glassroom-2013-07-7-00-00.jpgTHE GLASS ROOM by Simon Mawer
In pre-WWII Czechoslovakia, newlyweds Liesel and Viktor Landauer build a magnificent modernist glass house. THE GLASS ROOM chronicles the Landauers, from marriage, to their flight from the Nazis (Viktor is Jewish), and beyond. But THE GLASS ROOM is also the history of the Landauers’ extraordinary house, a history that in many ways is more compelling than that of its owners’. Although THE GLASS ROOM is fiction, Simon Mawr was inspired by a very real house in Brno, Czech Republic which you can see here: Villa Tugendhat. Mawr is a fine writer (THE GLASS ROOM was shortlisted for the Man Booker in 2009), and while I didn’t always connect with the characters, the Czech history was engrossing. Moreover, I was fascinated by the house itself. This was a very difficult review to write because I could discuss the symbolic meaning of this book for days. For me it boils down to this: Even through the darkest periods, light, balance, and reason will out. THE GLASS ROOM is well worth your time.