The storm clouds are gathering not just in terms of European politics, with the rise of Hitler, but also perhaps in the relationships of the key characters.
In a book that starts slowly sex becomes a theme that overtakes the architecture as Viktor enjoys his Viennese mistress, Liesel dabbles in a bit of Lesbianism and elsewhere most of their friends seem to be at it as well.
Meanwhile the glass house has been completed and stirs debate about modernism and domestic versus work spaces. The owners are happy inside and enjoy the experience of wowing their friends and neighbours.
But as Hitler comes to power and the signs of the swastikas and brown shirts spread to the edges of Viktor’s world he starts to prepare for the worst moving funds to Switzerland. The unease he feels in his relationship with the mistress is an extension of the unease many are feeling across central Europe.