This House Is Mine

This House Is Mine

Book - 2016
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Told in skillfully-crafted alternating points of view and a non-linear storyline, Hansen's bestselling debut novel showcases her impressive talent for characterization and dialog in an unusual book that combines emotional depth and humor. She immerses the reader in a series of brightly lit or obscure scenes that call for close reading and offer many rewards. The author's sparse language and sometimes oblique references make for a deeply immersive reading experience, and the characters will resonate long after the last page has been turned.Readers of Anthony Doerr and M.L. Stedman will find much to love here.All her life Vera has felt like a stranger in the old and drafty farmhouse she arrived in as a five-year-old refugee from East Prussia in 1945, and yet she can't seem to let it go. 60 years later, her niece Anne suddenly shows up at her door with her small son- Anne has fled the trendy Hamburg neighborhood she never fit into when her relationship implodes. Vera and Anne are strangers to each other, but have much more in common than they think. As the two strong-willed and very different women share the great old house, they surprisingly find what they have never searched for: a family.
Publisher: New York :, St. Martin's Press,, 2016
Edition: First U.S. edition
ISBN: 9781250100856
Branch Call Number: F HAN
Characteristics: 325 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm

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SPL_Melanie Aug 15, 2018

The house of the title, found in Northern Germany, has a motto carved on its front:

“This hoose is mine ain and yet no mine ain, he that follows will caw it his.”

The only constant is change, and this story, rooted in wartime Europe, illuminates that perfectly. The theme of refugees and identities in Germany right now is pretty topical, and Hansen explores the long history of such movement within Germany itself to give another perspective on alienation and belonging. This was a bestseller in Germany, and its readability, strong story, and additional wry humour might explain why. Recommended.

j
julia_sedai
Sep 19, 2017

So well-written, such great characters ... I enjoyed reading it a lot. But overall, I just couldn't love it. I think that was mainly because I couldn't stand how the women all seemed to sleep around (I didn't think it was at all necessary for the story), and also, it saddened me when the characters stopped believing in God. It's a translation of a German novel, and I loved all the German-ness in it, but also the universal character traits that are just as common here. It takes place over several years, with many characters, but I never found it difficult to understand or hard to follow. It's mainly chronological with a few jumps here and there. I did think it ended too quickly and I wanted to know more about what happened to Vera and Anne. I recommend this for people who like reading about interesting characters and family stories.

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