My Friday Post: The Glass Room by Simon Mawer

Book Beginnings ButtonEvery Friday Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Gillion at Rose City Reader where you can share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

This week’s book is The Glass Room by Simon Mawer, which I’ve just begun to read. It begins:

Oh yes, we’re here.

She knew after all these years. Something about the slope of the road, the way the trajectory of the car began to curve upwards, a perception of shape and motion that, despite being unused for thirty years, was still engraved on her mind, to be reawakened by the subtle coincidence of movement and inclination.

Friday 56

Also every Friday there is The Friday 56, hosted by Freda at Freda’s Voice.

These are the rules:

  1. Grab a book, any book.
  2. Turn to page 56, or 56% on your eReader.
  3. Find any sentence (or a few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
  4. Post it.
  5. Add the URL to your post in the link on Freda’s most recent Friday 56 post.

Page 56:

Her eyes were blue, so pale that they gave the curious illusion of transparency, as though you were looking through them and seeing the sky.

He fumbled for his lighter and watched as she bent towards the flame. She wore a grey cloche hat and her hair was dark and cut short, not cropped as severely as Liesel’s and her friends’, but short enough to be a statement that she was a modern woman. A Slav he fancied.

It looks from the opening sentences and the extract from page 56 that this is going to be a detailed, descriptive book. I like that.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

High on a Czechoslovak hill, the Landauer House has been built for newlyweds Viktor and Liesel Landauer, a Jew married to a gentile. But, when the storm clouds of WW2 gather, the family must flee, accompanied by Viktor’s lover and her child. But the house’s story is far from over, as it passes from hand to hand, from Czech to Russian.

This is a work of fiction, but the house in Prague is real. Mawer follows it through all of the upheavals of 20th century Czech history.

16 thoughts on “My Friday Post: The Glass Room by Simon Mawer

  1. This doesn’t sound like it would be for me. I hope you enjoy the story. Come see what book I chose this week here. Happy reading!


  2. Hi Margaret,

    Funnily enough, I had a copy of this book donated into the charity shop where I volunteer, only yesterday.
    I hesitated about whether to buy it or not, just long enough for it to be sold!
    All the excerpts you feature would definitely be enough to keep me reading on, if only to find out whether Viktor eventually chooses his wife or his lover.
    An emotionally complicated and disturbing storyline and an excellent style of writing.
    I shall be interested to see how you rate the book on Goodreads 🙂



    1. Yvonne, It was the same when I was a librarian. If I didn’t put the books to one side someone always borrowed them. I go to Barter Books in Alnwick regularly and I’ve found that if I’m undecided about buying a book it’s best to carry it round with me or else by the time I’ve made up my mind someone else has taken it if I’ve left it on the shelves.


  3. I like the writing style, Margaret, just from the snippet that you’ve shared. It sounds an interesting read, too. I’ll be keen to know what you thought of it when you’ve finished.


  4. I don’t know much at all about the history of Czechoslovakia, and the premise of the books – following the different people around one object (The Red Violin, Accordion Crimes, etc.) appeals to me greatly. I’m putting this on my list! Thanks for the introduction.


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