Publication Date: 03/09/2020 ISBN: 9781406385557 Category:

The House by the Lake: The Story of a Home and a Hundred Years of History

Thomas Harding, Britta Teckentrup

Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
Publication Date: 03/09/2020 ISBN: 9781406385557 Category:




A beautiful picture-book adaptation of Thomas Harding’s Costa-shortlisted biography for adults, exquisitely illustrated by Britta Teckentrup.

On the outskirts of Berlin, a wooden cottage stands on the shore of a lake. Over the course of a century, this little house played host to a loving Jewish family, a renowned Nazi composer, wartime refugees and a Stasi informant; in that time, a world war came and went, and the Berlin Wall was built a stone’s throw from the cottage’s back door.

Thomas Harding first shared this remarkable story in his Costa-shortlisted biography The House by the Lake – now he has rendered it into a deeply moving picture-book for young readers. With words that read like a haunting fairy-tale, and magnificent artwork by Britta Teckentrup, this is the astonishing true story of the house by the lake.


A Radio 4 Book of the Week

Named a Best Book of the Year by:
The Times >> New Statesman >> Daily Express >> Commonweal magazine

Shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award 2015

Longlisted for the Orwell Prize 2016

Over 50 five-star reviews on Amazon

“A passionate memoir.” – Neil MacGregor

“A superb portrait of twentieth century Germany seen through the prism of a house which was lived in, and lost, by five different families. A remarkable book.” – Tom Holland

“A book that will stay with me for a very long time.” – Rachel Joyce

“A superb work of social history.” – The Sunday Times

“Diamond brilliant … an extraordinary book.” – Sunday Express

“A deft history of a cabin containing many secrets.” – Independent

“A fascinating window on a tumultuous period” – Financial Times

“Original, personal, moving and uplifting” – Literary Review

“This is a history that is often poignant, sometimes heartening, and never other than intimate.” – Spectator

“An extraordinary book…. Harding has extracted the past from the dust that collects between floorboards and from layers of peeling wallpaper.” – Washington Post


“I was riveted: this is a fascinating social history.” – Nigella Lawson

“Written with love and imagination … a masterclass in historical empathy.” – TLS

“Nobody quite stirs the soup of historical detail like Harding.” – Express

Publisher Review

The tome, published on Thursday by Walker Books, introduces themes of prejudice, belonging, identity and family, and features evocative illustrations by award-winning illustrator Britta Teckentrup. * The Jewish Telegraph *

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