Thursday, 12 April 2012

Review: The House at Tyneford - Natasha Solomons


It's the spring of 1938 and no longer safe to be a Jew in Vienna. Nineteen-year-old Elise Landau is forced to leave her glittering life of parties and champagne to become a parlor maid in England. She arrives at Tyneford, the great house on the bay, where servants polish silver and serve drinks on the lawn. But war is coming, and the world is changing. When the master of Tyneford's young son, Kit, returns home, he and Elise strike up an unlikely friendship that will transform Tyneford-and Elise-forever.

Genre: Historical fiction, Pages: 368, Published: December 2011 by Plume, Source: For review

My thoughts:
The book was both heartbreaking, breathtaking and lovely at the same time. You know it will be sad when the heroine is a Jew during WWII but I still cling to hope, it could happen. The ending itself is bittersweet and fitting and could have made me cry.

The story is about Elise who becomes a maid in England just before the start of the war. Her mother is a famous opera singer, her father an obscure novelist. She is not fit for service really, but does her best. her luck is the household she ends up in, good Mr Rivers who took a chance on her. Friends she meets and then there is Kit. It is a new era, but there are still things you just do not do, and a servant and the young master of the house is one of those things that can't be. Here comes the romance and friendship. But over all this is the shadow of war and him being young we all know what that means.

The war is looked at from the sidelines. A shortage of things, German planes in the sky, the army taking over more and more land for their own purpose. The house becoming more and more empty as men leave for war and women for factories. In that the book is rather silent in a way, it does not scream and shout that the war is here. Instead it breaks your heart a piece at a time. And my heart did feel like it was breaking a few times. There is this balance between happiness and hope. A balance that makes it impossible for me to put the book down. I just wanted to read, I just needed to know. Would everyone be happy in the end?

It was a truly lovely book that I just fell for more and more for while reading. And I still think about it while writing this.

Conclusion:
Downton Abbey is popular at the moment so fans of that should definitely give it a go. Along with the rest of you. Because it is a book for everyone. I do recommend it. 

Cover:
Fitting

54 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Don't be sad, some are happy at the end

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  2. I've been wanting to read this book, and your review has cemented it for me.

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    Replies
    1. Yay, and yes it is good and worth reading

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  3. This isn't my typical type of read, but it sounds like such a great story, and I really want to know if it perhaps could end happy for everyone:) Thanks for the review!

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    Replies
    1. I will not say one way or another..well ok if everyone were miserable then I would have thrown a hissy fit so there

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  4. Sounds like one I'll pass on- too sad and just bound to lead to tears.

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    Replies
    1. Sad yes, but not too sad, it makes you happy too

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  5. This sounds very good and emotional. Not an era I usually read about but it must be something if it stays on your mind.

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    Replies
    1. I could not even sleep that same night, i kept thinking about a few scenes

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  6. I read another books by Solomons that I thought was terrific so I'll have to look for this one.

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    Replies
    1. I saw that she had written another one. I should read it too :)

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  7. Your recommendation is my order - at least this time ;). Sometimes I like sad books too much for my own good.

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    Replies
    1. No! Then you are like a friend of mine, she likes the ones where everyone is dead at the end..I HATE those

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    2. lol, an extreme choice, I prefer when some characters survive...

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    3. I do get cranky when it happens

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  8. I've had my eye on this book for a while. It sounds like an emotional read.

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  9. Great review! I love that you fell for it more and more as you read it. My kind of book!

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    Replies
    1. These kind of books are just the best :)

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  10. I believe this book just recently was published here in Norway. I might grab a copy of the translated edition(it might be wise to support the "local" publishers as well) because this sounds like such a wonderful book! And what a lovely review :)

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    Replies
    1. That's a good idea :) I hope the translation is good then. Because the book is so worth reading, truly wonderful

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  11. Loved your thoughts. I will definitely pick this one up, plus I adore Downton Abbey.

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    Replies
    1. And I realized that I had written Downton wrong again ;) *fixes it*

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  12. I'm like you and always hold out hope for the heroine in WWII books too! This sounds like one I would like.

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    Replies
    1. In the end you just never know so I go from hope to misery back to hope

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  13. I love a book that you keep falling deeper and deeper in love and then can't get it out of your head. What a great compliment to the author!

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    Replies
    1. That it sure is :D I just love books like this and this one sure did it well

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  14. You know I'm coveting this book!!

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    Replies
    1. Oh I knew ;) I thought about you while reading it. And here am I supposed to read WWI books

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  15. I want to read this one. It sounds wonderful!

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  16. I have a copy of this one for review too...so looking forward to reading it!

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  17. Oh this one sounds to serious for me. Wonderful review though. :) Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. I would not say that. It managed to be rather light too

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  18. this sounds very good, thanks for the great review!

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  19. This sounds wonderfu and i love this period. Adding to my wishlist.

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  20. This is stuff I love to read - historical fiction, tragedy, and romance!

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  21. So I have this book on audio but I'm thinking about switching and reading it instead.

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    Replies
    1. I can't say what to do since I do prefer books ;)

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  22. You convinced me! It sounds very emotional and I love Downton Abbey so it's going straight on my wishlist :)

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  23. Great review Blodeuedd, it does remind me of another tv series though, something with Pemberly.

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    Replies
    1. Hm...nope dunno what that might be

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  24. awwwwww I love/hate books like these. :(

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  25. I read Solomons first book and absolutely loved it! I am now reading this one and enjoying it too. There are certain shared themes, but they are also very different from each other!

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    Replies
    1. I looked it up on Goodreads, and it does sound different, but yes I can see certain themes, and I do must read it

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  26. This book sounds like a good read from your review, but I am not a "Downton Abbey" fan so probably pass this one...

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    Replies
    1. That was mostly cos of the whole upstairs downstairs thing. The book itself is more about the war and loss of innocence

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