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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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6124715,926 (3.7)53
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 43 (next | show all)
Every now and then you need a war story that will make you cry. This is a good one. ( )
  sydsavvy | Apr 8, 2016 |
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I was immediately pulled into the story and could not put this one down. In fact this was a wee hours completion 2:30 am but well worth the loss of sleep. This book was on my Fiction Library Book Group List. ( )
  yvonne.sevignykaiser | Apr 2, 2016 |
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.

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 more and more for while reading. And I still think about it while writing this.

Downtown 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. ( )
  blodeuedd | Mar 2, 2016 |
I was prepared for more of a war/Nazi/Holocaust book but was pleasantly surprised with a wonderful story of a woman who happened to be a Jew during the worst of times in history.

Elise is used to a privileged life in Vienna. Her family seems a beautiful, artistic and safe haven for the four members. As the "ugly duckling" of the family, she is the first to leave when war threatens their country and being even a non-practicing Jew is hated.

England is a different world. Different weather, smells, customs and language. She is thrust into a life of service, setting fires, pouring tea and scouring outdoor steps. The members of the house accept her and she learns to live in this place, while worrying about her family as they are desperate to leave Vienna.

Through all of this, war looms with the hint of what England must have endured. The daily lives of the characters continue as Solomons weaves the tense feeling of war with the excitement of making new friends and falling in love.

The book is based on the actual place of Tyneham, which was "requisitioned" for the war by the British government, promised back to the landowners when the war was over; however, it became a "compulsory purchase" in 1948 and remains in use today for military training. Many of the structures had been in families for generations and are now either demolished or in disrepair. The author's great grandmother and great-aunt are the basis for the characters Elise and Margot in the book.

Highly recommended.
( )
  CarmenMilligan | Jan 18, 2016 |
Surprisingly good for a book with "romance" as one of its descriptors. There are many poignant moments, transitions and trials in this coming-of-age story/romance/glimpse of past England. The main character is a wealthy Jewish girl who goes to England as a housemaid prior to World War II. That almost sounds like too many choice elements, but it's all handled very quietly and beautifully and is based on a real town, house, and a member of the author's family. ( )
  Connie-D | Jan 17, 2016 |
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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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