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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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6244915,571 (3.69)53
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

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The Novel in the Viola by Natasha Solomons (2010)

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Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
Review: The House of Tyneford by Natasha Solomons.

This is an inspiring and nicely written novel with interesting themes, a good story line, with descriptive settings and passages that feel as if the place, Tyneford is speaking to you. I enjoyed it to the very end. The ending in not what I expected but it still was great and I couldn’t put it down. This book is not a love story between two persons but a love story about a place and a time and a house. Its context binds the loss of family, home and heritage and finding one’s way during the WWII’s situation, it’s a story of survival.

The author creates a young Jewish girl’s life in an unfamiliar setting in a foreign country with a foreign high established family. Her Viennese family chose this path for their daughter because it provided the means to exit Austria.

As Elise begins her new and different life alone as a temporary worker the reader follows her through her British domestic servitude presenting major challenges and obstacles for her to bear as she tries to overcome and adapt to her altered social environment. Elise’s character brings delight to the novel. The way she displayed her character throughout the book could either make you laugh or cry. Sometimes she gave the impression of being plain dumb or cleverly smart. The author created great characters but Elise was my favorite.

The Author’s note at the end explains her inspiration to create the book which made it more touching and real even though the reader knows its fiction…
( )
  Juan-banjo | May 31, 2016 |
The House at Tyneford – Natasha Solomons
( also called The Novel in the Viola)
Audio performance by Justine Eyre

4 stars

Elise Landau is the spoiled youngest daughter of a dissident novelist and a Viennese opera singer. It is 1938, and Elise is a Jew. To obtain an exit visa, she applies for a position as parlor maid in an English country house. The first of her family to leave Vienna, she believes that her parents will escape to New York while her sister travels to California with a new husband. Intensely homesick and frightened, Elise begins a new life as a servant to a minor aristocrat on England’s Dorset coast.

So much of this story was fascinating and completely believable. The house, the village, and the surrounding landscape are beautifully described. Elise’s emotional trauma in her first weeks away from her family and her subsequent attachment to her new home are realistic and consistent with her character. When the war begins and Elise’s role in the house changes, her behavior is mostly creditable. However, I never found either of the story’s romances to be very plausible, but naturally, without the romance, the story would have no where to go.

This book has been compared to Downton Abbey. It is true that both books deal with a way of life that is ending forever. The House at Tyneford is also deeply concerned with survivor guilt. Elise narrates her own history from the distance of age in a way that reminds me of the unnamed protagonist of Rebecca. The story becomes more than a little maudlin. I missed the humor of Solomon’s earlier book, Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English.

( )
  msjudy | May 30, 2016 |
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 |
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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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