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Download The Sea House: A Novel epub

by Esther Freud

The architect Klaus Lehmann loves his wife, Elsa, with a passion that continues throughout their married life despite long periods of separation. Almost half a century after Lehmann's death in the village of Steerborough, a young woman, Lily, arrives to research his life and work. Pouring over Klaus's letters to Elsa, Lily assembles the story of their lives together and apart. And alone in her rented cottage by the sea, she begins to sense an absence in her own life that may not be filled by simply going home.

The Sea House is the story of the village of Steerborough and the marshes and the sea beyond. It is the story of one generation living in the footprints of another; of a landscape shaped by lives, and lives shaped by landscape. With characteristic skill and a new depth and range, Esther Freud explores the twisting paths that people take -- and the places where those paths meet.

Download The Sea House: A Novel epub
ISBN: 0060565497
ISBN13: 978-0060565497
Category: Literature
Subcategory: British & Irish
Author: Esther Freud
Language: English
Publisher: Ecco; First Edition edition (April 13, 2004)
Pages: 288 pages
ePUB size: 1435 kb
FB2 size: 1470 kb
Rating: 4.7
Votes: 184
Other Formats: txt azw docx lrf

THE SEA HOUSE still shows on my "wish list," but I bought it at some point and now I want to comment: I am prejudiced toward English settings, so that attracted me in the first place and I was not too disappointed. Coastal villages in the UK now are not like they often appear in books. That aside, I found the young researcher's relationship with the place and her subject -- which ostensibly was marriage and the past, but really was marriage and the future -- fascinating. How often do we have the opportunity to find influence on our lives and romantic problems in the lives of famous people? The story also brings to mind the importance of perspective. While Lily is digging deeper in to the couple's feelings for one another 50 years before, she is deliberating about her love life and career goals in London. Leaving London for the East Anglian coast, and from present into past, is comparable in effect to getting a fellowship for a year-long writer's retreat. You change as you meet new "characters," and perceive other people's lives as imperfect as your own. You look at roads not traveled. You discover life is a minefield of hard choices, and a burial ground for regrets. I passed my copy of THE SEA HOUSE on to my daughter who was just coming out of a love affair. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to live the contemplative life, even for the short time it takes to read a book.Possession
It may unfair to Esther Freud to begin a review by pointing out that she is the great-granddaughter of you-know-who, but it would be unfair to the reader not to mention it, because one of the themes is the German-Jewish refugee experience in England and one of her characters is a psychoanalyst. The author adds to the relevance of her personal background by providing a list of acknowledgements at the end that almost suggests we have been reading a roman a clef.

There are two main settings, seaside communities on opposite shores of the North Sea. One is a meticulously described East Anglian village, Steerborough, the other a German island (which might actually be in the Baltic).

The two main plots are set 50 years apart in time. One is the story, set in the fifties, of a refugee architect, Klaus, and his wife, Elsa, the other is the story of Lily,a student of architectural history, who is studying the life and work of Klaus and worrying about her relationship with her London architect lover, Nick.

Several other plots are interlinked. Lily gets involved with Grae who is desperately trying to care for two young daughters, Emm and Arry, reminiscent of the wonderful ones in "Hideous Kinky," and who may or may not be the guilty party in his violent relationship with their mother. Elsa has an affair with the deaf artist Max, who is painting a panorama of Steerborough.

It sounds complicated, and there are many subtleties and nuances that will repay a second reading, but the characters are so well demarcated, their dialog is so realistic, and their actions flow so naturally from their personalities, that it is never hard to follow for pure entertainment.
each of her books is smashing and wonderful... just love her work. this one is as in detail and filled with incredibl journey which is easy to read and as all her other books one who likes her dosent want to put it down.
This was a quick week end read for stress less reading. A bit of a mystery, a bit of love and with a predictable ending.
It is a very sencitive and hopefull novel. And vith a surprising plot. I also found the decriptions of the nature buetiful.
I bought this book because it was reviewed well in the New Yorker. It lived up to expectations. I enjoyed it thoroughly.
A difficult book for sure....but well worth the effort . Extremely well written , beautiful descriptions of the English coastline and life in the small summer resort . My rating of 3 stars is due to the author assumption that what is unsaid in this book is common knowledge , and this is what makes this book so challenging.
I agree with the other reviewer who said the characters fell flat. One of the main characters, Lily, doesn't have any idea what she wants in love, work, or seemingly any other area of life. It's fine to spend your 20s finding yourself, in fact that's what young adulthood is for, but about halfway through the book when Lily woke up at the apartment she shared with her boyfriend to find a woman she'd never met in the apartment and hid in the bedroom rather than confront her, I lost all interest in the book. Timidity or shyness can be very endearing but this main character is more like pathetic and wishy-washy.