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The House I Loved [Kindle Edition]

Tatiana de Rosnay
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (225 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.99
Kindle Price: $7.99
You Save: $7.00 (47%)
Sold by: Macmillan

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Kindle Edition $7.99  
Hardcover $18.92  
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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

Review

“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: 295 KB
  • Print Length: 239 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0312593309
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; Reprint edition (February 14, 2012)
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00603QS3O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,875 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
152 of 159 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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48 of 49 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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24 of 25 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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81 of 97 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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11 of 11 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
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A delightful snapshot into old Paris .Such a moving tale .
Published 2 days ago by Catherine
3.0 out of 5 stars It was an interesting book but I didn't like the ending
It was an interesting book but I didn't like the ending. It was sad enough that the older woman died but I did not like having her younger friend also die.
Published 5 days ago by Bonnie Dunn
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Amazing portrayal of Paris during a challenging time. A little slow at times.
Published 6 days ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Boring
Published 6 days ago by S. Billiot
4.0 out of 5 stars I loved the historical references and nuances and especially reference...
This is first novel I've read by de Rosnay. I loved the historical references and nuances and especially reference to the classic authors of the day! Read more
Published 9 days ago by Reader Kansas City Mo
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Really enjoyed the story
Published 13 days ago by Diane H Nash
3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't Live Up to Expectations
Originally posted on The Canon! [...]

I didn't pick this book up because of Sarah's Key. Honestly, as much as I loved Sarah's Key, I didn't know if I could handle the... Read more
Published 17 days ago by Ellen @ The Canon
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
It was ok
Published 19 days ago by joseph c sanzio
5.0 out of 5 stars Unusual, Charming, Sad
De Rosnay's writing did justice to the unusual premise of this story. I enjoyed every aspect and, while it didn't engage me fully as emotionally as Sarah's Key, I could not... Read more
Published 21 days ago by Hrududu
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great
Published 27 days ago by Barbara M.
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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 http://www.tatianaderosnay.com/
Her Twitter feed : http://twitter.com/tatianaderosnay

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