Wednesday, the 10th of June–Shelf Control time once again! Shelf Control is a weekly feature hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, and celebrates the books waiting to be read on your TBR piles/mountains. It appears every Wednesday. To participate, simply pick a book from your TBR pile, and write a post about it–what its about, why you want to read it, where you got it, and such. If you participate, link back to Lisa’s page, and do also leave your links in the comments below as I’d love to check out your picks!
This week, the second in a row, I’ve picked a book that isn’t a mystery–A House on the Rhine by Frances Faviell. First published in 1955, this tells the story of a large, troubled family in Germany a decade after the end of the war, living in a town near Cologne. Joseph is a former allied prisoner of war, and has a family with ten children (his wife even having received a medal from the Nazis for this). The family faces a number of issues from his wife’s infidelities, to his oldest child’s involvement with a gang, to his adopted daughter planning to marry an American soldier. The book tells a story of love, conflict, and social change in post-war Germany.
A couple of years ago, I’d read The Dancing Bear by Faviell, a memoir of sorts of the author of her time spent in Germany in the years just following the war as her husband was posted there. This impactful, poignant read focused on the daily life of people in a city coming out of the shadows of war, from dealing with daily necessities like food and work to their changing or unchanging beliefs and attitudes, which was interesting but also heart-breaking. (Find my full review here.) Like The Dancing Bear, I found A House on Rhine also on kindle –in fact if I remember right, I’d picked up both titles at the same time.
Frances Faviell was the pen name of author Olivia Faviell Lucas. She studied art at Slade, travelled to India, Japan, and China and also lived in Berlin where her husband was then posted as part of the British administration. These experiences contributed to both her Dancing Bear and this book.
Have you read this one or any others by the author? Which ones and how did you like them? Looking forward to your thoughts and recommendations!