“Meador’s portrait of an American man on a long journey into his father’s enigmatic past is engrossing and sensitively told.”
—Anne Rivers Siddons, author of Colony
In a West German manor house, Robert Trepnitz Kirkman holds in his hand a long-lost secret—a letter, a photograph, and his father’s account of an incident in the Argonne forest during WWI. He anxiously waits for the opportunity to reveal his secret to the schloss’s baroness. But intrigue runs thick through the walls of this cold grey house when he discovers she knows of the letter, the photograph, and much more.
Set in the 1970s, His Father’s House is a generational tale of politics, religion, history, romance, and mystery that relates in time across two World Wars and to the American Civil War. An odyssey through the history and lands of East and West Germany, its central character, an American law professor, becomes entangled in the affairs of a once powerful family. Thrust into this bizarre drama, he joins in the family’s struggle to come together over religious, political, and emotional barriers.
His obsession with the family’s history grows as he begins to see the German schloss in the same light as his own family’s antebellum plantation. Both with homes ravaged by war, power taken from their hands, and bedeviled by their own past, these two families and their homelands illustrate the hazards and denouement of the powerful falling from grace.
Through the characters of Kirkman and the von Egloffsberg family, the story suggests a unique relationship between Germany and the American South. From relics found in his deceased father’s house, Rob is linked to his father’s experiences through his encounters with the aristocratic German family caught in the twentieth-century catastrophes of their fragmented world.