By Jennifer Lipman, October 28, 2010
By Jenny Erpenbeck
History happens to people, but it leaves its mark most of all on places — such appears to be the view of German novelist, Jenny Erpenbeck. Her unsettling, quirky new novel offers a study of East Germany from the perspective of a lakeside house.
The property, a sprawling, gothic maze, bears witness to the horrors — and triumphs — of a century. Unsurprisingly, it is touched by the Holocaust and the repression of the Soviet era, but it also quietly heeds events of smaller significance; falling in love, a friendship formed over a summer.