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Friday, March 29, 2013

"The House I Loved" by Tatiana de Rosnay~Romance of Paris 1800's


From the New York Times bestselling author of Sarah’s Key and A Secret Kept comes an absorbing new novel about one woman’s resistance during an époque that shook Paris to its very core.

Paris, France: 1860’s. Hundreds of houses are being razed, whole neighborhoods reduced to ashes. By order of Emperor Napoleon III, Baron Haussman has set into motion a series of large-scale renovations that will permanently alter the face of old Paris, moulding it into a “modern city.” The reforms will erase generations of history—but in the midst of the tumult, one woman will take a stand.
Rose Bazelet is determined to fight against the destruction of her family home until the very end; as others flee, she stakes her claim in the basement of the old house on rue Childebert, ignoring the sounds of change that come closer and closer each day. Attempting to overcome the loneliness of her daily life, she begins to write letters to Armand, her beloved late husband. And as she delves into the ritual of remembering, Rose is forced to come to terms with a secret that has been buried deep in her heart for thirty years. Tatiana de Rosnay's The House I Loved is both a poignant story of one woman’s indelible strength, and an ode to Paris, where houses harbor the joys and sorrows of their inhabitants, and secrets endure in the very walls...


Published by:  St. Martin's Press
Pages:  256
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Author  Tatiana de Rosnay
Website:  http://www.tatianaderosnay.com
Purchase book here:  Amazon


In French:
Tatiana de Rosnay est née le 28 septembre 1961, à Neuilly-sur-Seine. Balance ascendant Scorpion. Elle se décrit comme étant "franglaise". Elle a été élevée à Boston et à Paris. Son père est français d'origine russe, sa mère, anglaise. Tatiana a écrit son premier roman dans sa langue maternelle, l’anglais, à l'âge de 11 ans, sur un cahier Clairefontaine. Après des études littéraires en Angleterre, à l’université de East Anglia, Tatiana a travaillé à Paris comme journaliste, pour Vanity Fair, Psychologies, ELLE et le JDD. Elle a publié son premier roman, L'Appartement témoin, en 1992. Depuis, elle a publié onze romans en France, dont Elle s'appelait Sarah, vendu à neuf millions d'exemplaires dans le monde. Tatiana aime le bleu turquoise, les voyages, le rire, les figuiers, Mozart, Emile Zola, Virginia Woolf et la musique disco. Sa romancière préférée est Daphné du Maurier. Elle vit à Paris avec sa famille.

In translation I take most of this to mean~  She grew up in Boston and in Paris.  Her father is french, but orginally from Russia and her mother is English. After she studied literature at a university she was stationed in Paris where she became a journalist for Vanity Fair, Psychologies, Elle...  Tatiana loves turquoise blue, travel, Mozart, the authors Emile Zola and Virginia Woolf, and disco music.  For romance fiction she prefers Daphne du Maurier.  She currently lives in Paris with her family.   (This is as far as my very weak French takes us...)



There's hardly anything more romantic than a story about an old house and the woman who clings to her past loves within it.  This book was written for the likes of me.  The setting of Paris is one that immediately puts me in a frame of mind to nestle down and read, and the time frame of the 1800's just seals the deal.  I'm not a hard sell when it comes to all these elements in a book.

Tatiana de Rosnay is an author who knows how to develop atmosphere and characters.  The house itself comes alive from the pages and envelops not only the main characters, but also the reader.  I could sense the walls breathing with memories just as I could hear the voice of Rose reliving them through her letters and notes to her dead husband. I wanted to walk the halls and hide in the basement with Rose.  Wanted to protect the old house along with her.  My heart ached to save its precious walls and parts that had encased the family over the many years.  It seemed like a bed that held a jewel.

Ms de Rosnay so developed the character of Rose that at times I felt she was real.  She is a very sympathetic character.  I fell in love with her gentleness as well as her determination despite all odds to save not only her house/home, but her way of life and her memories.  It was engrossing to walk her life story with her, and to meet the other people in her life who not only played major parts in supporting her, but who loved her in different ways...or resented her. 

This is a beautifully descriptive novel with a wonderful story to tell about family, friends and lost dreams.  I highly recommend it to those who love Paris and everything about it along with its history; but also to those who love a story about women of substance.  Rose is a woman of strength and committed love.  Hers is a beautiful story told by a generous and worthy author.

5 stars               Deborah/TheBookishDame




Love the storyline. I like family stories.


I love Paris, the 1800's, and an old house. This looks awesome!

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