SarahC's Reviews > The House at Tyneford

The House at Tyneford by Natasha Solomons
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Jan 07, 2012

really liked it
Read in January, 2012

A very touching WWII-era story. I found it in a promo section of the bookstore with an "upstairs/downstairs" theme, but I really thought this story rose above this little marketing section. The main character is a young girl from Vienna, a refuge from a respected, artistic family sent to England to work as a servant. As in similar novels, the young Elise falls in love with the charming heir to her new home Tyneford, a beautiful, wild, coastal estate.

What sets the story apart is that the main characters are not perfectly one way or another. Elise is neither too innocent nor unsuspecting, she understands the risks of life and the danger she has left her parents to in Vienna. Kit, the son of Tyneford is neither too perfect nor too roguish. His father Christopher is sad and aloof, but not annoyingly so. These seem more like normal people, not novel people, and the story flows much more easily because of it and is not forced.

This was a pleasure to read, dealing with the sadness and loss of war of course, but also tells of the ability of people to become more than one version of themselves, as the author so beautifully states. The character Elise changes her name through necessity and also choice, and toward the end of the story describes two photos, of her early life and later life. As to her two names and two lives, she points out "I am happy in both."

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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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Lauren did you read her first book? It's very sweet.


SarahC I haven't but think it is on my to-read list.


message 3: by Alysa (new) - added it

Alysa Mr. Rosenblum dreams in English - that sounds adorable - I have to read it! Thank you!


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Very nice review, Sarah!


SarahC Thank you, I have been fortunate to find some reads I really liked lately. It is nice to end the old year and start out the new in that way.


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

It is, indeed! I am really enjoying the Count. And I enjoyed my last read of 2011: Rules of Civility.


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