This House Is Mine
When Vera von Kamcke is five years old, she and her mother, Hildegard, take refuge in Ida Eckhoff’s home in the German countryside. With stubborn resolve, Hildegard forces Ida to be more generous than she’d like; and then she marries Ida’s son, Karl, claiming the home as hers. Throughout Vera’s childhood, the house is rocked with conflict, and the sadness and tragedy seem to sink into the house itself. Vera, who lives in the house for the rest of her life, knows the house is haunted and accepts that she’ll never feel at ease there. Every member of her family has been absent, distant, cold, gone. She’s long stopped searching for more.
When Vera’s heartbroken niece, Anne, needs a safe haven to flee to with her young son, the house in the Altland beckons. The farm is a relief from the absurdities of her snooty suburban life, and Anne agrees to work on the house house in exchange for her stay. But the house has never reacted kindly to change–and both Vera and Anne must overcome their lifelong fears and disappointments to move into the necessary next stage of their lives, embracing unexpected community. This is a haunting novel that beautifully explores the transcendent possibilities just beyond the darkest days.
St. Martin's Press
Dörte Hansen • Anne Stokes, Translator