The House by the Lake
The True Story of a House, Its History, and the Four Families Who Made It Home
author: Thomas Harding
illustrator: Britta Teckentrup
The days went around like a wheel.
The sun rose, warming the walls of the house.
On the outskirts of Berlin, Germany, a wooden cottage stands on the shore of a lake. Over the course of a hundred years, this little house played host to a kind Jewish doctor and his family, a successful Nazi composer, wartime refugees, and a secret-police informant. During that time, as a world war came and went and the Berlin Wall arose just a stone’s throw from the back door, the house filled up with myriad everyday moments. And when that time was over, and the dwelling was empty and derelict, the great-grandson of the man who built the house felt compelled to bring it back to life and listen to the story it had to tell. Illuminated by Britta Teckentrup’s magnificent illustrations, Thomas Harding’s narration reads like a haunting fairy tale—a lyrical picture-book rendering of the story he first shared in an acclaimed personal history for adult readers.
History comes home in a deeply moving, exquisitely illustrated tale of a small house, taken by the Nazis, that harbors a succession of families—and becomes a quiet witness to a tumultuous century.