Carol Ann Page is struggling after a painful divorce, and things only get worse when she accidentally slices off her thumb. When she is hospitalized, she is privy to a phenomenon no one can explain: Everyone’s pain is illuminated. From sore spines and aching joints, from sliced thumbs and ruptured spleens, pain becomes a very visible–and strangely beautiful–thing.
Nicole Krauss’s Great House is intricately crafted, beautifully written, poignantly populated, and kind of plotless.
Great House presents the idea that your furniture—the enduring collection of things with which you surround yourself—defines you. The characters’ furniture even serves as parts of their identities and personalities. Each of the lonely, troubled narrators externalize and objectify the conflicts within and between themselves, placing parts of their souls in their belongings in order to transcend their humanity, like Voldemort and his horcruxes.
Eliza Benedict leads a very normal life. She ought to; she’s worked hard enough for it. But there are some things Eliza can’t forget—and some things that she cannot leave behind.