Synopses & Reviews
Harding (Hanns and Rudolf) a British American journalist and nonfiction writer profiles five diverse families that over the course of nearly a century either owned or rented a single house on the outskirts of Berlin. Harding uses these families—the Wollanks the Alexanders (Harding's ancestors) the Meisels the Fuhrmanns and the Kühns—as a prism through which to look at the history of 20th and early 21st century Germany. Given his Jewish family's experience he pays particular attention to the house and the town in which it was situated Grosß Glienicke during WWII—French POWs were housed there and Soviet forces subjected the town's women to mass rape in 1945—and in the Cold War when the house and town were located in East Germany. Harding notes how the town prospered after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 but the house itself fell into disrepair housing squatters until Harding and his family as well as some locals made an effort to clean and reconstruct it. Harding's well written thoroughly researched work brings a long period of German history down to a local human scale. Maps amp; illus. Agent: Patrick Walsh PEW Literary. (July) " Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."