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The Song of Hartgrove Hall

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  2,612 ratings  ·  414 reviews
A captivating novel that evokes the author’s New York Times bestseller The House at Tyneford 

Natasha Solomons’s breathtaking new novel has it all: a love triangle, family obligations, and rediscovering joy in the face of grief, all set against the alluring backdrop of an English country estate.

It's a terrible thing to covet your brother’s girl
New Year’s Eve, 1946. C
Paperback, 400 pages
Published December 29th 2015 by G.P. Putnam's Sons (first published July 1st 2015)
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Average rating 3.83  · 
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 ·  2,612 ratings  ·  414 reviews

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Mar 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Harry Fox-Talbot, a noted English composer, was devastated when his beloved wife died. She had been a celebrated singer, music had brought them together, bound them together, and illuminated their lives; but now Fox – he had always been known as Fox – could not listen to music let alone think of playing or composing.

He had no idea what to do with his days; or how he might live the rest of his life.

But he found inspiration.

Inspiration came in the unlikely shape of his grandson, a troublesome four
This book starts off slow and you'll be tempted to keep putting it down to find something else to do. Then half way through the book, you're wishing that there are more hours in the day so you can just sit and read it straight through. Then when you're finished with it, you're wishing that you hadn't rushed through it. It is a sublimely haunting book.

If you like Kate Morton's books, you will like this one. However, this one is not a gothic mystery though it does focus on a big old home like Dow
Reading “The Song of Hartgrove Hall” I knew that I was being introduced to my latest favourite author. Having finished the novel, I will now add everything she has written to my TBR.

A literary historical novel, “The Song of Hartgrove Hall” is written in dual timelines with a single protagonist, Harry Fox-Talbot, a musical composer and conductor and, most importantly, a song collector.

We first meet Harry (or Little Fox) as he is known, in 1946 when he is a very young man. He was too young to have
bittersweet novel of lost rediscovery and warm felt love of music and family life in an old country house from the 1940's to early 2000's. was easy going read enjoyed it ...more
Dec 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a profoundly moving, beautifully written book that captured my heart immediately. I used to read a lot of books about old English mansions and the families living in them with all their secrets. I’ve gotten away from them as they seemed to become too predictable to me. This one was a pure delight and one day I’d like to read it again just so I can once again return to Hartgrove Hall.

This book soars with music throughout – the music of voices, the music of instruments, the music of bird s
Erika Robuck
Dec 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Rarely does one find such a wholly satisfying arrangement in a novel as author Natasha Solomons presents in THE SONG OF HARTGROVE HALL. The Downton Abbey-esque settings, the distinct and memorable characters, and the vivid and touching emotions work in matchless harmony. The following quotes reflect the themes of love, music, and grief, which the reader will experience in full and absorbing array on its pages.


"I want her to understand that I've written this part for her. I know what her vo
Veronica ⭐️
Apr 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, hachette, a
Harry Fox-Talbot is floundering in grief, unable to cope after the death of his capable and vivacious wife, Edie. His daughter Carol is also finding it hard coping with her active young son, Robin. Desperately needing a break she leaves Robin with Harry for a few hours. Edie would have known what to do? But Edie was no longer there and Harry must learn to connect with a child he has previously had nothing to do with.

1946- The Fox-Talbot boys together with their father, the General, are coming ho
P.D.R. Lindsay
Mar 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites, literary
Sometimes, rarely these days, a book takes my breath away in its scope, depth and understanding of the human condition. 'The Song Collector' is one of these novels. There is nothing earth shattering in the plot, but the writer has a way with words and an understanding of the universal human emotions which never change and affect us all so profoundly. This novel deals with grief and love, jealousy and obsession, and does it brilliantly.

The novel starts at with grief, a death, and it is at the en
Vicki Antipodean Bookclub
Harry Fox-Talbot and his two older brothers return to Hartgrove Hall after WWII to find their family home dilapidated and on the brink of collapse. The Hall sits in the Dorset countryside and Harry has grown up seeking out and collecting folk songs from the people who live and work in that landscape. A gifted musician, Harry fills his life with music until he’s forced to make a choice between his passion and his home. When the family meet iconic British singer Eddie Rose, even more difficult dec ...more
The Lit Bitch
I have a lot of wonderful things to say about Solomons writing. Her prose is breathtaking, beautiful, descriptive, and moving. I felt like I was right there at Hartgove Hall. The descriptions of the house were stunning and elegant, I fell in love with the house much as the brothers did.

I would gladly rave about Solomons writing abilities all day long….she has a wonderful gift for elegant prose that fits within the time period and captures the essence of romance and nostalgia that a book like thi
Robert Blumenthal
Jan 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This novel was such a pleasant surprise. Full disclosure, I am a musician and composer, so it was very much easier for me to relate to this story (though I am not British or live in a giant, old house). It involves two stories in fact, one starting in 1946 that involves a family of 3 brothers, two of whom compete for the same beautiful Jewish singer Edie Rose. It's established early on who the eventual "winner" was, as the book starts in the year 2000 with the youngest brother Fox mourning the d ...more
Reindert Van Zwaal
Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: music
I liked this book pretty much. It switches between two time frames, the lives of the young and the old Fox. The part on the past is a nice support of the present as it clarifies Fox's relationship with his wife Edie. The book was touching in various parts, the music described very lively and the surroundings sprang to life just so real. However, here were parts wherein not much happened and the ending was a bit sudden. All in all a nice read, I enjoyed! ...more
Amanda Zirn Hudson
Aug 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: the-book-drop
As a huge fan of both Natasha Solomon and classical music, I immediately fell in love with The Song of Hartgrove Hall. Natasha's writing transports you to the beautiful English countryside with characters who are so well developed you feel like you've known them for ages. The Song of Hartgrove Hall will have fans of classical music smiling as they read (and hear) the music flowing through the pages and have anyone else falling in love with their newfound classical obsession. A perfect book for b ...more
Apr 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. The author's word-images exhaled poetic beauty, illuminating all of my senses.

Jul 18, 2019 rated it liked it
A story that is both sad and uplifting, The Song of Hartgrove Hall is a tale told in slow movements, perhaps even mirroring some of the music that is at the bedrock of the book. It starts off slow, and though you might be tempted to put it aside for something that grabs your attention more quickly, I urge you to stick with it. The story picks up, gains a faster pace, and you will be swept through the larger part of the book, only to finish it and ask how it came by so quickly.

The story alternate
Thanks to the publisher for an advance reader's copy.

This really deserves 3.5 stars, but try as I might, I can't seem to round up like I usually do. Natasha Solomons is a talented writer who is able to evoke music and nature beautifully. I loved that she has a strong personal interest in folk song collecting and I couldn't help but hum Ralph Vaughn Williams as I read. The structure of the book makes the plot so compelling, which I don't find always happens with parallel narratives. Everything wa
Dec 22, 2015 rated it it was ok
I eagerly anticipated this book, as I had enjoyed all of the author's previous books. Unfortunately, this book left me completely underwhelmed. I fell asleep several times while reading it, and even debated giving up. I did push through, and while the ending wasn't bad, it was rather anti-climactic. ...more
RoseMary Achey
Jan 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Typically I really enjoy dual-time novels however this novel did not strike the right chord. I failed to love Edie, one of the main female characters, as so many others in the novel apparently did. This is a love story but told from a man's perspective. Love for his family's estate, love for a girl, and love of music is the real love triangle in this story. ...more
Feb 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, historical, brit-lit
Natasha Solomons has officially entered my short "will read anything she writes" list. As lyrical, gripping, moving, and memorable as House of Tyneford, I completely soaked this one up. Including a meaningful modern-day storyline in an otherwise historical work is a tough feat but I love, love, love what Solomons did in this book. So very well crafted. ...more
Anna at A Wondrous Bookshelf
May 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Beautiful novel! This is book that starts out slow but the prose is absolutely beautiful.
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed feeling like I was living in the English countryside, all the references to music, and most of the characters. I didn't love all of their choices though. ...more
Carolyn Hill
Jul 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
I had never read any books by Natasha Solomons when I picked this up at a used book store. Granted, the cover of an English manor house hooked me, as well as the enthusiastic blurbs. I was therefore somewhat surprised by how much I enjoyed her writing, which was lyrical and evocative. The story centers around Harry Fox-Talbot (called Fox), a composer and youngest son, and therefore not the heir, of the General who owns Hartgrove Hall, a decrepit but beautiful estate which after requisitioned for ...more
Sep 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
More like 3.5, all things considered.

I was really loving the story until about 2/3 of the way through when infidelity reared its ugly head. In the end the characters helped to dull my disappointment in their actions. I enjoyed the writing especially the way the author used some humor in the relationships and her descriptions of nature made me feel like I was there. The story goes easily between past (1946-59) and present (2000-07) so it doesn't feel like a ping-pong match. It's quite Downton Ab
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: popular-fiction
I really liked this book and can't remember who recommended it to me, but thanks for doing so! I finished it in 3 sittings; it was easy to read and yet not at all simple or simplistic. The book alternates between following the young Harry Fox-Talbot in the years after World War II and then picks up again when he's in his late 70s during the 2000s. There are several themes that resonate throughout: the power of music; the land and home from which people get their roots; love; family; loyalty. I t ...more
Feb 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
I thought this was a fantastic book. Felt like I was reading Downton Abbey. I am looking forward to reading more by this British author. Enough so,that one of her books is not available at the library, so I ordered it on Amazon.
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved it, I will miss the main character who helps you look at life through many lenses and yet when you wanted to cry he made you laugh. So good.
Helen O'Toole
Sep 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A delightful book in so many ways. Loved the sense of history that pervaded the novel and the various characters. I especially loved Robin, the grandson and musical prodigy.
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Excellent choice for music lovers
Jun 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This took me so long to get into I almost abandoned it but when I checked the reviews on here so many people had given it five stars. So I persisted and I am glad I did. I liked the character Fox much more in the second half of the novel and his grandson Robin was a delight. Helps to have a bit of a working knowledge of classical music for this novel.
Vicki Kavanaugh
May 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Very touching story that goes back and forth between post WWII England and the early 2000's--a story of family, love, music and finding your way in the world. ...more
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Natasha Solomons is a writer and the New York Times bestselling author of The Gallery of Vanished Husbands, The House at Tyneford, and Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English. She lives in Dorset England, with her husband, the writer David Solomons, and their two young children. Song of Hartgrove Hall is her fourth novel.

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