The Iron Necklace

by Giles Waterfield

Books with reviews by our Reader Review Panel eBooks of the Month Family Drama Historical Fiction Modern and Classic Literary Fiction

LoveReading View on The Iron Necklace

1910 and a successful German architect, Thomas, marries an up-and-coming British artist, Irene.  This is the story of their lives and families through the next three generations and so the conflict in Europe from both sides, for poor Irene belongs to neither.  We get the Jewish and homosexual problem, the turmoil and wretched heartache, the danger and tragedy in a long, eventful and beautifully written tale, a very fine book indeed. ~ Sarah Broadhurst

Sarah Broadhurst

The Iron Necklace Synopsis

The wedding of Thomas, an idealistic German architect, and Irene, an English artist, brings together the Curtius and Benson families. But their new lives are soon shattered by the outbreak of war in Europe. While Irene struggles to survive in a country where she is the enemy, her sister Sophia faces the war as a nurse on the Western Front. For their brother Mark, diplomatic service sees him moving between London, Washington and Copenhagen, all the while struggling to confront his own identity.Against a backdrop of war and its aftermath relationships are tested, sacrifices are made and Irene and her siblings strive to find their place in an evolving world.

The Iron Necklace Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full review by clicking here.

  • Sarah Hamid - 'A beautifully written novel, that richly describes what Germany was like at the time of the First World War. It's portrayal of marriage and family relationships is insightful and thought-provoking.'
  • Phylippa Smithson - 'This is a story of World War One and notably, the German-English divide at various levels resulting from the marriage of a German son and an English daughter.  And it's very absorbing.'
  • Cheryl Kinney - 'This was a beautiful book and really enjoyed reading it, will definitely be looking up more of the author's work.'
  • Siobhan McDowell - 'His descriptions of the war and its effects on the citizens of Germany and Britain were heartbreaking.'
  • Sue Broom - 'This is Downton Abbey with Germans...The book is well written, with plenty of description and finely-tuned dialogue.  Chapters are short and to the point.'
  • Kathryn Murphy - 'What made this novel intriguing was the underlying tension that existed in both families.  Almost every character faced their own personal battle...'
  • Pauline Braisher - 'On the whole I enjoyed the book and would be happy to recommend to friends.'
  • Sophia Ufton - 'Amazing book! Couldn't put it down and now re-reading it!'
  • Peter Baiden - 'Fascinating and humdrum in equal measure, well researched and written, The Iron Necklace gives a glimpse into well to do family life, especially through World War One.'
  • Alison Bisping - 'I am sure plenty of other readers will be enthralled by this but unfortunately not me on this occasion.'
  • Gill Wilmott - 'a thought provoking unusual book well worth the read.'
  • Tania - 'Beautiful historical novel about love and courage.'
  • Lynne Rapson - 'The historical detail and character delineation were excellent and I found the book unputdownable.'
  • Rebecca Whymark - 'Gave it a good go, not my cup of tea.'
  • Gavin Dimmock -  'I wanted to enjoy it, as the synopsis offered great promise and I was interested in the period of history that the tale covers, yet...I found it difficult to get to grips with.'

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781760112004
Publication date: 07/01/2016
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781760111519
Publication date: 02/04/2015
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781760112004
Publication date: 7th January 2016
Author: Giles Waterfield
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 448 pages
Genres: Reader Reviewed Books, eBook Favourites, Family Drama, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),

About Giles Waterfield

Giles Waterfield is an independent curator and writer, the Director of Royal Collection Studies and Associate Lecturer at the Courtauld Institute of Art. He is a trustee of the Charleston Trust and a member of the National Trust Arts Panel and the Advisory Panel of the National Heritage Memorial Fund. He is also the author of three previous novels including The Long Afternoon which won the McKitterick Prize. He lives in London.

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