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The Glass Room
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2017 Book Discussions > The Glass Room - first part (spoilers allowed) (Oct 2017)

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Hugh (bodachliath) | 2624 comments Mod
This topic is for discussion of the first part of the story up to and including the chapter "Flight" (page 190 in the Abacus paperback), i.e. when Viktor and Liesel flee Czechoslovakia. Spoilers on this part of the story are welcome, but please don't discuss the later parts of the book here.


Jill (jillreads) | 17 comments I’m enjoying the book so far, but I was disturbed when I read how angry the descendants of the original family are. They feel that even though Mawer stated this book is not about the family, that people will get confused between the novel and the truth. The daughter asks if we can imagine someone writing a book about our parents full of lies.


Beverly | 141 comments Jill wrote: "I’m enjoying the book so far, but I was disturbed when I read how angry the descendants of the original family are. They feel that even though Mawer stated this book is not about the family, that p..."

Yes, I would think it would be hard for the descendants of the original family to embrace this story as despite Mawer stating that it not about "this" family, I can see those familiar with the house would be thinking - really which parts of the characters are true.

The house is so pivotal to the story that it just might be hard for some to separate that this is a fictional story, especially since now "fictionalized biography" seems to be a popular genre.


Beverly | 141 comments I have finished the book up through the "Flight" chapter so thought I would jot down what I thought so far.

Historical fiction is one of my fav genres as it often leads to me looking up information and/or reading a NF book about a place or time that I normally would not pick up if my interest was piqued by a fiction book.

When reading the first part I was reminded how "flexible" borders are and are actually imposed because of rewards and/or punishments resulting from a war or uprising of some sorts.
Unfortunately for people living in these regions whenever borders change or nation-states are created/eliminate there are winner and losers.

So part of "learning experience" so far is the feeling that I am hearing the Czechoslovakian voice in the late 1930's.

Also this past week in my inbox was a note from Five Books where Norman Davies, the author of Vanished Kingdoms: The History of Half-Forgotten Europe recommended five books on Europe's vanished states.

https://fivebooks.com/interview/norma...

This made me realize how "Czechoslovakia" has morphed/changed in recent history like play dough.

I am enjoying the characters - especially those of Liesel and Viktor and those closest to them.
I was not expecting the several discussion in this part regarding the characters on their sexual attitudes and how it worked within the marriages of Liesel and Hanna.

I found the first chapter 'Return" though it reveals some spoilers of what happened to several of the characters - it does not ruin the enjoyment of the story. I am most anxious to read how the characters and the house survive over the next years.

I like the short chapters and the controlled pacing by the author that makes this a page turner for me.

Viktor seems to have made the arrangements to live for Switzerland in the nick of time.
As after reading The Gustav Sonata we know that the route to Switzerland would not be available to Jews shortly.


Kirsten  (kmcripn) I just started this book as I had to wait for an interlibrary loan to come through. Really enjoying it.


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