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Publisher's Summary

The first novel by acclaimed Greek writer Lena Manta to appear in English translation, The House by the River is an intimate, emotionally powerful saga following five young women as they realize that no matter the men they choose, the careers they pursue, or the children they raise, the only constant is home.

Theodora knows she can't keep her five beautiful daughters at home forever - they're too curious, too free spirited, too like their late father. And so, before each girl leaves the small house on the riverside at the foot of Mount Olympus, Theodora makes sure they know they are always welcome to return.

A devoted and resilient mother, Theodora has lived through World War II, through the Nazi occupation of Greece, and through her husband's death, and now she endures the twenty-year-long silence of her daughters' absence. Her children have their own lives - they've married, traveled the world, and courted romance, fame, and even tragedy. But as they become modern, independent women in pursuit of their dreams, Theodora knows they need her - and each other - more than ever. Have they grown so far apart that they've forgotten their childhood house in its tiny village, or will their broken hearts finally lead them home?

©2007 Lena Manta (P)2017 2017 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved. Translation © 2017 Gail Holst-Warhaft.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    83
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    34
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    21
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    8
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    5

Performance

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    74
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    29
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    11
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    5
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    4

Story

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Too predictable

When I started the book I was really impressed with the history of the family..Mom, Dad then having their 5 girls with one boy passing away..I enjoyed that each sister had their reason for leaving their small town, we all want to do that some time in our live. What I really had trouble with was that EACH sister, I mean each one had horrible experiences, bad marriages, affairs, death of children, and so on and so on. It truly made me want to stop reading! I felt like I wanted to jump out a window! Not every kid that leaves their home completely ruins their life! But I kept reading and realized yea we all come home, I know I did..but it was too predictable that each sister came home exactly within days or months of each other and the only thing that made them sane was their Mother and the river..okay it could happen..but NONE of them had a good life unless they were home? I’m glad I read and listened to it but I seriously could have written the same story with a bit more realism behind it. I recommend it for a lot of things but if you don’t like sad almost every page, don’t listen.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Terrific and unique story.

This book is very long, but I hated for it to end. Interesting storyline, is actually 6 separate stories that start and end as one. Tales of a mother and her 5 daughter are individual, yet woven together so well!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Long book but good listen

Lots of people and storylines to keep track of so pay attention. Too much time spent on sexual details when they occurred and I️ don’t think they added anything to an understanding the character of the the person.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Family Saga that made you feel.

I enjoyed listening to this story. It was easy to get caught up in the atmosphere and feel like you were there with the characters. Some of the characters were far from perfect but I don't feel that you need to love each one to appreciate an interesting story.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Performance was outstanding

While this story’s performance was outstanding, the storyline was very painful to follow. By the time you reach the final chapter, the majority of the characters are forgotten. Had this book been arranged in a more chronological order the storyline would’ve been more realistic, easier to follow and much more enjoyed.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Women Power

Totally absorbing. each separate story was a book on its own. Brilliantly read. Most enjoyable.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Drag On

This was not meant to be literature, but, they could have easily done away with at least 250 pages, The author made the mortal sin of using the EXACT SAME SENTENCE at least five times.Why was this not picked up in The galleys.?
Because you knew the ending it made the book seem trite.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Creative Storyline, Always Calling Me Back For More

I really, really loved this book. It satisfies that need in us as readers, the need to want to know more about our characters before we have to put the book down. Beautifully written, beautifully narrated, truly epic in my repertoire of novels!
Thank you Gail Holst-Warhaft and Courtney Patterson and certainly thank you as well to Lena Manta!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Rachel I
  • Long Island City, NY United States
  • 11-30-17

loved it

Great characters with various paths. I liked the Greek setting also. Heart warming and sad also.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

could not get away from it

Long.... But worth every minute. Very true to life experiences, totally absorbed in each girl turning woman story!