Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Review: The House by the Lake by Ella Carey

Anna is content with her well-ordered life in San Francisco. But her world is turned upside down when her beloved grandfather, Max, reveals a startling secret: Anna is part of an aristocratic family who lost everything during World War II. What’s more, Max was forced to leave behind a precious item over seventy years ago in their estate in old Prussia. It’s now his ardent wish that Anna retrieve it.

Anna burns with questions as she heads for Germany: What memento could be so important to her grandfather? And why did he keep their history hidden? As she searches for answers, she finds herself drawn to Wil, a man who may hold the key to unlock the mystery. Together they discover that her family’s secrets are linked with an abandoned apartment in Paris, and these secrets go deeper than she ever imagined.

Alternating between 1930s Europe and the present, The House by the Lake illuminates the destiny of a family caught in the tumult of history.

Kindle Edition234 pages 
Published March 29th 2016
Lake Union Publishing

I really enjoyed reading Ella Carey's debut, Paris Time Capsule last year.  Though I can't seem to discover info suggesting that this (The House by the Lake) is part of a series, I feel like it is. Where Paris Time Capsule focused on the discovery of the apartment, this one looks at the apartment from a different angle.

Jumping between present day and the dawn of WW II, the author has yet again treated me to an interesting and unique background story to the history of said apartment. Anna's grandfather Max is in both time periods adding the elements to make this an interesting and captivating read.

My interest was mostly in the apartment, so the present day plot wasn't my favorite part.  It kept my attention but was a little too neat and tidy for me.  The past story line was intriguing, it was about trust, loyalty and friendship in a time period that was turning volatile.  In the years before WW II the author shows a clear picture of its effect on citizens of Europe, not German.

Though this one could be read as a stand alone I do recommend Paris Time Capsule.  Thank you for Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for an ARC.


Ella Carey is a writer and Francophile who claims Paris as her second home. Her first book is Paris Time Capsule, and her work has been published in the Review of Australian Fiction. She lives in Australia with her two children and two Italian greyhounds.

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