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The House I Loved

3.11  ·  Rating details ·  12,035 ratings  ·  1,937 reviews
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
Hardcover, 222 pages
Published February 14th 2012 by St. Martin's Press (first published 2011)
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Antenna My copy of Rose is described as translated from English, although the author is Anglo-French so could probably have written it in French.

I think I wou…more
My copy of Rose is described as translated from English, although the author is Anglo-French so could probably have written it in French.

I think I would have judged this book more harshly if I had read it in English. Somehow, being in French made it more authentic, although I have read criticisms of the quality of the French translation, which I'm not qualified to make, although I did sometimes think the sentence structure felt a bit too "English"(less)

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Average rating 3.11  · 
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 ·  12,035 ratings  ·  1,937 reviews

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May 23, 2012 rated it it was ok
Disappointing ... Sarah's Key haunted me after I read it, but I think de Rosnay may be a one-hit wonder. The themes of A Secret Kept don't interest me - keep your mouths shut people! This one sounded promising - love of houses, letter writing and old Paris - but fell flat in execution.

The main character is an extremely unlikable, weak-willed and whiny woman, and the story is told through her letters to her dead husband. Reading her letters was like fingernails on a chalkboard. She is a self-pro
Feb 27, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Steve Lindahl
Dec 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: myshelf
Like many of the other reviewers, I read The House I Loved because Sarah's Key was so powerful. This book is different. There can be no comparison between the story of the French government sending Jewish citizens to German death camps during World War II and the story of the hardship caused by eminent domain laws that were used as part of a massive renovation of Paris during the reign of Emperor Napoleon III. But every book does not have to be about genocide. The House I Loved is about memories ...more
Marcy prager
Jul 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
After reading Sarah's Key, I never thought that Tatiana de Rosnay could write another book like it. I was right. This book is nothing like Sarah's Key. I applaud Tatiana for coming up with a totally different story about her beloved country and city, Paris. It is the 1800's and the beautiful little streets and neighborhoods of old, are planning to be demolished in order to build the boulevards of today's Paris. While the Emperor and the Prefect are planning this new modern city with sewers, the ...more
Karen B
The House I Loved was a book I definitely did NOT love. I expected it to be a great book based on the story line, and what I'd read previously by the author. (I read Sarah's Key a few years ago - a book that I loved, and I've been VERY eager to read more from de Rosnay ever since).

The problem: the letters written to Armand were awful. There was much too much having to fill in plot details (such and such happened "as you already know...") which made them seem fake and stilted. Another narrative f
Erika Robuck
Feb 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
At heart, The House I Loved is a love letter to a dead husband and old Paris, before Napoleon and Baron Haussmann completed their massive modernization efforts of the city in the 1860s. Writing from the basement of her empty house on Rue Childebert, widow Rose Bazelet prepares for its demolition by refusing to leave and penning a long confession reflecting on her upbringing, marriage, children, friendships, and tragedies.

From the moment I began The House I Loved, I was mesmerized by De Rosnay’s
Diane S ☔
Oct 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book about a Parisian neighborhood, a woman and a house. But it is not just a house, it is a home that has seen much history by the mid 1880's, it has seen the riots, the end of the Bourbon monarchy and the glory of Napoleon Bonaparte, the crowning of his empress and the birth his son. Rose, isn't just a woman, she is a woman who has known love in this house, death in this house, tragedy and joy and she had promised her husband that she would take care of this house which was his child ...more
As the shelves tell, although I am "currently" reading (listening?) to this (though I stopped maybe 2 months ago) I most likely won't be finishing it.
I know, you're probably thinking (and I am too), "It's an audiobook, just finish it," but somethings are so bad that you can't even power through them to the end.
This is one of those things.
I'd like to discuss a category, now. A category that explains why I can't finish, and why I hate most things that I do.
This category is known as "Award Bait".
Deborah Maganza
Jan 17, 2013 rated it did not like it
The only reason I gave it 1 star is that I did finish it, which says something. I love Paris and as a character, Paris was the most likable. I didn't understand Rose at all. She loved her house, her dead husband and her dead son. Her very much alive daughter she never loved, nor did she love her own mother. This quote says it all about her mothering skills, "They say mothers prefer their sons, is this not the secret truth? Are we not born to bring sons into the world?" Well, glad no one let me o ...more
Sarah Swann
Apr 08, 2021 rated it it was ok
While I appreciate the beautiful writing, this one didn't work for me. I didn't think the execution of the way this was written was necessary or done well. It's told in both letters among characters and our main character talking to her deceased husband. I felt that I was just there witnessing the story instead of getting to know the characters and being immersed in their experiences. There were also a lot of French language (obviously since this is set in Paris), but I found myself tripping ove ...more
Amie Wilson
Jun 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
This moving story centers around an old woman (Rose) confronted with losing her family home during the modernization of Paris as envisioned by The Emperor and his Prefect. The book is written in beautiful little segments, mostly in the form of Rose writing a letter to her long dead husband, who extracted a promise from her not to allow the Prefect to destroy his ancestral home. Her letters to her husband flow along the lines of her memory from her own childhood, their courtship, raising their ch ...more
Jan 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017-books
3.5 stars. A sentimental tale but the prose was lovely and flowing. I learned some things about the reconstructing of Paris - wow! If you are looking for a read like "Sarah's Key", then this is not for you...this is nothing like that story. ...more
Dec 27, 2012 rated it it was ok
My thoughts as I started this book: “Huh, I didn’t know Napoleon remodeled Paris in this way. This should be interesting!”

My thoughts as I finished this book: “Hmmm… well, that happened.”

I guess I was expecting more than I got from this story. What I wanted was a story of a woman fighting against progress to save her beloved home. What I got was a story of a woman repeating herself over and over, visiting one city official, and then refusing to leave her home. But not in a “chain herself to her
Tara Chevrestt
Oct 15, 2011 rated it did not like it
This is a prime example of when one takes a story they can tell in 50 pages or less and adds a bunch of mumbo jumbo to it till it hits 250 pages. The book too 84 pages alone just to inform me that the narrator is widowed, the French government is razing her house to make a new street, she refuses to leave, and pines away the last days writing to her dead husband. By page 84, I also knew that she met her husband in a flower shop, her MIL died in that house, she gave birth in the house to a bratty ...more
Oct 11, 2016 rated it liked it
A sweet but sad story.
May 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
Since I love houses and thoroughly enjoyed Tatiana de Rosnay’s other book, Sarah's Key, I thought I would like this next book as well.

There is much to recommend it. It is a retrospective period piece which paints nineteenth century Parisian city life and architecture with breathtaking precision. If the reader is imaginative, and patient, with a historically curious nature, she is sure to delight in the rich descriptions woven throughout Ms. De Rosnay’s novel. Readers who love all things French—e
Apr 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I have moved so many times in my life that I don't feel any real connection to any of the houses I have lived in, so I began this book with fairly low expectations and really only wanted to read it because of how much I enjoyed Sarah's Key. Fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised to find that not only was the connection a person can have to a house more interesting than I thought it would be, but also that this novel was about so much more than just buildings. Modern life is so mobile that rootl ...more
Kristin Strong
Apr 02, 2012 rated it did not like it
As a novel, this would make a really good short story. Or novella. Or something shorter than the 222 pages I forced myself through.
There's nothing wrong with the writing. There's nothing wrong with the idea. But how the narrator forged her connections with some of her friends is left sketchy at best. Besties with a ragpicking street person? Totally out of character, as I read her, and totally out of her social class, which was important at that time...but okay, I can stomach it. She's a kind per
Apr 27, 2012 rated it did not like it
I hated this book and was soooo disappointed because having had a house I loved, sold and watch torn down I thought I would be able to relate and enjoy this book. It was set in Paris and I love Paris ... but it was horrible! The main character is telling this story as she writes a letter to her dead husband. By the time I got to the last few pages I had read, "There is so much I need to tell you" at lease 50 times ... I just wanted to scream at her "THEN TELL IT ... TELL IT SO WE CAN FINALLY GET ...more
Oct 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Story Description:

St. Martin’s Press|February 14, 2012|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-1-250-01288-3

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 permanent
Katrina Stonoff
Aug 15, 2012 rated it it was ok
I LOVED Sarah's Key. Didn't everyone? It was an incredible book -- evocative, tragic and compelling. So I was hesitant to read a followup, terribly afraid I'd be disappointed. It's so hard to follow a success like Sarah's Key.

Sadly, I was more than disappointed by The House I Loved. I was annoyed. The ONLY reason I bothered to finish the book at all was because it was (thankfully!) very short and a quick read, so I knew I could finish it at one sitting. Had I set it down, even once, even for a m
Sep 18, 2012 rated it liked it
An epistolary novel written from the point of view of Rose Bazelet, a 60 year old women, determined to oppose the modernization, or destruction, depending on your point of view, of old Paris. The Emperor and his Prefect have crafted a plan to tear down much of the city to make way for the broad boulevards and buildings that now define Paris. While many were in agreement with their plans, the longer it wore on, the larger and more vocal the opposition became. Rose is a fictious example of this mi ...more
Mar 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
To be honest, I was disappointed. I heard all this great stuff about "Sarah's Key," so when I saw that this book was by the same author and the blurb sounded interesting, I picked it up. It was just okay. I wouldn't give it any higher accolade than that. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't horrible either, and there were definitely some nice turns of phrase, but altogether it just left me dissatisfied. Actually, I found the narrator sort of annoying. Even though I know this kind of stuff happens, I fo ...more
Karen Schwind
Sep 24, 2012 rated it it was ok
I find it hard to explain why I'm giving the novel only 2 1/2 stars on GoodReads without giving away the end, but the best summary I can make is that, overall, I found the story to be wholly improbable. In the first place, I don't see the point of the central action, Rose's hiding in the basement of her home as wrecking crews work their way to her house. She doesn't tell anyone she's there and makes no public statement, so she's not protesting. Getting buried in her home won't save the home or h ...more
Jan 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
An unexpected gem. This novel doesn't have the same high drama as Sarah's Key. This is a quiet tale of peaceful resistance.

The heroine's life was simple and quiet, made up by her love for her husband and the quiet life they shared. After losing her family, she finds a new fulfillment through her friendships with the neighbors and the new interests they introduce her to. Throughout the tale, we are provided glimpses of Paris, a small and intimate community, transforming and growing into a modern
Jolene Haack
Oct 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 125-2012
Some books just do not need to be written.

I guess the argument could be made that no book really needs to be written. But gosh, this one more than any other.

The narrator? Whiny. Weak. Pointless. Boring. Inexplicably adored by everyone around her.

The twist? Out of place. Poorly executed. A cheap writing ploy that made me angry more than anything else.

The entire novel is written in letters to the narrator's deceased husband who she continues to adore to this very day despite really any explanation
Mar 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
I fell completely in love with Sarah's Key, so naturally I wanted to read more books by Tatiana de Rosnay. The House I Loved takes us back to Paris in the 1840's. I have to say that I loved how this book was composed. It was a series of letters and stories from the narrator, Madame Rose Bazelet. The stories are all being written to her deceased husband and love of her life, Armand. Paris, during this time, is being completely razed and rebuilt to keep up with modern times, and as part of these r ...more
Judy Davies
This book renews my resolution to not force myself to finish every book, no matter how much I dislike it! A senile old woman, who loses her beloved son to cholera but can't bring herself to see that the improvements being made In Paris will stop these tragic plagues? And forsakes the daughter she has because of a difficult birth? Who clings to her love of a man for 10 years, and can't move on. The look of the book & the writing makes me yearn for another Sarah's Key....but it even close ...more
Sep 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
A very beautiful, heart-breaking read. I find it so interesting when an author can bring someone to life the way this author has done with Rose-with all of her joy and heartbreak and regrets.
Shirley Miller
Jun 07, 2012 rated it liked it
The setting of this novel is superb. It is Paris during the renovation of 1853-1870 when a major portion of the medieval city was destroyed by the order of Napoleon III to make way for new and modern boulevards, buildings, water and sewer...and much more. I was not familiar with this Parisian event and spent several hours researching it. In my mind, this is always a good outcome for a novel...driving the reader to develop some interest piqued by the work of fiction. The story line itself, a refu ...more
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Play Book Tag: The House I Loved by Tatiana de Rosnay - 3 stars 4 20 Sep 04, 2018 06:30PM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: #21 The House I Loved 1 7 Apr 19, 2016 12:40PM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: The House I loved 1 4 May 06, 2013 05:54AM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: The House I loved 1 5 Dec 06, 2012 05:08PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Publication year 5 37 Aug 26, 2012 11:16AM  

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