Skip to main content

Book Review: The House of Christina by Ben Haas

"Once we buy this place, we’re committed once and for all to Austria. And that frightens me.” Thus, Christina Helmer voiced her forebodings when, one spring morning in 1923, she first viewed the great manor house and vineyards in the heart of the Vienna Woods. Her husband, General Kurt Helmer, confidently dismissed such fears, arranged for the house to be bought and named in Christina’s honour - the House of Christina.

Thirteen years later, when Ben Haas’s powerful new story begins to unfold, Christina is dead but all she once feared has now become very much approaching. Adolf Hitler rules Germany and now threatens Austria. At the great house, the widowed general is looked after by his ravishing daughter Christa - who is a fantastic hostess to their many friends and visitors. Prominent among these are three suitors – an American novelist Lan Condon, and two Austrians, one a Jewish banker and other a rising Nazi. During the terrifying years that follow, these three very different men find that their destinies, amidst their bitterly opposed political creeds, are inextricably linked to that of the House of Christina.

All three men fall for Christa. However it is Lan Condon who saves her from the clutches of the rising Nazi - Robert - who once grew into adulthood with Christa. Ben Haas has written a heroic novel of love and war that brilliantly recreates one of the most fascinating and dramatic periods of war days.


Popular posts from this blog

Poem Summary: Where The Mind Is Without Fear by Rabindranath Tagore

Poem by Rabindranath Tagore: Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high Where knowledge is free Where the world has not been broken up into fragments By narrow domestic walls Where words come out from the depth of truth Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit Where the mind is led forward by thee Into ever-widening thought and action Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake. Short Summary: This poem is written by Rabindranath Tagore during pre-independence days, when India was a colony of the British. The underlying theme of the poem is absolute freedom; the poet wants the citizens of his country to be living in a free state. According to the poem, we see that the poet is expressing his views there should be a country, like where people live without any sort of fear and with pure dignity…they should

Book Review: The Blue Umbrella by Ruskin Bond

Among all Ruskin Bond books, The Blue Umbrella has, so far, gathered immense applaud from readers and critics alike.  This is a short novel, but the kind of moral lessons it teaches to us are simply overwhelming. This is a story of Binya, a poor little girl living with her mother and an elder brother, Bijju, in a small hilly village of Garhwal. One day while herding her two cows back home, she stumbles upon some city people enjoying the picnic in the valley. She is enthralled to see them well-groomed and rich. She craves to be one like them and among many other things of their, a blue frilly umbrella catches her attention. She begins craving for it. On the other hand, the city people get attracted by her innocent beauty and the pendant in her neck. The pendant consists of leopard’s claw – which is considered a mascot widely in the hills. Binya trades her pendant off with the blue umbrella. The blue umbrella is so much beautiful that soon it becomes a topic of conversation fo

Poem Summary: Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Ozymandias is a short poem of fourteen lines written by Percy Bysshe Shelley. The concurrent theme of the poem is that nothing remains intact and same forever in this world. Even the brightest of metal, one day decays with passage of time. The throne name of Egyptian King Ramesses is Ozymandias. It was his dearest desire to preserve himself forever by building a huge statue that he thought would never tumble down. Stanza 1: I met a traveller from an antique land Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed; Summary: The poet narrates the poem through the eyes of a traveler who seems to have come back from a remote and far-away land, referring to Egypt. The traveler r