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The House at Tyneford: A Novel by Natasha…

The House at Tyneford: A Novel (original 2010; edition 2011)

by Natasha Solomons

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5053420,141 (3.7)52
Title:The House at Tyneford: A Novel
Authors:Natasha Solomons
Info:Plume (2011), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:chick-lit, historical-fiction

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The Novel in the Viola by Natasha Solomons (2010)

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Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
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 |
This book is somewhat of a take-off on several other books. Namely Downton Abby, Rebecca, Winter of the World, etc. etc etc. I felt that the first half of the book could have been written by one author and the second half, another.

With classes what they were in England at the time of this story it is totally improbable that either the "Staff" or the "Master" would make such an about-face about Elise.

I did find the story of Elise's fathers writing to be original and interesting. ( )
  elsyd | Nov 22, 2013 |
The story of Elise Landau, a young Jewish woman who escapes Nazi-occupied Austria by securing a job as a parlor maid at the manor house in the English village of Tyneford. This was a near-perfect read. I loved Elise as both a character and a narrator. The descriptions of life in both Vienna and at the manor house strike a lovely balance between realistic and elegiac. There's a romance, and it holds precisely as much sway over the narrative as it should. The setting (both place and time) is beautifully rendered. A touch predictable in spots, but in a way which suggests one has really gotten to know the characters rather than that the plot lacks something in originality. A good, satisfying story, very well told. Recommended. ( )
1 vote lycomayflower | Sep 2, 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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