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

by Natasha Solomons

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5914316,634 (3.69)52
Member:NancyNo5
Title:The House at Tyneford: A Novel
Authors:Natasha Solomons
Info:Plume (2011), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:chick-lit, historical-fiction

Work details

The Novel in the Viola by Natasha Solomons (2010)

Recently added byDiscoduck, duchessjlh, crazeedi73, private library, Kays_Kindle, SabinaE
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» See also 52 mentions

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Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
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 |
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 |
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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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