|Publisher||Vintage (June 4, 2013)|
About the Book:
Berlin, 1938. When Beatrice, a young Irish Protestant lace maker, is whisked away from her dreary life to join the household of Felix and Dorthea Metzenburg, she feels like she’s landed in the middle of a fairy tale. Art collectors, and friends to the most fascinating men and women of Europe, the Metzenburgs are part of a world where there is more to desire than she ever imagined.
However Germany has launched its campaign of aggression across Europe, and, before long, the conflict reaches the family’s threshold. Retreating to their country estate, the Metzenburgs do their best to ignore the encroaching war until the realities of hunger, illness, and Nazi terror begin to threaten their very existence. In searing and emotional detail, The Life of Objects illuminates Beatrice’s journey from childhood to womanhood, from naïveté to wisdom, as a continent collapses into darkness around her.
Beatrice Palmer, the only child of shopkeepers in a small Irish village, escapes the dreariness of everyday life by reading about the pleasures and misfortunes of great literary heroines and whiles away time in her parents’ shop perfecting her skill as a lace maker. The appearance of a beautiful countess presents Beatrice with an opportunity greater than anything she could have imagined: impressed with Beatrice’s elegant handiwork, the countess invites Beatrice to accompany her to Berlin to stay with Felix and Dorothea Metzenburg, an aristocratic couple known for their extraordinary collections of rare lace and other precious treasures. When they reach Berlin, however, they find a nation preparing for war. The Nazi government has requisitioned the Metzenburgs’ home, forcing the family to flee to their country estate south of the city. Within months of their arrival, the threat of war has become grim reality, with waves of refugees seeking food and shelter and bearing horrific tales about the murders of Jews. As Allied bombing raids escalate and the brutal Red Army advances into Germany, Beatrice finds herself ineradicably bound to the Metzenburgs and a patchwork, polyglot community struggling to survive forces far beyond their control.
Book Recommendation only and not a review by me.
The Life of Objects is the story of a young woman’s journey through the nightmare of war. It is a haunting portrait of sacrifice and suffering, and of the courage, love, and loyalty the most dire of circumstances can sometimes inspire.