review: The House at Tyneford by Natasha Solomons
The House at Tyneford by Natasha Solomons
release date: December 22, 2011
book links: amazon / goodreads
author links: website / twitter
source: received from the publisher for review
from goodreads - It’s the spring of 1938 and no longer safe to be a Jew in Vienna. Nineteen-year-old Elise Landau is forced to leave her glittering life of parties and champagne to become a parlor maid in England. She arrives at Tyneford, the great house on the bay, where servants polish silver and serve drinks on the lawn. But war is coming, and the world is changing. When the master of Tyneford’s young son, Kit, returns home, he and Elise strike up an unlikely friendship that will transform Tyneford-and Elise-forever.
my take – Fans of Downton Abbey will fall in love with this achingly beautiful story. This book is set around the other Great War, WWII. It has the same shake up and mixing of classes where we get to see the upstairs and downstairs life and the interplay between them.
The writing is superb. Solomons delivers an authentic coastal town on the brink of WWII. She also gives us brilliant, soulful characters that are familiar in their warmth.
I love the way the story is told – Elise, remembering events of her youth, with hints of foreshadowing. Elise is a strong character and one you can’t help but pity for her circumstances. Yet, she handles herself well. She never pities herself. At times, she’s immature and makes poor choices, however I love how she goes from the Austria bourgeois to the help in England; she does it with such grace. Her growth thorough the novel is apparent. She lost almost every part of her old life, and had to learn to live in a new environment and situation.
I liken Kit to an enigma. Everyone loves him, yet no one can hold him down. His relationship with Elise seemed at times to be teetering.
Mr. Daniel Rivers is an unexpected rock of a gentleman. His generosity is humbling, his restraint gallant, and his timing perfect. He loved fiercely and willingly.
Overall this is a great read.