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In April 1940, as the Nazis march into Denmark, Sydney Brant, a wealthy girl of the Dundee summer colony, marries a gifted Danish pianist, Laurus Moss. They believe they are well matched, as young lovers do, but Laurus's beloved family is in Copenhagen, hostage to what the fortunes of Hitler's war will bring. By the time the war is over, Laurus's family has played an active role in Denmark's grassroots rescue of virtually all seven thousand of the country's Jews. Meanwhile, in America, Sydney has led a group knitting for the war effort, and had a baby.

Combining the story of one long American twentieth-century marriage with one of the most stirring stories of World War II, Leeway Cottage is a beautifully written tour de force of a novel.

Topics: World War II and Family

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780061850301
List price: $9.99
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i bought this on a discount table and did not expect much so i was very pleasantly surprised at this well written story.story moves between a coastal cottage are in Maine and NYC. it moves back in time to Nazi occupied Denmark and post war USA. the characters of Sydney and Laurus are well defined and reached out to me. I could understand them both. I was sorry that sydney degenerated into not such a nice person as i quite liked her character at the start. She was always interesting though as was her mother Cassandra. i really enjoyed this bookmore
Young Anna Brant adores her father and hates her mother. Unfortunately for her, her father dies when she is very young and she spends most of her youth rebeling aginst what she considers to be her mother's vulgarities. The only place she is truly at home is at their summer home in Dundee, Maine. There she has what she considers her true friends, and there, as she enters her teenage years, she discovers the world of music. As soon as she is 18, Anna collects her inheritance, changes her name to Sydney, and hurries off to music school to study singing. While there, she falls in love with a young Danish musician and they marry, They believe they are well matched; but when World War II separates them, their personalities seem to grow apart and their lives after the war take several dramatic turns sending them farther and farther away from each other.In the end, depite her protestations, Sydney has become all too much like her mother and is making the same mistakes with her own children that her mother made with her.This was a very good read and it would be a great book to discuss in a book group. I could see many friendly arguments about Anna/Sydney's motivations and feelings.more
I really did not like this book. It started well, hence the two generous stars, but about halfway through when WWII ended the book fell apart for me. My favorite characters turned into unrecognizable bores. The final straw was the account of a concentration camp toward the end of the book. I know the camps were terrible and I enjoy a lot of holocaust fiction but this was over the top for me. It lacked any hope or humanity.more
I found this an absolute page-turner, with very memorable characters. The sequel, "Goodbye and Amen" is due out August 2008.more
Read all 5 reviews

Reviews

i bought this on a discount table and did not expect much so i was very pleasantly surprised at this well written story.story moves between a coastal cottage are in Maine and NYC. it moves back in time to Nazi occupied Denmark and post war USA. the characters of Sydney and Laurus are well defined and reached out to me. I could understand them both. I was sorry that sydney degenerated into not such a nice person as i quite liked her character at the start. She was always interesting though as was her mother Cassandra. i really enjoyed this bookmore
Young Anna Brant adores her father and hates her mother. Unfortunately for her, her father dies when she is very young and she spends most of her youth rebeling aginst what she considers to be her mother's vulgarities. The only place she is truly at home is at their summer home in Dundee, Maine. There she has what she considers her true friends, and there, as she enters her teenage years, she discovers the world of music. As soon as she is 18, Anna collects her inheritance, changes her name to Sydney, and hurries off to music school to study singing. While there, she falls in love with a young Danish musician and they marry, They believe they are well matched; but when World War II separates them, their personalities seem to grow apart and their lives after the war take several dramatic turns sending them farther and farther away from each other.In the end, depite her protestations, Sydney has become all too much like her mother and is making the same mistakes with her own children that her mother made with her.This was a very good read and it would be a great book to discuss in a book group. I could see many friendly arguments about Anna/Sydney's motivations and feelings.more
I really did not like this book. It started well, hence the two generous stars, but about halfway through when WWII ended the book fell apart for me. My favorite characters turned into unrecognizable bores. The final straw was the account of a concentration camp toward the end of the book. I know the camps were terrible and I enjoy a lot of holocaust fiction but this was over the top for me. It lacked any hope or humanity.more
I found this an absolute page-turner, with very memorable characters. The sequel, "Goodbye and Amen" is due out August 2008.more
Because I read & enjoyed Beth Gutcheon's "More than you Know" & "Leeway Cottage" takes place in the same locale (the coast of Maine) i thought Leeway Cottage would be in the same style as "More than you Know" only taking place in the middle of the 20th century rather than in the beginning. While sharing some of the same residents of the Maine village - The grocer, the librarian - the books are quite different in their outlook. The main character of Leeway Cottage, introduced as a child called Annabee who later changes her name to Sydney, is from the group of summer visitors whose permanent home is in the midwest & whose economic status is far higher than any native of coastal Maine. Annabee is drawn as a sympathetic character, who is attracted to the life of the musicians & artists of a neighboring summer colony. Her mother is the typical rich matron to whom wealth & status is everything & we cheer Annabee (now Sydney) as she confronts her mother & marries a pianist from Denmark. Here the novel takes a turn away from the summer colony social scene. WW2 arrives & Denmark is invaded & taken over by Nazi's. Sydney's husband Laurus joins the OSS & spends the war years in England aiding the Danish resistance. Because they are half Jewish, Laurus's family are pursued by the Nazis. Laurus's young sister, Nina becomes a resistance fighter & some of the book's best scenes are in the contrast of the sheltered life of the Summer cottage residents & Nina's attempts to survive the occupation. After the war, Sydneys character changes as she becomes more & more like her mother & the two constantly compete to one-up each other. The book closes as the 3 grown children of Sydney & Laurus prepare to sell Leeway Cottage.more
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