The Sea House by Esther Freud

About the book

The architect Klaus Lehmann loves his wife, Elsa, with a passion that continues throughout their married life, despite long periods of separation. Almost half a century after Lehmann’s death in the village of Steerborough, a young woman, Lily, arrives to research his life and work. Poring over Klaus’s letters to Elsa, Lily pieces together the story of their lives. And alone in her rented cottage by the sea, she begins to sense an absence in her own life that may not be filled by simply going home.

Reviewed by Hampshire Hotties Reading Group:

It gave us lots to talk about, but we felt it was lightweight and had ‘thin’ characters leaving too many unanswered questions.

Star rating: **

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5 thoughts on “The Sea House by Esther Freud”

  1. Review by Hedge End WI Reading Group:
    It was not an easy book with many layers. The characters were undeveloped and it was very confusing. Only was character considered likeable and she had a minor, very minute part. We even had problems with the star rating – majority vote.
    Star rating: **


  2. Review by New Forest/Waterside Theatre and Literature reading group:
    Esther Freud has a keen eye and her descriptive writing is engaging, but not enough to hold the reader comfortably through a very long read into the substance of the story. Although one assumed that the two plots would somehow in the end by connected, after two thirds of the book one was not inclined to care. Most of the group admitted to having jumped to the end out of frustration, only to have been thwarted by the rushed way in which the author revealed the relationships in a few very compressed chapters. This was a book read out of obligation than pleasure.
    Star rating: **


  3. Review by U3A Reading Group:
    Enjoyed by all the group. Very interesting plot – three time scales. Descriptive writing excellent. Deserves second reading.
    Star rating: ***


  4. Review by U3A – 1Reading Group:
    Rather confusing at first until one realised it was in two different periods. Most of us enjoyed it.
    Star rating: ** to ***


  5. Review by The Museum Group
    The group found this book and undemanding read. It was enjoyed but all felt the story lines at the end were unsatisfying. Too many loose ends.
    Star rating: *


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