Great House

Nicole Krauss

I enjoyed reading the The History of Love so much a few years ago, and it remains one of those books I will think to recommend when someone is grasping for something solid to embark on. Krauss treads on some similar themes in Great House, weaving a narrative centered around a desk, perhaps once owned by Federico García Lorca, that manages to pass mostly between writers on a mysterious journey. There are several threads throughout the book — the one with the most tenuous connection to the rest being the one I found the least engaging. The others draw parallels and intersections in at times predictable, but no less pleasing, ways. The structure of multiple voices presented as a puzzle that unravels before you may be well-worn territory at this point, yet the recurring motifs of secret histories and distance between those who should be close are compelling in context. That one weak thread in the end felt unnecessary to me, but even when it gets a little mystical, I was fully engrossed.