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The House I Loved Hardcover – February 14, 2012
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“In her quietly elegant 11th novel, the bestselling author of Sarah's Key again explores the idea of home as both sanctuary and embodiment of history… [Rose's] letters, poetic and honest, reveal a world soon to be destroyed by progress. A mesmerizing look at how the homes and neighborhoods we occupy hold not only our memories but our secrets as well.” ―People (3 out of 4 stars)
“De Rosnay’s delicacy and the flavor of her beloved Paris are everywhere in this brief but memorable book. Replete with treats, particularly for Paris-lovers―indeed for anyone wedded to a special place.” ―Kirkus (starred review)
“Those who enjoyed Sarah's Key will recognize de Rosnay's love for her native France and appreciate the poignancy and tenacity of her characters.” ―Booklist
“The core of Paris by a phenomenal novelist.” ―Elle (France)
“Fraught with drama, as the Sarah's Key author aims to create an immersive experience in a hugely transformative period in Paris…when the city was torn between modernity and tradition. In Rose, one gets the clear sense of a woman losing her place in a changing world.” ―Publishers Weekly
“Whether you approve of Baron Haussmann's modernization of the French capital or not, Tatiana de Rosnay's new book, The House I Loved, is sure to enthrall those who want to learn more about this fascinating period in history.” ―Out and About In Paris
More About the Author
I was born in the suburbs of Paris and am of English, French and Russian descent.
I am the author of 10 novels, including SARAH'S KEY, A SECRET KEPT, THE HOUSE I LOVED, and THE OTHER STORY. My most recent book is MANDERLEY FOREVER, a French biography of Daphne du Maurier.
I can also be found on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tatianaderosnay, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/tatianaderosnay, and now on Instagram at https://instagram.com/tatianaderosnay/. Please visit my website for more information: http://www.tatianaderosnay.com/
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
Over all....a most definite FIVE for this book. Very well done!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This novel excelled in keeping my interest with each page turn as new twists and surprises arose. Perhaps a great read for those who love or have loved a special husband deeply.Published 6 months ago by Susan
I kept waiting for something to happen or to care about someone in this book. But it was just the rambling letter and recollections of an aging woman to her deceased husband,... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Nettie