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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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5524118,107 (3.68)52
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Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
THIS WAS AN AUDIOBOOK. Elise Landau is a Viennese Jewess and lives contentedly in Austria with her beloved parents, Julian and Anna; housemaid Hildergard and her sister, Margo. Elise is the least gifted of the clan; her mom a renowned opera singer, sister an accomplished viola player, and her father Julian, a novelist. Nevertheless, Elise is loved and nurtured just the same. However, as WW2 is on the horizon, her family must make preparations to emigrate from their home in Vienna to escape the harsh realities of war which are already bringing persecutions to their people. With no other recourse, Elise's parents will leave for the United States, and so will her sister Margo with her husband, Robert. Without an American visa and insufficient time to attain one, Elise will be sent to England to work as a parlor maid in a manor house belonging to a Mr. Rivers until her parents can retrieve her. Elise's relaxed and happy life in Vienna quickly changes when she arrives at the work agency in England, where she is acknowledged as nothing more than a refugee and domestic servant. What awaits her as she settles into life at Tyneford House? Will Elise be relegated to the life of a servant girl forever, or will she find love and a new sense of home in this foreign land?

The House at Tyneford is a beautifully written historical novel with richly detailed characters that bring the story to life. I felt instantly transported back in time to England and into the lives of Elise and her benefactor, Mr. Christopher Rivers (affectionately called "Daniel" by Elise). The more than one dimensional secondary characters, which included staff that resided in and around Tyneford House, friends, family members and associates, added depth to the story and increased my enjoyment of the book. Part of the ending was predictable for me, but the remainder was imbued with sentimental elements that I never expected and found deeply moving. Overall, The House at Tyneford was a gratifying listening experience and I recommend it highly. ( )
  Lauigl | Jun 13, 2015 |
This flowed well and I found it hard to put it down. I would fall asleep only to wake up with the light on and the book in my hand so what to do? I picked it back up and read some more. :) ( )
  whybehave2002 | May 22, 2015 |
excellent ( )
  leahhenderson | Apr 18, 2015 |
I registered a book at BookCrossing.com!
http://www.BookCrossing.com/journal/12438637
  JosieRivers | Dec 28, 2014 |
If you liked loved Jane Eyre, Rebecca or The Little Princess this is the book for you! Very reminiscent with hints of all these favorites blend into this story.

Elise Landau comes from an affluent Austrian Jewish family. Needing to leave her family to escape the increasing Nazi persecution in her beloved country she travels to the rural English costal village to serve as a maid. Though realizing she was fortunate to land such an assignment she struggles with her new role as a servant. Terribly homesick and missing her family she agonizes with wait in receiving correspondence from her loved ones.

Compromising precedented social boundaries with her position Elise becomes friendly with the estate's heir Kit Rivers. She soon learns however that while these boundaries can be broken they cannot always be accepted.

Truly a "coming-of-age" story we witness Elise transform before our eyes from a innocent girl to a young woman wise beyond her years. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.

How I acquired this book: Either Half.com or Amazon.com
Shelf life: Less than a year ( )
  missjomarch | Nov 8, 2014 |
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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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