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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

For fans of Downton Abbey, a New York Times bestseller, the start of an affair, the end of an era Fans of Kate Morton's The Forgotten Garden and Sarah Jio's The Violets of March will love this New York TImes bestselling sweeping historical novel of love and loss. 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.…

The House at Tyneford

by Natasha Solomons

Overall Book Review:

Inspired by true events, Natasha Solomons’ The House at Tyneford is a beautiful and tragic tale of life, love and loss. The novel follows nineteen year-old Elise as she flees Nazi-occupied Vienna for a distant and forlorn England. Elise tells her story in retrospect, which enables Solomons to explore the character’s emotions of yesterdays, as well as provide plenty of foreshadowing.

Solomons’ stunning writing will have readers ready to move to the English countryside. Vivid descriptions, symbolism and personifications, as well as memorable characters, enhance the novel’s well-crafted plot. Solomons not only tackles the difficulties of World War II, but dissects themes of religious prejudice, English social structure and upstairs/downstairs life. The House at Tyneford is a breathtaking and poignant read for anyone who’s ever searched for a place to belong. 

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language: 17 religious exclamations, 9 mild obscenities, 1 religious profanity, 7 derogatory names, 4 scatological words and 5 f-word derivatives

Violence/Gore: Implied occurrences of violence with talk of the war and treatment of Jews; reports of violence when a character arrives home with a war wound; violent incidents include a character striking a Nazi soldier; a fire destroys property, but there are no casualties.

Sex/Nudity: Frequent kissing; two incidents of nudity while bathing; sexual references include daydreams and sexual innuendos written in a letter; three discussions regarding sex; one incident of sexual activity without explicit detail between adults. 

Mature Subject Matter:

Religious prejudice and nationalism; war; death of a family member; separation.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Smoking and numerous instances of drinking — characters often become drunk.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

My mother was the one who sparked my love of books. Long before school instruction, she sat me down and taught me to read. My childhood was filled with trips to the library and bookmobile to find great books. My first loves were The Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Pippi Longstocking series by Astrid Lingren. Now as a mom and speech pathologist, I am constantly looking for good, clean books to use at home and in therapy. I enjoy reading many different genres, but my favorites are usually historical fiction. I married my best friend, the “boy next door”, and we have a beautiful little girl who we often find sprawled out on the floor, flipping through picture books. Together our family likes to swim, run and play tennis. Besides reading, I also love to bake, garden and travel.