was born in America. Jenny is never close to her own parents and prefers to remain silent regarding her past and so Elizabeth is f ...more
Erika Nerdypants
Aug 02, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
This is essentially a mother-daughter story, but it is also so much more. The book challenges what we think of faith, of relationships, of life itself. I was hooked from the first page, and although I have read several books since reading this one, I am still thinking of the characters and their story. Having grown up in Austria, 20 years after the war made this an especially poignant read for me. It made me wonder about all those friendly grandfathers I met growing up. Who were they during the ...more
Mar 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
There was something very compelling about this book but also something incomplete. I found myself with a strange feeling when the book ended, as though the author was backing off of the ending or leaving something out. It was such a delicious book altogether though, I would recommend it to World War II fiction fans, mother-daughter readers, contemporary fiction fictions, perhaps. The changes in time, place and character were very well marked.
Aug 31, 2007 rated it liked it
i picked this up at the library, its a story of a jewish/catholic family who moved from vienna during wwii to america-- the tensions, decisions, betrayals, and bravery of a devisive family history thats intriguing. it's also very descriptive of vienna during the holocaust. i liked it, but didn't LOVE it...
Apr 29, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult-fiction
Told by mother and daughter in alternating chapters, Austrian Jewish emigré Genevieve and her American daughter Elizabeth struggle to understand the family's troubled World War II past and confused post-war identity. The mother's chapters and story are stronger, and the unfocused ending would have benefited from fewer epiphanies and a tighter edit.
Oct 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
I am really enjoying this book by McMullan. It is a sharp contrast to the teen book I read by her titled "Cashay." I love books that are told from different perspectives and this one provides the reader with two - the mother and daughter.
Aug 06, 2011 rated it liked it
Historical views of Vienna circa the 1930's and 40's. An interesting story.
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