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The House I Loved [Kindle Edition]

Tatiana de Rosnay
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (248 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.99
Kindle Price: $9.99
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Sold by: Macmillan
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Book Description

From the New York Times bestselling author of Sarah's Key and A Secret Kept comes an absorbing new novel about one woman's resistance during an époque that shook Paris to its very core.

Paris, France: 1860's. Hundreds of houses are being razed, whole neighborhoods reduced to ashes. By order of Emperor Napoleon III, Baron Haussman has set into motion a series of large-scale renovations that will permanently alter the face of old Paris, moulding it into a "modern city." The reforms will erase generations of history--but in the midst of the tumult, one woman will take a stand.

Rose Bazelet is determined to fight against the destruction of her family home until the very end; as others flee, she stakes her claim in the basement of the old house on rue Childebert, ignoring the sounds of change that come closer and closer each day. Attempting to overcome the loneliness of her daily life, she begins to write letters to Armand, her beloved late husband. And as she delves into the ritual of remembering, Rose is forced to come to terms with a secret that has been buried deep in her heart for thirty years. Tatiana de Rosnay's The House I Loved is both a poignant story of one woman's indelible strength, and an ode to Paris, where houses harbor the joys and sorrows of their inhabitants, and secrets endure in the very walls...

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Rose has spent all her married life in her home on rue Childebert, and though Napoléon’s prefect now plans to tear the neighborhood down in the name of progress, she is unwilling to part with it. While she doggedly awaits the impending destruction, she writes letters to her beloved late husband, sharing memories from their past, both good and bad, and building up to a final confession that she has kept as her secret for 30 years. Set in nineteenth-century Paris during the Haussmann reconstructions of the Second Empire, this story is as much about that iconic city and its legacy as it is about the strength of its citizens. Those who enjoyed Sarah’s Key (2007) will recognize de Rosnay’s love for her native France and appreciate the poignancy and tenacity of her characters, but this newest novel is more one-dimensional than her earlier work. Told entirely through letters, the story tends to feel choppy and forced, and events are not related in chronological order, leaving the tale at times hard to follow. Still, fans of Sarah’s Key may want to sample the latest from de Rosnay. --Cortney Ophoff


“The audiobook passes quickly, giving listeners a compelling crash course on a pocket of French history while entertaining them with the story of a woman who seems to walk the line between completely rational and utterly daft.” – Fort Worth Star-Telegram


“Tatiana de Rosnay’s novel is skillfully narrated by the delightful Kate Reading…Reading’s subtle tones and refined accents are pitch-perfect as Rose reveals her most cherished moments and her deepest secrets.” – AudioFile Magazine


“If you pick up the audio version, it is only enhanced by Kate Reading’s narration. Her French accent complemented the story without being distracting and gave a strong voice to the story’s heroine.” – Columbia Daily Tribune


“An emotional, poignant story of adoration, loss, and bravery, The House I Loved is an unforgettable listening experience, and highly recommended.” – The Midwest Book Review


“Kate Reading’s narration transports listeners to the streets of Paris…De Rosnay’s prose is enhanced by Reading’s stellar narration; she reads with a robust English accent, sprinkling her performance with almost flawless French pronunciations.” – Publishers Weekly


“As we get to know Rose (through Kate Reading’s voice, her intimate laughter, and the smiles that we can hear in her tone), we begin to wait patiently as she builds the courage to tell us the secret she’s kept locked up for most of her life.” – New World Review


An audio book makes a welcome companion on a long drive, provided it’s the right one. This fits the bill: absorbing and easy to follow without the complexities that might make it a driving distraction.” – Newark Star-Ledger

Product Details

  • File Size: 622 KB
  • Print Length: 239 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (February 14, 2012)
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00603QS3O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,141 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
157 of 164 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The House I Loved November 30, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This book is actually Rose Bazelet's letter to her deceased husband as she waits for their cherished family home to be torn down during the reconstruction-modernization of Paris in the 1860's. In it, she recalls her life with her husband and children, she updates her husband about her life since his death ten years before, and she divulges some secrets she didn't have the heart to share with him when he was alive. She expresses her feelings as she waits for her approaching death. She reveals her feelings about the importance of family history as she refuses to surrender to the renovation of "her" Paris.

This historical fiction reflects the reconstruction of Paris ordered by Napoleon III and the pain that many may have suffered as they lost the Paris that they knew, grew up with, and loved.

This book is filled with carefully-accurate sentiments. The characters and the settings come alive in the pages of this book, giving the reader a glimpse of the old Paris and its charm. This is a wonderful story of love, compassion, strength, and family.
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51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Home, not a House December 1, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Tatiana DeRosany gained many followers with her successful book,"Sarah's Key."

This new book, "The House I Loved," won me over with the descriptions of life in Paris before Napoleon III decided to raze the city and build a monument to his greatness.

In doing so, he and his architects swept away homes like so many fallen leaves, disregarding the impact of moving thousands of citizens out of their old homes. They paid for the "inconvenience," but money cannot buy a neighborhood.

The book is written as both letters and meditations by Rose Bazelet as she waits for the house to fall down around her. She remembers her youth, her marriage, her friends.

The atmosphere of Paris is well defined in this book. The plot is somewhat hazy and then the "big" surprise at the end isn't so big at all.

I liked the book well enough, but I wouldn't call it great fiction. For me, the local color aspect wins.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great history, less than great book December 22, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have mixed feelings about this book, but because it taught me about a period of history I had not yet known, it is deserving of praise. I was completely unaware that during the reign of Napoleon III, the city of Paris was besieged by a radical redesign plan. Medieval alleys, narrow streets, dead ends and ancient buildings were all demolished to create a more modern, efficient and sanitary Paris. But what of all the people residing in these buildings that were laid to waste to make room for wider boulevards, proper sewers, and stone facades?

Rose has firmly decided that she will not abandon the house she loved, the house that had been in her late husband's family for generations. The novel is one long letter to her husband in an attempt to justify her defiance and to illustrate her life since his death. The chapters were short and this was a relatively quick read, and though I enjoyed some of Rose's recollections, much of her narrative was redundant. She is overly nostalgic and she constantly laments her contempt for the Prefect (Baron Haussmann, the man behind the urban redevelopment). In the beginning of the book, I can understand why she would have such an attachment to this house, but as she reveals the horrible memories she also associates with it, it made me frustrated. It's not only that she invests such emotion to a house that has brought her both happiness and pain, but Rose is not an entirely likeable character. She's a bit haughty, vain, and insolent. There are other characters that I really liked, especially Rose's tenant and flower shop owner Alexandrine and the local book store proprietor. I felt there was a duality to Rose that was not entirely reconciled.

As a piece of historical fiction, it was entirely effective in making me want to learn about the subject of the renovations of Paris in the 19th century. It was not exceptionally written, but I read it quickly and did enjoy aspects of it.
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83 of 99 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Book I didn't LIke January 28, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I love Paris and was excited to get a book that dealt with the era of Paris's reinvention. However, this book did not deliver on that, nor on any storyline that was worth the 200+ pages. The book was written as a letter from an elderly woman to her long dead husband, who's family home was being razed to make way for Baron Haussmann's new boulevards. The writing was barely worthy of a Harlequin Romance novel and the "big secret" could be guessed from as early as page 50. I think that I'll have to stick to non fiction accounts of the era and the process.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely well written! February 24, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I seem to be in the minority here, but......I finished this book this morning and LOVED it! From the beginning, I just knew it wasn't going to have a "feel good" ending. AND that's okay. I feel the author wrote the story realistically, not the way readers maybe thought she should. de Rosnay stayed true to the story she was telling. Yes, I'm a confirmed Francophile, but there was SO much more to this story. But I did very much enjoy reading, once again, about my beloved Paris. I connected with Rose and some of the other characters very easily. I thought the author did a superb job of creating her character. Almost felt like I was there with Rose, listening to and observing her story as it unfolded.

Over all....a most definite FIVE for this book. Very well done!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Varieties of mental illness in 19th-century Paris
I wanted to like this book, as I had just finished reading a history of Paris in the time period it covers. The images of the doomed streets of Paris were well-drawn. Read more
Published 24 days ago by Margery L. Goldstein
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read - wonderful story line but with a bittersweet ...
A great read - wonderful story line but with a bittersweet ending. Really enjoy this author; hope all readers like it as much as I did.
Published 26 days ago by Deborah Thompson
5.0 out of 5 stars The house I loved
Excellent writer. Interesting twists and turns that came as a surprise. This was a book club choice. I had read Sarah's Key and loved it.
Published 1 month ago by Kathleen K. Fraley
2.0 out of 5 stars But I still would not recommend this.
It took me everything to finish this book. I honestly don't think I would have had it not been a book club read. Read more
Published 1 month ago by WNA
3.0 out of 5 stars letter to a dead husband
This story of a woman unwilling to leave her house during the 1860s "renovation" of Paris is told as a long (long, long) letter to her dead husband in which she mingles... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Cathe
3.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable ending.
The book was interesting, but the ending is hardly believable. I was let down by the stupidity of the main character's final act.
Published 3 months ago by Debra A. Mcbride
5.0 out of 5 stars I am very very pleased with my amazon purchase/service
I am very very pleased with my amazon purchase/service. This is my 1st time using Amazon and I can definitely say, I will use it again.
Published 4 months ago by fernando gutierrez
3.0 out of 5 stars heartbreakingly sweet but it does drag on a bit
I must admit, I enjoyed this author more in past books. Sarah's key was riveting.
This book has the same, sadly horrifying feeling but perhaps just goes on too long with just... Read more
Published 4 months ago by L. Graham
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 5 months ago by Susan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good writing and great content.
Published 5 months ago by NEBB
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More About the Author

Tatiana's new novel, The Other Story, will be published at Saint Martin's Press on April 22 2014.

Tatiana's books have sold over 8 million copies around the world.

Tatiana de Rosnay was born on September 28th, 1961 in the suburbs of Paris. She is of English, French and Russian descent. Her father is French scientist Joël de Rosnay, her grandfather was painter Gaëtan de Rosnay. Tatiana's paternal great-grandmother was Russian actress Natalia Rachewskïa, director of the Leningrad Pushkin Theatre from 1925 to 1949.

Tatiana's mother is English, Stella Jebb, daughter of diplomat Gladwyn Jebb, and great-great-granddaughter of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the British engineer. Tatiana is also the niece of historian Hugh Thomas. Tatiana was raised in Paris and then in Boston, when her father taught at MIT in the 70's. She moved to England in the early 80's and obtained a Bachelor's degree in English literature at the University of East Anglia, in Norwich.

Returning to Paris in 1984, Tatiana became press attaché for Christie's and then Paris Editor for Vanity Fair magazine till 1993. Since 1992, Tatiana has published ten novels in France (published at Fayard, Plon and EHO).

Sarah's Key is her first novel written in her mother tongue, English. Sarah's Key was to be published in 40 countries and has sold over 8 million copies worldwide. Film rights have also been sold and a movie starring Kristin Scott-Thomas has been released. 4 other of her novels are becoming movies in France.

Tatiana is married and has two children, Louis and Charlotte. She lives in Paris with her family.

Her website is at
Her Twitter feed :

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