House of Glass: The Story and Secrets of a Twentieth-Century Jewish Family (Hardback)
  • House of Glass: The Story and Secrets of a Twentieth-Century Jewish Family (Hardback)
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House of Glass: The Story and Secrets of a Twentieth-Century Jewish Family (Hardback)

(author)
£16.99
Hardback 448 Pages / Published: 05/03/2020
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Waterstones Says

A remarkable piece of literary detective work, House of Glass details the lives of Hadley Freeman’s grandmother and her siblings across the globe and through a turbulent twentieth century. Pieced together from a box of family mementoes and journals, this thoroughly involving history is a kaleidoscopic journey from euphoria to tragedy and back again.

I stood up to shut the closet door and that's when I spotted the shoebox right at the back, behind a pile of leather handbags ... surely I thought it would contain another pair of slightly battered kitten heel sandals.

So I sat on the floor, pulled it out and opened it. I did not find shoes. Instead it was filled with secrets my grandmother had managed to keep all her life and some years beyond.

When Hadley Freeman found a shoebox filled with her French grandmother's treasured belongings, it started a decade-long quest to find out their haunting significance and to dig deep into the extraordinary lives of her grandmother, Sala, and her three siblings, Henri, Jacques and Alex Glass. The search takes Hadley from Picasso's archives in Paris to a secret room in a farmhouse in Auvergne to Long Island and to Aushwitz.

Hadley had only really known that her grandmother had met her American grandfather through her brother Alex in Paris, and that she travelled to America to marry him in the late 1930s. But by piecing together letters, photos and an unpublished memoir, Hadley is able to thrillingly recount the full story of all the Glass siblings - Alex's past as a fashion couturier and friend of Dior and Chagall, trusting and brave Jacques, a fierce patriot for his adopted country, the brilliant Henri who hid out in place after place in occupied Paris - and about each of their bids for survival during the Second World War. She discovers her great uncles' extraordinary acts of courage in Vichy France alongside her grandmother's equally heroic but more private form of female self-sacrifice.

Addressing themes of assimilation, identity, and home this powerful story of the past explores issues that are deeply relevant today. A moving memoir following the journey of the Glass siblings throughout the course of the twentieth-century, House of Glass is a thrilling account of love, loss, family and belonging.

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
ISBN: 9780008322632
Number of pages: 448
Weight: 270 g
Dimensions: 222 x 141 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

'House of Glass is extraordinary. It reads like a mystery and a memoir and a gripping history of the last century ... Freeman doesn't hide from the grey spaces people inhabit during wartime, or shy away from drawing the terrifying parallels to today's iterations of those ancient hatreds. It's a brave and wonderful book' - Nathan Englander

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