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By Simon Mawer

Honeymooners Viktor and Liesel Landauer are choked with the optimism and cultural vibrancy of important Europe of the Nineteen Twenties after they meet modernist architect Rainer von Abt. He builds for them a house to embrace their exuberant religion sooner or later, and the Landauer apartment turns into an quick masterpiece. Viktor and Liesel, a wealthy Jewish rich person married to a considerate, sleek gentile, pour all in their hopes for his or her marriage and budding kinfolk into their wonderful new domestic, filling it with little ones, associates, and a iteration of artists and thinkers desirous to abandon old-world eu kind in prefer of the hot and the avant-garde. yet as lifestyles intervenes, their new domestic additionally brings out their so much passionate wants and darkest secrets and techniques. As Viktor searches for a hotter, much less demanding convenience within the fingers of one other lady, and Liesel turns to her wild, mischievous pal Hana for pleasure, the wedding starts off to teach symptoms of pressure. The radiant honesty and idealism of 1930 speedy evaporate underneath the hurricane clouds of worldwide conflict II. As Nazi troops input the rustic, the family members needs to go away their outdated lifestyles in the back of and try to break out to the United States earlier than Viktor's Jewish roots draw Nazi cognizance, and sooner than the kin itself dissolves.

As the Landauers fight for survival in another country, their domestic slips from hand handy, from Czech to Nazi to Soviet ownership and at last again to the Czechoslovak country, with new population consistently falling less than the fervent and unrelenting impact of the Glass Room. Its crystalline perfection exerts a gravitational pull on those that realize it, inspiring them, liberating them, calling them again, until eventually the Landauers themselves are ultimately drawn domestic to the place their tale began.

Brimming with slightly contained ardour and cruelty, the precision of technology, the wild variance of lust, the catharsis of confession, and the terror of failure - the Glass Room comprises all of it.

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Perhaps. ' she declared bitterly. ' She presented her back to him then, groping in the bag that hung from one shoulder for the handkerchief she couldn't find. Jason watched her helpless fumblings for several minutes, and then extracted his own handkerchief from his pocket and handed it to her. But instead of thanking him, as he had expected, she snatched the pristine square of white linen and threw it on the floor, deliberately grinding the heel of her boot upon it. Jason stared, bleak-eyed, as she kicked the now soiledhandkerchief aside, and rubbed her nose unhygienically on the back of her hand.

Miss Holland was only too willing to agree, but she , followed Alexandra into her room when the woman had gone, and sank down rather wearily onto the bed. ' she asked, as the girl walked rather thoughtfully towards the open balcony doors, and Alexandra looked back at her with some misgivings. ' she exclaimed, trying to subdue the irritating feeling of anti-climax she herself was feeling, and her companion gave a somewhat helpless shrug of her shoulders. 'I get the feeling we're not altogether welcome," she confessed, taking out her handkerchief and wiping the grime of the journey from her, rather anxious features.

He knew instinctively that Miss Holland would have taken the post, wherever it was. She had that sort of de- feated air about her that smacked of too many interviews and too many disappointments. Nowadays, people wanted modern young governessess for their children, not middle- aged women, however well qualified. Miss Holland just wanted to work, and he wondered how long it was since she had done so. Still, he reflected wryly, he had enough prob- lems of his own right now. He couldn't be blamed for what was indisputably evident.

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