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The Glass Room

The Glass Room - Simon Mawer Inspired by architect Mies Van der Rohe's Tugendhat House in Brno, The Glass Room of the title is the centrepiece of a home designed by a modernist architect for Viktor Landauer, a rich Jewish businessman, and his wife Liesel at the start of their married life. But this is Czechoslovakia in the 1930's and the inexorable march of the Nazis looms like a storm cloud in the distance, spoiling their glorious view. The relationships between Victor, Liesel, her friend Hana, and Kata, the prostitute Viktor falls for on a business trip to Vienna, weave around each other like some ornate dance in the Glass Room, which itself has a presence, silent and still, as the world spins around it and the dance moves on. It is a beautiful and captivating read.Good books are sometimes described as being unputdownable, but the great books are those you are drawn to pick up again and again. Every time I picked up The Glass Room to read another chapter or two, I succumbed to the wistful beauty of it all over again: I saw the glass room, I was there with the characters, I believed in them and I cared about them. I adored it.