The House By The Lake is the third book of Ella Carey‘s that I’ve read and I enjoyed it as much as the other tow. This is the second book of the trilogy inspired by Marthe de Florian‘s famous Paris apartment. I reviewed the first book, Paris Time Capsule, in which the apartment is described in vivid detail. In this book the Paris apartment is mentioned as a newspaper article which sets off a memory and the story that follows.
The House By The Lake
The cobbled streets were dark as Isabelle hurried through the shadows, dodging in and out of doorways, constantly looking back. She worried the sound of her loudly thumping heart would give her away, as she peered around a corner. Suddenly, Isabelle was surrounded by Nazi soldiers, their black boots pounding on the pavement, barring her way…
1939, Berlin. Max Albrecht is the young and handsome heir to a beautiful house on a lake where he spent his happy childhood. As war approaches, his parents tell him he must join the Nazi party or the whole family will be killed. But when his beloved French fiancé Isabelle shows him the horrifying truth, Max faces an impossible choice: protect his family or save the girl he loves?
2010, San Francisco. Anna Young is content with her life, running a bustling deli and taking care of her adored grandfather Max, who raised her. Max has never spoken of his past until he hands over an old map, the plans to a grand house just north of Berlin. With a shaking finger, he points to it and says, “I left something behind under the floorboards. Please bring it home before I die.”
When Anna arrives at the crumbling manor in Germany, she discovers a hidden engagement ring in a velvet box. She is desperate to find the woman her grandfather hoped to marry, but the local villagers look away when she mentions Max’s name, and back in San Francisco he is now in hospital, too unwell to speak to her. What did Max do so many years ago? Is Anna ready for the terrible secret that her family’s past may hold?
From bestselling author Ella Carey comes an unforgettable novel, weaving together past and present. Gripping and heartbreaking, The House by the Lake uncovers the secrets and devastating choices that people were forced to make during history’s darkest time.
Anna who has a very close relationship with her grandfather Max has always been curious about his life before he moved to the US. When Max reads a newspaper article about a Paris apartment found intact after being unoccupied for seventy years, he is visibly shaken. He requests Anna to travel to Berlin to retrieve something he left behind in his family home in Berlin. Once there, Anna discovers a palatial schloss all locked up. There’s a cloud of silence over the village with no one willing to talk to her about the past and her family. Knowing how much this means to her grandfather, she manages to make her way into the place and find what Max had left behind.
The book takes us from San Francisco to Berlin and on to Paris and Lake Geneva . The rise of Nazism and Europe fraught by discord and fear make a relationship between a German man, Max and a French woman, Isabelle impossible. As Anna slowly starts to peel away the layers of the past, the reader is drawn into family drama and a heart-breaking love story that took place in the historical years of WWII. We also see Anna too start a new chapter in her own life.
I’ve already spoken about how much I love the author’s writing and in The House By The Lake she doesn’t disappoint.
This is another winning story from the author. Having read Paris Time Capsule, The House By The Lake fills in some details and now I look forward to reading the third book – From A Paris Balcony. You might like to read the author’s post on the inspiration for The House By The Lake here.
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Meet The Author
Ella Carey is the international bestselling author of The Things We Don’t Say, Secret Shores, From a Paris Balcony, The House by the Lake, and Paris Time Capsule. Her books have been published in over fourteen languages, in twelve countries, and have been shortlisted for ARRA awards. A Francophile who has long been fascinated by secret histories set in Europe’s entrancing past, Ella has degrees in music, nineteenth-century women’s fiction, and modern European history. She lives in Melbourne with her two children and two Italian greyhounds who are constantly mistaken for whippets.
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I received an ARC of the book from the publisher, Bookouture, through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.