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The Song of Hartgrove Hall

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  2,135 ratings  ·  371 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. Can
Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published December 29th 2015 by Plume (first published July 1st 2015)
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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
Dec 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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 ⭐️
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
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!
The Lit Bitch
Jan 30, 2016 rated it it was ok
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
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
Amanda Zirn
Aug 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. The author's word-images exhaled poetic beauty, illuminating all of my senses.

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
Feb 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, brit-lit, historical
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.
RoseMary Achey
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.
Dec 22, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Anna At A Wondrous Bookshelf
Beautiful novel! This is book that starts out slow but the prose is absolutely beautiful.
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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  ·  review of another edition
Excellent choice for music lovers
Donna Doyle
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
Aug 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is better than I thought it would be. It is part historical novel, family saga and story of one of England's great houses that were falling apart after WWII. The main character, Fox ,is a song collector of old folk tunes and also a composer of classical music. We meet him as a young man and stay with him until he is a grandfather. He is a mostly likable character and I enjoyed spending time with him. Some of the descriptions of the fields of flowers got a bit much after a while. Having ...more
Jo Castle
Aug 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So, holy crap, this book. I really liked it.

Where do I start? I don't purport to be any sort of expert on English folksongs, or even to have any sort of knowledge of them at all- in fact, it really annoys me when my relatives get drunk and start howling sea shanties. I also don't have a musical bone in my body. Usually I dislike narratives that incorporate a shy, reserved protagonist and music, because nine times out of ten they wind up as some kind of cliched "WOW, THEY REALLY CAN SING! YKNOW,
Mar 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some books are like Niagara Falls, a swiftly flowing river coming to a calamitous end. Others are more like a stagnant pond, barely moving at all. The Song of Hartgrove Hall is like a slow, meandering river through the forest, not too fast, not too slow, not too wide, not too narrow - just right. It seems that nothing much happens in this novel - but that is the point. However, when it is over, you realize how much has occurred. This novel is one of love, betrayal, joy, grief, and forgiveness, n ...more
Roger Brunyate
Apr 28, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: music
Fantasy in F Minor

At least this is better than the cover illustration, which suggests another tired old period romance, centered around a venerable old house in the English countryside, Downton Abbey lite. Not that this element is absent. Three brothers, Jack, George, and Harry Fox-Talbot, return in 1946 to their house, Hartgrove Hall, nestled in a Dorset valley, its general dilapidation exacerbated by military occupation during the War. Their father, the General, waiting out his years with an a
Jul 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
English composer, Harry Fox-Talbot, tells his story over two contrasting periods of time, from the late forties into the early fifties, and then in the early part of the present century. In the early period he falls deeply and futilely in love with his oldest brother’s wife-to-be, a popular singer called Edie Rose. In the present time we learn that Harry actually married Edie after all, and that she has recently died. His grief initially permeates this part of the story until he is revitalised ...more
Jan 11, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I just didn't love this book. Natasha Solomons' writing is beautiful; as she describes the English countryside and gardens and grounds of Hartgrove Hall I could almost see, hear, and smell it. But, I had a hard time with one of the main characters. Edie is the driving force of the novel; girlfriend and later wife to one brother, loved by the other two brothers, the cause of a decades-long family rift, but she just wasn't developed fully enough for me to see WHY two men were so desperately in lov ...more
Lolly K Dandeneau
Dec 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story crawls a bit in the beginning and then I started to get into the character's hearts and minds. Reading about an English estate in decline sent me back to my happy years in England. As Harry "Fox" comes home from boarding school, his brothers are back from war. Father wants to rid them all of the estate and be done with it after seeing it's ruinous crumbling condition- from the effects of time and troops using it as housing. The sons have other plans to save it. Older brother Jack has ...more
Feb 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I LOVED this book! The characters were very realistic and I felt very much drawn into the time periods. I wish it came with a CD because music is an integral part of the story. I love Edie and wanted to hear more about her. The author did an expert job of writing chapters in the present day and then telling the story in the past. I want to visit Hartgrove Hall. Excellent portrayal of the complicated family relationships that develop, especially siblings. I discovered that I've missed one of Nata ...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.