Anna is content with her well-ordered life in San Francisco. But her world is turned upside down when her beloved grandfather, Max, reveals a startling secret: Anna is part of an aristocratic family who lost everything during World War II. What's more, Max was forced to leave behind a precious item over 70 years ago in their estate in old Prussia. It's now his ardent wish that Anna retrieve it.
Anna burns with questions as she heads for Germany: What memento could be so important to her grandfather? And why did he keep their history hidden? As she searches for answers, she finds herself drawn to Wil, a man who may hold the key to unlock the mystery. Together they discover that her family's secrets are linked with an abandoned apartment in Paris, and these secrets go deeper than she ever imagined.
Alternating between 1930s Europe and the present, The House by the Lake illuminates the destiny of a family caught in the tumult of history.
©2016 Ella Carey (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
I was hoping this would be a new Kate Morton ,Belinda Alexander, or Jennifer O'Donnell type book. The story line was an interesting one, but the characters lacked depth, the story didn't give a "feel" of the time period.
The female current time protagonist seemed socially awkward, but no reason was given except vague references to a mother that died, and a father that disappeared.
The narrator did a good job with the German and French accents.
The House by the Lake is a story about family secrets, loyalty, love, and loss. Anna knows very little about her grandfather's earlier life in Germany, until she takes a chance to explore the place where he grew up prior to WW II. Teri Schnaubelt did a fantastic job of dealing with multiple accents in a very credible and memorable way. The characters were all well-defined, and you always knew who was speaking in the dialogue. Teri made Ella Carey's words come alive and it was an extremely enjoyable listening experience.
Feeling like I was there with the characters.
The shooting that took place. It was sad, but surprising.
Not sure. I enjoyed the entire book overall.
No, I usually don't want to listen to any book all in one sitting. I like to savor it. I wish the book had been a little longer. I was just getting to enjoy the characters when it ended. I would have liked the ending to have been a bit longer, maybe an hour or so. It seemed a bit rushed at the end.
I would have liked the grandfather to have given a little more information on his history before he passed away.
I review books, mostly audiobooks, mostly mystery. That's about it!
Anna leaves her business in San Francisco to undertake a mission for her elderly grandfather. Seems he came from a wealthy family who owned a large estate in Prussia. They lost everything and were forced to leave during World War ll. Grandfather Max left something behind, he wants Anna to retrieve it
Off she goes to Germany to find the precious possession, but getting access to the old house is proving difficult, everywhere she goes she is met by a cold unhelpfulness. She finds out that her beloved grandfather is certainly not loved in his home town, nobody though will tell her why.
Eventually finding some help, Anna finally gains access to the house and to the secrets of the past, in doing so, she makes makes a new friend and ally.
An interesting enough story, but I thought it was a bit lightweight. I don't feel I got to know Anna very well at all, her character could have done with a bit more back story to make her less one dimensional. There were a couple of moments when it seemed she might become interesting but those moments passed.
The story is told by switching between the time periods and I enjoyed Max's era more so than Anna's. The characters seemed stronger and more vibrant, these periods had emotion and impact and were well written. One part in particular sticks in my mind, something I really wasn't expecting!
At the end, everything fell into place very quickly and, I must say, a tad conveniently.
I'd liken this to reading two stories, one is interesting, the other is not quite so interesting.
Excellent narration by Teri Schnaubelt who injected life into the somewhat dull parts of the story. Teri mastered so many accents, flowing from one to the other in seamless fashion, making it seem easy. I would guess that the "Max" period was quite a challenge, so many accents, age and gender changes, those emotions! All beautifully delivered. Great job.
Audiobook provided by the producer, author or narrator in return for an unbiased review.
The House By the Lake by Ella Carey is a wonderful telling of one young woman's search for her paternal heritage and relatives that might still live in Germany - a family she never knew existed until her grandfather was on his deathbed. The story revolves around San Francisco cafe owner Anna whose life is relatively stress free until her grandfather Max tells her that he grew up in an aristocratic family in Prussia (Germany) and he needs her to go recover an object from his ancestral home that he hid under the floorboards in his bedroom 70 years ago. Once she arrives in Germnay, she finds a poor little village, a dilapidated empty mansion, and an estate left to ruin. Anna elicits the help of a Berlin attorney to help her uncover the truth of what happened to the family and why Max never returned to his home at the end of WWII.
Words can't adequately describe how much I loved this story. I especially liked how the story alternates between two time periods: present day San Francisco (and Germany) and 1930s Europe before and during WWII. It reminded me a bit of Jodi Picoult's The Storyteller with it's history "back-in-time" type theme. I finished it a few days ago and I'm still thinking about it!
Teri Schnaubelt narrated this audiobook and her performance was sublime! Her smooth overtones and subtle character nuances made for a very pleasurable experience. Teri uses a variety of accents and gives each character their own distinct voice. In particular, her narration of Wil, the attorney from Berlin, is spot on and swoon worthy. Brava!
I didn't read the print version. I received an audio copy of The House by the Lake for an honest review.
The weaving of family history through the past and present. I liked hearing both their stories unfold at the same time as Anna learned about her grandfather's life.
Will. She did such a great job of making me adore him.
It made me want to travel to Germany.
This is the first book I've read by Ella Carey. I will definitely read more of her books in the future.
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