Leeway Cottage

Leeway Cottage In April 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 love

  • Title: Leeway Cottage
  • Author: Beth Gutcheon
  • ISBN: 9780060825232
  • Page: 458
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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 activIn 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.

    One thought on “Leeway Cottage”

    1. I have mixed feelings about this book. I enjoyed the beginning, reading about Sydney's unhappy childhood. She desperately wanted to be loved and approved of, especially by her stepmother Candace. She finally had enough and was strong enough to take her chances and pursue her dreams in New York. I also enjoyed the middle of the book about what it was like in Denmark during WWII. I don't know much about Danish history during the war. The stories of the Allies and Danish attempts to transport the D [...]

    2. This book was very readable--it only took me a day and a half to finish it--but it was frustrating in its inconsistency. The WWII/Danish Resistance/Concentration camp stuff was certainly interesting reading and compelling, but it felt like a completely different novel than the domestic/comical rest of the book. Jumping back and forth between these stories made very little sense to me as a reader. I also really didn't understand why the character of Sydney was changed midway through the story fro [...]

    3. A Victorian summer house – Leeway Cottage – is the one constant in the life of Annabee Sydney Brant Moss. Covering the time period from 1924 to 1993, this book explores the relationship between two people who are very different. Annabee grows up the privileged only child of a father who dotes on her and a mother who seems to resent her. They live in Ohio but have a summer home on the coast of Maine. Laurus is a Dane, a musician who left Europe for New York, but who has a strong sense of resp [...]

    4. Very depressing and I don't know if I would want to read it again, but I'm giving it four stars because I think they're well-deserved. I read some reviews on here and I can see that people are disappointed/annoyed that Sydney wound up being much like her own detestable mother. My own mother is a difficult woman and I wonder if perhaps the majority of people that did not grow up with mothers like Candace aren't really capable of understanding why Sydney turned out the way she did. I disagree that [...]

    5. I don't know how I feel about this one. I can't say that I enjoyed it. And I can't say that I particularly liked any of the characters either. I thought the story about the Danish resistance during World War II was interesting but I felt like that took you out of the story of the marriage of Laurus and Sydney and then you instantly dropped back into it without any transition. I guess this is what World War II did to most couples but it was still jarring. The author spent half the book on the war [...]

    6. I loved this book. No one else I know seems to have been as take with it as I was, but I was enthralled from beginning to end. I do tend to like character-driven novels more than plot-driven novels, and those that include a bit of history always intrigue me. Still, I sent this novel to all the people I know who might have liked it, but none were as fond of it as I. Her sequel, Goodbye and Amen, I also loved, though it was not as fine as Leeway Cottage in my mind. I've read everything Beth Gutche [...]

    7. This story combined the lives and relationships of the Brant and Moss families with the story of the Danish resistance to the Nazis invasion and the rescue of Danish Jews. At times the story line seemed a bit disjointed. However, it was packed with a great deal of history which I found well presented, and the main characters were well developed. I found it difficult to put down.

    8. This book started with a typical premise. We start getting to know the main characters as children(one rich and one poor) and end up following them though their lives. Half of the story takes place in the United States and the other takes place in Norway. It ended up being a very deep, thought provoking book that I think will stay with me for a long time. I have had dreams about it since.

    9. I chose to read this book based on a friend's review. I enjoyed it very much. I gave it only 3 stars because I felt there were too many unanswered questions in the novel.Like many readers, I liked Annabee at the beginning of the novel. She had a miserable childhood with a mother who seemed to dislike her and a father who doted on her. Suddenly, the father seemed not to care about her anymore. Annabee appeared to have some musical talent and when she moved to New York, I thought she was going to [...]

    10. I went through a huge Beth Gutcheon phase in grad school and read everything of hers I could get my hands on, which did not include this book--it wasn't published yet. I know I've read it before, though. Don't know why I feel like reading it again, but I do.Wow, I had remembered this as a light-hearted book about spoiled people hanging out by the lake. There is some of that, but a big chunk of the middle is the Danish resistance in WWII and how they worked and managed to save nearly all of their [...]

    11. “They have decided that each of them will take home one thing from Leeway for the winter, for comfort. They are going through the house somberly, saying their goodbyes in their different ways, each looking for one object that will keep the dead alive and close a little longer.”It is interesting that I read this book right after reading The End of the Point. Both books center around oceanfront cottages and the families that inhabit them, but the books couldn’t be more different. Leeway Cott [...]

    12. I only finished this book because, every time I said a few more pages and I was going to give up, it would go a few pages completely enchanting and interesting. The book itself though, I didn't enjoy, for 1 a lot of it was like reading a history book, with pages and pages of no story, but just stating history of the times. I don't mind learning history through fictional books, but I don't want to read a "history book" when I am reading for pleasure. also the book was choppy, one minute the girl [...]

    13. What a contradiction this book is! There are basically three stories written here. The first part is somewhat entertaining as a family relationship builds. The center part about the Danish involvement in World War II is utterly fascinating and could have been extended into a novel by itself. The last part is a completely boring pedestrian mess! It's as if the writer just gave up after a tremendous exertion and forced herself to just keep writing about family members, basically listing many thing [...]

    14. A well written book in spite of the choppiness of the narrative line.I found the story of the Danish resistance during the Second World War very informative - I had no idea just how admirably the Danish citizens acted and was not aware of Sweden's role in sheltering Danish refugees.The characters were quite interesting, especially in that so many of them were so dislikable - unusual in that one was the main protagonist. I found the story of Sydney and Laurus' marriage very believable.Having just [...]

    15. Actually 3.5The "other" Beth is a lovely writer, and this is one of three of her books I have just completed. This is the earliest written of the 3. This is a multi generational epic of sorts, with WWII in the middle, and a Danish main character, allowing me to learn much more about Denmark and the Danish than I had ever known. That was a plus! The characters lead me on a roller coaster of their lives.

    16. I thought this book had great sections, but couldn't quite figure out what it wanted to be. The story of several generations of an American family, or the tale of how World War II affected a Danish family? The protagonist changed from one minute to the next and towards the end the story line became inexplicably choppy. It could have been great, but needed more editing and a better overall plan.

    17. This novel grew on me tremendously as I read. It's elegantly written, and what you think will be a small story about a particular family and place grows into something much bigger and weightier. Made me want to read more of Gutcheon's writing.

    18. I love fiction that surprises me, and this is a novel, that like life, takes you in places you don't expect to go, showing things that you didn't expect to see. It's astonishing. A subtle, thoughtful, mind-bending tour de force.

    19. Various characters are followed during the course of WWII both in the U.S. and Denark. I didn't know about resistance in Denmark. interesting to see the attitudes of Europeans coming to America after the war.

    20. Monet, Renoir and Degas, to name a few, were Impressionist painters. If there was a way to be an Impressionist book, Leeway Cottage would be in that category. In many instances in the book, there was an impression that something had happened or some one had done something, but it wasn't exactly stated. This novel is not a mystery by the way. In some areas of the story, great detail was written about a music piece or the parts of boat or how to sail a boat, but whether the main female character, [...]

    21. A well-written novel on growing up, becoming our mothers (or maybe our step mothers), Americans stateside involvement in WWII, the Danish rescue of 7000 Danish Jews, marriage, and the anchor, Leeway Cottage in a small Maine seaside village of locals and summer people. There are spots that drag, but for the most part, the reader is pulled into the story and finds favorite characters and villains (and that changed for me as the book went on). "The reader faces that most wonderful perplexity: wheth [...]

    22. I'm not really sure what I think at this moment. I literally just finished the last chapter. I quite enjoyed meeting the characters in the first part of the book. As it moved into the war portion I felt like I was in a history class. Then I was hoping when the book went back to the family that it would tie them all together more. Things just seemed choppy. The last 3 or 4 chapters seemed to me as if the author thought she had to have an ending but didn't know how to link it all together comforta [...]

    23. I was enjoying this book, but after the war ended and Sydney frankly turned into a bitch, for no apparent reason, I stopped enjoying it, especially when Syndey could find no compassion for her sister-in-law Nina, who went through a lot more in the war than Sydney ever did. I found it hard to believe that after her poor little rich girl childhood Sydney would not value what she had been given in life.

    24. Very mixed feelings about this novel. The parts are so disparate that I cannot weave a theme together. Several parts were well told and drew me in. Others were so thin and tossed in that I feel tossed out. I think I’m glad I read it, but will not recommend it to others.

    25. I really liked parts of this book and I really hated other parts. The Danish resistance efforts in WWII were especially compelling and I want to learn more.

    26. I think I thought this would be a different kind of story — but the mash-up between privileged summer life in Maine and WWII Danish resistance did not work for me, though I thought it would.

    27. “Leeway Cottage” tells of the very long marriage of Sydney Brant and Laurus Moss. The best part of the novel is Laurus’ story; the worst part is Sydney’s. Unfortunately, the worst part is quite a bit longer than the best part.The early sections of the novel hurriedly bring the reader through Sydney’s wealthy ancestry, her difficult childhood with a demanding and disapproving mother, and the loss of her doting but reprobate father, to her escape in late adolescence to New York City to s [...]

    28. I find this author's writing style thouroughly enjoyable. Gutcheon does an excellent job of portraying the complexity of people. Her main character Sydney has a strong love/hate relationship with her mother, rebels against her mother's world and then, slowly, over time, seems to turn into her mother. The story of the Danish underground duing WWII is amazing and horrifying. Sydney's life portrayed against this backdrop seems even more shallow and selfish.From Publishers WeeklyIn this sprawling fa [...]

    29. It's been a long time since I've read and finished a book this bad. Yuk yuk yuk. I had such high hopes, the back cover was so promising and the first 150 pages were actually interesting, but right around there the book fell apart. POSSIBLE SPOILERS FROM HERE ONHere's the problem as I see it. The author had 2 equally interesting stories and tried to interweave them. It just didn't work for either story and fell flat. The story starts out with the life of a young girl whose beloved father has died [...]

    30. This is a 3.5 and I rounded up because it is unique and ambitious, covering a great deal of ground: a girl's unhappy childhood, her long and less than happy marriage, and, unexpectedly in a novel that begins as this one does, the story of the Jews of Denmark and their rescue by their countrymen during the Second World War. Like many reviewers, I was struck by the difference between the pre/post war sections of life in a wealthy summer colony in Maine and the story of Danish Jews, and the mix of [...]

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