- Luchterhand (Germany, by Agentur Petra Eggers)
Read our sample translation of A House in England
About the book
To cure his persistent insomnia, the narrator of A House in England imagines nocturnal walks through the house of his grandparents in a quiet London suburb. In that house, in Kew, near the famed botanic gardens, he used to spend his yearly summer holidays in the 1960s as a boy, being the eldest grandson. His grandparents were always bickering over trifles in their nevertheless indestructible marriage. Although of Jewish descent, they miraculously survived persecution in Nazi-occupied Holland, together with their three children. After the war, in 1947, they suddenly moved to England.
During his nightly walks, the rooms, the paintings, the beautiful garden and his grandparents come alive. But brooding over his memories at night and rummaging through family papers by day, the narrator gradually realises that his grandparents’ survival of the war in Holland came at a price. This is a sad element in the whole story, a proverbial snake in the paradise.