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The House I Loved Hardcover – February 14, 2012
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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
“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
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Top Customer Reviews
Don't waste your time or money on this book.
The story takes place in Paris. The lady's house is going to be torn down to make way for improvements in the city. She remembers when she moved into the house and tells about all the significant events that occurred in that house during her life time, including the loss of her husband.
She is now old and all but alone. She is hiding in the basement to avoid being removed from her house. It is an emotional story and very sad. As I said, older readers reaching the end of their lives will most appreciate this.
horrific changes which created a new Paris and brought the City of Paris into the 20th century and beyond...beautiful story.