The House of One Thousand Eyes by Michelle Barker

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Goodreads rating: 4.25 with 59 ratings (as of 11/28/18)

Who can Lena trust to help her find out the truth? Life in East Germany in the early 1980s is not easy for most people, but for Lena, it’s particularly hard. After the death of her parents in a factory explosion and time spent in a psychiatric hospital recovering from the trauma, she is sent to live with her stern aunt, a devoted member of the ruling Communist Party. Visits with her beloved Uncle Erich, a best-selling author, are her only respite. But one night, her uncle disappears without a trace. Gone also are all his belongings, his books, and even his birth records“.…more on Goodreads

200 Word Review

I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book so I could give an honest review.

Lena Altmann is a 17 year old girl who lives in East Berlin. After her parents were killed in an explosion, Lena was forced to move in with her aunt. Lena’s only respite comes when she spends her Sundays with her uncle, her aunt’s brother. One day he is erased. He along with all of his possessions,and his birth records are gone. His published books have disappeared from bookstore shelves. He is just gone, disappearing without a trace.

Lena frantically searches for him but knows government spies are everywhere and she feels alone. Her aunt is a hardcore member of the Communist party. Can she trust her? Can she trust her friends? Can she trust anyone?

Through her story, Michelle Barker shows what it was like to live in the “Better Berlin” in the 1980s. She shows the rigidness, fearfulness, suspicion, and oppression of life in East Berlin.

The House of One Thousand Eyes did not feel like fiction. You could feel and hear Berlin. You could believe Lena, her uncle, and her aunt were real people and this book just captured a portion of their lives.

Although the story wraps up nicely at the end, it ends abruptly.


Genre: Historical Fiction, Young Adult
Print Length: 354 pages
ISBN: 1773210718 (ISBN13: 9781773210711)
Publisher: Annick Press
Publication Date: September 11, 2018

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