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The Novel in the Viola by Natasha Solomons
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The Novel in the Viola (2010)

by Natasha Solomons

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5073420,055 (3.7)52
Recently added byTeresaM01, Roro8, afields435, ASmithey, private library, lunule

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Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
While the plot line held my interest, I felt like the author of this book was more interested in trying to prove that she can write well. I found myself skimming once I got about halfway through the book because the descriptions of various places and things became monotonous and I felt myself searching for the story. Sometimes less is more when one is trying to convey a feeling. I did, however, enjoy the process of Elise leaving home and heading to Tyneford. I think I would enjoy a nonfiction book about this subject matter more, or maybe just one that was written a little better. But I'm glad I read it since it has turned me on to a possible new genre of non fiction! ( )
  ASmithey | Aug 31, 2014 |
While the plot line held my interest, I felt like the author of this book was more interested in trying to prove that she can write well. I found myself skimming once I got about halfway through the book because the descriptions of various places and things became monotonous and I felt myself searching for the story. Sometimes less is more when one is trying to convey a feeling. I did, however, enjoy the process of Elise leaving home and heading to Tyneford. I think I would enjoy a nonfiction book about this subject matter more, or maybe just one that was written a little better. But I'm glad I read it since it has turned me on to a possible new genre of non fiction! ( )
  ASmithey | Aug 31, 2014 |
I loved this book! I read it slowly so that I would not reach the end on my first day of reading it. Also, I bought this book because of the "blurb" on the back comparing it to one of my very favorites, which is The Forgotten Garden. It fell slightly short of that mark because I figured out the end. It was the perfect read for a rainy day though. ( )
  Laura_Jones | Apr 11, 2014 |
Decent book to read in flight. ( )
  SaftaBC | Mar 17, 2014 |
I had my doubts about this one, a couple times. My daughter read and enjoyed it, and recommended it to my mother, who also liked it. But I was a little spooked by the enthusiastic blurbing of two authors whose own work I have tried and Pearl-ruled in the past. Still, I liked the premise, and there were those recommendations from readers I trust, so I plunged in. I enjoyed it quite a lot at first, then had a few chapters of uncertainty when credibility was strained a bit, and then found myself utterly unable to turn out the light and put it down night after night. The setting is irresistible: an English manor house on the cusp of the dissolution of everything that makes the "upstairs/downstairs" world tick. With the western world shivering in dread of war, 19-year-old Elise Landau is obliged to leave her comfortable Viennese bourgeois life to take a position in service in an English aristocratic household, because no Jew is safe in Austria anymore. She obtains a domestic service visa; her married sister travels to the U.S., where her husband has been offered a position at Berkeley. Elise's parents, an opera singer and a novelist, wait for the bureaucracy to issue them visas so they, too, can escape the Nazi regime before they simply disappear as so many already have. Elise manages to take with her a few bits of her mother's jewelry, and a viola stuffed with her father's latest manuscript, which no one in Austria will publish. At Tyneford, Elise finds it very difficult to take on the attitude expected of a servant; she isn't especially good at the work required of her; and her anxiety for her family is constant. Eventually, she makes two friends, a spunky red-haired girl from the village, and Kit, the son and heir of Tyneford. There are predictable developments, and surprising ones as well. A lot of research obviously went into this book, but the author knew how to turn that research into narrative detail that never hit the reader like a history lesson. A good old-fashioned Story with few pretensions. I'd have given it another fraction for 3 3/4 stars, if that option were available. ( )
2 vote laytonwoman3rd | Dec 9, 2013 |
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When I close my eyes I see Tyneford House.
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Book description
In the spring of 1938 Elise Landau arrives at Tyneford, the great house on the bay. A bright young thing from Vienna forced to become a parlour-maid, she knows nothing about England, except that she won't like it. As servants polish silver and serve drinks on the lawn, Elise wears her mother's pearls beneath her uniform, and causes outrage by dancing with a boy called Kit. But war is coming and the world is changing, and Elise must change with it.

At Tyneford she learns that you can be more than one person - and that you can love more than once.

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"It's the spring of 1938 and no longer safe to be a Jew in Vienna. Nineteen-year-old Elise Landau realizes her only means of escape is to advertise her services as a domestic servant in England. Fate brings her ad to the attention of Christopher Rivers, handsome scion of the aristocratic Rivers family and master of Tyneford. An anxious Elise arrives at Tyneford and immediately falls under its spell. When Christopher's young son, Kit, returns home, the two strike up an unlikely friendship that will change Tyneford--and Elise--forever"--… (more)

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