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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

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Story

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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

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  • Performance
  • Story

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.

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  • 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
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  • Story

Girls Just Want to Have Fun

I have no idea what the point of this book could be. Don't leave home, but you can always go back? Do not show initiative, you will fail?

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  • Story

could not get away from it

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

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This is NOT historical fiction Audible

How can 5 daughters not communicate with their mother or each other for over 20 years. It’s ridiculous! This was a predictable and boring story. Audible has this categorized as historical fiction while it is set in the past there isn’t a single mention of historical events. Old like a refund.
Would not recommend.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Predictable ...

...ending but I very much liked and enjoyed the characters and the stories along the way.

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  • Story
  • MK
  • Kansas
  • 11-30-17

Wonderfully enthralling, but

This story is wonderfully enthralling. All the characters/sisters were interesting and I was anxious to learn more or what would happen next in their lives. The divergent paths they took and the description of them was beautiful. I wish the stories lives would have been told simultaneously instead of all the 1st, then all the 2nd, etc....

However, the author falls slay on her STORY development. By the time I go to the 3rd sister’s story a dawning of hokey “harlequin romanticism” awoke, accompanied by impossible coincidences/circumstances. Namely:

1. Mother and 2 of her daughters lose baby boys at birth
2. Mother and 4 of her daughters are left with only Girl children
3. Three of the sisters lose an older child.
4. Grandmother, Mom, Aunt and 4 of the sisters lose their husbands and/or lovers to death, 2 suicides.
5. All 5 of the girls have tribulations in life simultaneously that lead them back to their family home in rural Greece.
6. All women involved have amazing, fulfilling sex lives with their husbands/boyfriends.

Really, what are the odds of all that? The author has real talent for developing characters and keeping interest, even in a long story. The hokeyness of it made we consider closing the book but it was so well written I forged on. Kuddos yo the author on character development, just use caution with such outlandish stories on subsequent attempts.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful