Book review: The Glass Room by Simon Mawer

BEGINNING in 1928 Viktor and Liesel Landauer meet brilliant architect Rainer Von Abt and commission him to build them a home.

BEGINNING in 1928 Viktor and Liesel Landauer meet brilliant architect Rainer Von Abt and commission him to build them a home. His brief is to design a house made from glass and steel and with as little unnecessary decoration as possible. With it’s famous ‘Glass Room’ and Onyx walls this house is to become a modernist masterpiece.

The young couple move into the house and for a while it is everything they have dreamed of. They are the perfect couple living the modern dream and the new house matches their style perfectly. But then the war and politics intervene and Viktor and Liesel are forced to flee Czechoslovakia never to return to live in their wonderful home again. The house’s story continues though and it is home to German scientists and then in the early communist days it houses a children’s centre.

Simon Mawer manages to create a dramatic human story that matches the elegance of the ‘Glass Room’ and keeps you enthralled from the beginning.


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