Recommended :: Great House

April 25, 2013


I recently finished “Great House” which a friend of mine had recommended. Great House is woven around a desk that through changing hands has seen upheaval, loss, love, and regret. Each part of the book centers around a new owner of the desk while the origins of it remain a mystery. I’ve included the full plot synopsis from Amazon below.

It took me a little bit to get into this book – I found the first chapter to be a bit too mysterious but eventually caught on and enjoyed the rest of the stories that were told. It’s not a story I’d rush to read again but think it could benefit from reading with a buddy as I’d love to have had someone to talk things over with!

“For twenty-five years, a reclusive American novelist has been writing at the desk she inherited from a young Chilean poet who disappeared at the hands of Pinochet’s secret police; one day a girl claiming to be the poet’s daughter arrives to take it away, sending the writer’s life reeling. Across the ocean, in the leafy suburbs of London, a man caring for his dying wife discovers, among her papers, a lock of hair that unravels a terrible secret. In Jerusalem, an antiques dealer slowly reassembles his father’s study, plundered by the Nazis in Budapest in 1944.

Connecting these stories is a desk of many drawers that exerts a power over those who possess it or have given it away. As the narrators of Great House make their confessions, the desk takes on more and more meaning, and comes finally to stand for all that has been taken from them, and all that binds them to what has disappeared.

Great House is a story haunted by questions: What do we pass on to our children and how do they absorb our dreams and losses? How do we respond to disappearance, destruction, and change? “

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