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3.81  ·  Rating details ·  963 Ratings  ·  153 Reviews

Each life has its place, and every variation ripples the surface of the tiny alpine village called Rosenau. Be it a mysteriously misaddressed love letter or a girl's careless delivery of two helpless relatives into Nazi hands, the town's balance is ever tested, and ever tender. Here is a novel spanning eighty yearsyears that bring factories and wars, store-bought cheese an

Paperback, 302 pages
Published September 28th 2002 by Isis Publishing Ltd (first published 1997)
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Sep 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautifully written book of interconnecting stories through 1909 to 1977.
It follows the women of a close knit community in the remote alpine village of Rosenau.
Their hopes, dreams, secrets and loves.
It opens with a letter addressed to Anna, but who is it really meant for as lots of women were named the same as a family tradition.
I found it to be a very moving book and one that I instantly want to re- read.
This will stay with me for a long time.
May 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful collection of stories so tightly intertwined that it is essentially a novel. Each chapter is told from the perspective of a woman in a small Austrian town, beginning in the early 1900s and progressing forward into the 1970s. Each character is so thoroughly developed that I felt like a resident of the town (if not a relative) myself. It's a beautiful, lyrical book, and I recommend it highly to anyone who appreciates really good writing. (For the record, my favorite character i ...more


This novel is about the relationships between women in a remote Austrian village. It starts before WW1 and continues through the 1970s. The central theme is the women's lives and their relationships to each other, many of which were tied by family bonds: mothers, daughters, grandmothers, cousins, half-sisters and as the years pass great-great-grandchildren. As in any family there are the grumps, the beauties, the intellectuals and each is accepted for what they are. I, the reader,
Jun 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I've read this book four times now over the last several years and love it more each time. Each chapter focuses primarily on a different woman in the same Austrian farming village over a span of 70 or so years of the 20th century, based on true stories the author was told in such villages. Some of the women's stories aren't fully told until they pop up in a future chapter of another woman, often a relative. A moving look into the challenging lives of women (and men) in rural Europe through wars ...more
Jun 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a collection of stories revolving around the people, mostly the women, who live in a small rural town in the mountains of western Austria in the early to mid-20th century. Reminiscent of the Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy, the book is full of women's stories, conflict, hopes and dreams. Few leave the small town in their lifetime, but that does not mean they do not have rich and fulfilling lives, some with secrets to keep.
Although this was a quick read and I was able to keep track of characters using the clan charts at the back of the book, I feel like I never really got a complete story—too many questions. Who was the mysterious postcard from at the book's beginning? Why did the Wainwright marry Theres after being repulsed by her shameful act? Why does the author kill off Martha? I'd like to see more of a story about her and about the romance between her mother and the Italian deserter. Why does Katharina feel t ...more
Allie Riley
Sep 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful. And yet somehow, not enough. I want to know more about all of these people. It works perfectly and yet could also be several other novels. I hope that she writes more about these characters.
I am worried about this, but there's nothing to do but try. Simple and worth remembering.

This is a lovely novel of connected stories that spans from the early 20th century to the late 1970s in a remote valley of western Austria. The women are strong and wistful and tragic and heartening. To me, it's full of beautiful truths.

A farmer's wife is as good as her cheese; her cheese can be no better than her rennet. Many other failings may stay hid throughout the years: she can feed unrisen bread to th
Jun 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quiet book about quiet lives in a secluded alpine village in Austria. Despite the seclusion the lives are rich and full, the characters memorable, and outside events shape experience - the world wars bringing change of various sorts to lives traditionally spent in farming and cheese making. It is the women's lives that are portrayed, with interlinking stories that take us from the early twentieth century to the seventies. Their lives are circumscribed by their domestic and farming duties; thei ...more
Jun 10, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This story was beautifully written, but I really expected more out of it. It was a series of short stories about various women from the same village who are all somehow related. It had the potential to be very juicy, but there were so many people involved that it was hard to keep track of their stories. The mystery behind many of the stories was lost. (Too bad I didn't read the Table of Contents first to see that the family trees were charted in the back of the book! Argh.) I enjoyed the first h ...more
Feb 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I almost gave this book five stars as it has left an impression on me. After reading the stories I felt I had grown to know the families over the generations. Lippi cleverly weaves the inter-connected tales in chronological order and thankfully gives a family tree at the front of the book. As I was finishing this book in the Swiss Alps it has helped to enrich my experience of life in the mountains especially as I walked up to some of the remote hamlets in winter.
This wasn't a book I would have ever chosen on my own, to read (I read it with my bookclub). It was confusing, hard to keep the characters straight. But I actually wound up enjoying it. Ms. Lippi has a writing style I so enjoy. She writes beautifully. I loved the words of the book. It was a beautiful book, full of wonderful characters.
Naomi Sarah
May 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a gem. I found a little treasure in it.


1. THE WRITING. It was so so so gorgeous and like wa now my writing is 0/10 because Rosina Lippi's word-crafting talent is 20/10. She wrote in a way that you could BE THERE and SMELL and TOUCH and JUST BE THE PERSON. Reading this book felt like diving into a beautiful, hardworking Austrian village and I want to go back.
2. THE CHARACTERS. I LOVE that most of the characters are in their 30+'s! Some
G. Lawrence
Jan 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gorgeous, really a wonderful read.
Started out not liking it particularly, and seeing it very much as a loosely connected set of short stories about the lives of women in a remote, rural community over years. In the beginning I felt not very interested and slightly annoyed with the short pit stops through time, but by the middle I was hooked, and by the end, I was in love.
Touching, beautiful, rather a melancholy tome, but strangely captivating, this is a beautiful book. Make sure you keep reading
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. This book brought up very powerful emotions in me. The book is an amalgamation of various real families and situations made into one story. It describes the feelings, ways and traditions so well you feel you are close to these women. I really felt for them and all their various struggles and triumphs.
Mar 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of short stories intertwined with characters

I read this book because I really love the series of books this author wrote under her pen name. I enjoyed it. It was a little odd at first but each chapter is really a short story with a certain set of characters and a specific year. With each chapter we move forward and time and some of the characters reappear.
Francy B
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Engrossing, Poignant and Alive

Reading these stories felt like living with these women and and in their community. These aren't characters, the are people, real and vivid and poignantly alive.
The stories of many women interwoven to tell so much more than the story of each one alone.
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed this book about women from early 1900's to 1970's in a small Austrian farmland area at the base of the mountains. The women endured many hardships with WWI and WWII and the loss of men that helped with the farming and dairy duties. It was a story of real life in a remote area. There were no luxuries in this small community although little inventions helped them in later years. What I did find confusing was that the characters were named similarly and with descriptions to their homesteads ...more
Feb 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Alpine Read

I loved the wonderful thread of generations of families from the mountains. And the lovely descriptions of the air, earth, water, smells and stories of ghosts that weren't ready to leave this wonderful homeland.
"And then they will all be there, waiting for me, and when I am ready to come to them they will have embraced each other and merged into one woman who is mother and sister and aunt and daughter. And I will not have to choose between them."

This beautiful book is like this quote from it. Deep, tender, affectionate. About being woman, mother, sister, aunt, daughter, being self.

There are twelve chapters. Each about different time and from different point of view (through the eyes of different women)
May 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
מה כבר יכול להתרחש בכפר אוסטרי פסטורלי? הפרות ירעו באחו, האיכרים יחבצו חמאה וגבינה, סה"כ חיי עבודה לא קלים משחרית ועד לילה. אך רוזינה ליפי, מצליחה ביד אמן עדינה וכישרונית לרקום מתוך חיים לכאורה משעממים, חסרי דרמות וגוון את הדרמות המסעירות ביותר.

ליפי פורשת במיומנות את סיפורן של תריסר נשים המתגוררות בשתי נחלות שברוזנאו. הספר מתחיל בתחילת המאה העשרים, ב- 1909, עם סיפורה של אנה ובמכתב מכותב מסתורי הממוען לאנה (רק שלא ברור לאיזו אנה) ומסתיים בשנות השבעים, ב- 1977, בסיפורה של לאורה.

סיפורים מרגשים, אמי
Lisa Kearns
Jun 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like Rosina Lippi's writings under her pen-name Sara Donati, so I was eager to read this book. We lived in Austria years ago, and that was another reason I thought I would enjoy this book.

The author writes what amounts to short stories about the lives of 12 different women in a small Austrian village, taking place in the years between 1909 and 1977. She writes about small town gossip and politics, food and social customs and styles of clothing for each of these eras. She also covers the Nazi o
Jul 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Homestead by Rosina Lippi - Very Good

A lovely little book set in a tiny village in the Austrian alps and concentrating on the Homesteads there: passed from generation to generation since time immemorial. It follows three particular Homesteads and their families from just before WW1 through to the mid-1970s, singling out a women from each Homestead at a particular (usually significant) point in time and telling her tale. Quite touching in places and very interesting how the rest of the world seem
Jun 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this quite a challenging read as the names were so complicated. The chapters are told by or about different people and it does sort of come together but it is sort of a combination between a novel and a collection of short stories. I imagined the village to be a bit like that of 'Heidi' and found the descriptions of their lives fascinating. I can't say I really warmed to any of the characters but rather more to the way of life and their traditions.

It was not really like any other book I
Sep 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read Homestead many, many years ago. It was the first book that our AOL Women of the Wilderness book group read as we anxiously awaited the coming of Sara Donati's Into the Wilderness series to be released.

I have since purchased several copies of Homestead as gifts. I especially recall giving one to my mother for Mother's Day many years ago. It's the kind of book that really reaches out to women of any age. The female characters in this book are so well developed, so easy to feel
Catherine Gillespie
Homestead, Rosina Lippi’s lovely collection of interrelated stories about a small village in the Austrian Alps, captures the depth of human nature and richness of relationships in seemingly small settings and quiet lives.

Each of Lippi’s vingettes centers around a woman from the village–a snapshot of life in the village over a span of about 70 years, including the World Wars. In Rosenau, families are interrelated, and people are known by their connection to the land and to the people they come fr
I really enjoyed this engaging story, told by various female narrators, all residents of a tiny mountain village in Austria. From this insular community comes a strong sense of the ties that bind women across generations and the cultural particularities of a life so remote and agrarian that it felt almost medieval.

I felt the ways in which this village was touched by two world wars were poignant and not at all expected or formulaic. What was surprising was the way the author was able to use some
Jul 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story of women from an Austrian village that spans from the early 1900s to the 70s. Watching the town change through time was interesting and seeing how the peoples' lives were intertwined was equally as interesting. I don't often enjoy books where you have to keep so many people straight that you need a family tree, but the storytelling in this instance was just what I needed to become part of what I was reading. In a way, I felt as if I had visited the place and met the people.

There is muc
Begona Fernandez
Don't even remember how I came across this book. It's been on my book shelf for years. Tired on seeing it and saying i would read next time I gave it a chance. I was not disappointed.

A book about village women may sound dreary and boring but it wasn't. Rosina managed to make a life so different from the city life I lead interesting, full of complexities and details. The characters are all rounded and compelling and you end up caring and wanting to now more.

Besides the change of focus on characte
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Rosina Lippi also writes historical fiction under the name Sara Donati.
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“I am worried about this, but there's nothing to do but try.” 3 likes
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