No Need For Social Media If You Live In A Glass House, Right?

10 Dec No Need For Social Media If You Live In A Glass House, Right?

What’s your opinion of a house made of glass?

I find them fascinating.

The idea of being completely exposed is an interesting, if not, original one. In today’s world with just about everyone over-exposing every last detail of life on social media, what would be the big deal living within walls of glass? Just a thought.

Not trying to be snarky. Well maybe a little, since it’s Monday 😉

The Glass House by Simon Mawer has been on my bookshelf for many years. I remember grabbing it from a store shelf because of the cover, then buying it because it sounded good. But, then it sat for years and years. I didn’t forget about it, I just read other books. That’s the thing, there are always other books to read, which is another reason to love reading. You are not going to run out of reading material, I promise.

As I’ve said before there isn’t a whole lot of rhyme or reason to how I pick what I’m going to read next. If it’s not a book with time constraints (a library book) then some other factor must come in to play.

The 2 main factors:

1. Mood

2. Recommended highly by a friend

The other night a bookworm friend of mine and I were looking at some of my books and she instantly grabbed one and said, “Have you read this one? It’s really good.”

It was The Glass House by Simon Mawer. I relayed my saga about having it forever but not reading it. Immediately I knew what my next book would be (Thanks, Tressia).

I began reading it Saturday morning with a leisurely cup of coffee, read some more Sunday and am nearing the halfway point. It’s right at 400 pages, so I feel like I’m making good headway. I’m reading a book on my Kindle as well, which is a library book— so between the two books, it’s going pretty well.

The Glass House follows a married couple, Viktor and Liesel Landauer in Central Europe in the 1920s. They meet Rainer von Abt, an architect, on their honeymoon who they decide must build their new home, The Landauers and von Abt have similar visions of a modern structure versus the ornate Victorian styles that are more popular of this time. The Landauers dream of stark clean lines, light woods, chrome, and glass.

As von Abt continues to design their home, Liesel becomes pregnant. The birth of Viktor and Liesel’s daughter, Ottilie coincides with the completion of their new home. This modern structure becomes the peak of curiosity around town and is called, The Landauer House. Recitals and parties are held there simply to feed the ensuing interests of this unique home.

The years pass and their family continues to grow. Life moves on and strains are placed on Viktor and Liesel’s marriage. One turning to a lover, the other to a friend. As the 1930s come to an end, the darkness of WWII hover closely as Nazi troops enter the country. The family attempts to leave the country for America before Viktor’s Jewish roots draw too much Nazi attention.

(Since I haven’t finished the book yet, I’m adding the last bit of the Amazon synopsis below.)

“As the Landauers struggle for survival abroad, their home slips from hand to hand, from Czech to Nazi to Soviet possession and finally back to the Czechoslovak state, with new inhabitants always falling under the fervent and unrelenting influence of the Glass Room. Its crystalline perfection exerts a gravitational pull on those who know it, inspiring them, freeing them, calling them back, until the Landauers themselves are finally drawn home to where their story began.“

So, Bookworms, what do you think?

In case you are on the fence, here’s a cool fact: The Landauer House is based upon a real house called The Tugendhat House, which is located in Brno, Czech Republic. Mawer visited Brno and wrote a novel that took place in Brno, he then began exploring the city and came upon this house. It intrigued him so much that he wrote this novel.

While The Glass House is a work of fiction, the timing (WWII), a character (a pianist), and House are based upon real life events,people, and locations. Viktor, Liesel, and their children are fictional characters and were not based upon real people. The Tugendhat House was built by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich and was completed in the 1930s for Fritz and Greta Tugendhat.

I read a few articles about this house. One was an interview with Simon Mawer, where he talks about how he became interested in this house. The other article that grabbed my attention was one about the daughter of the Tugendhats. She is quite upset with Mawer for writing this novel. She feels it exploits her family, especially her father. Mawer has been very open about his intrigue, but insists it is a work of fiction.

The Simon Mawer interview:

https://www.radio.cz/en/section/books/simon-mawer-talks-about-the-glass-room

The Danielle Tugendhat article:

The Glass Room, by Simon Mawer

Read The Glass House, read the articles, and decide for yourself 📚

“A work of art like this,’ he tells one of the journalists, ‘demands that the life lived in it be a work of art as well. I am certain that Viktor Landauer and his beautiful wife will do the place justice.” -Simon Mawer, The Glass House

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