Thursday, April 19, 2012

The House of Tyneford: Book Review

The House of Tyneford
By Natasha Solomons

I enjoyed reading The House of Tyneford. It was Dowton Abbey meets Upstairs Downstairs.
It took me 100 pages to get into the characters. I still enjoyed reading The House of Tyneford. I loved the characters, and the landscapes, and the description of the setting.  The writing was beautiful, and written  beautifully. I don't read romance, even though this is considered literary fiction, there is romance.  I don't usually read these kinds of novels. With that said I enjoyed reading.

Elise Landau and her family are Jewish, and living in Vienna. The parents, Julian and Anna raise the children in a bohemian lifestyle. Rich with the maids wiping their tousch even.  Julian is a writer, and Anna is a singer.  Both of them are both established and mingling with the rich, even if they are Jewish.

Their youngest daughter Elise, will be sent to Tyneford to be a maid in England. The rest of the family will leave for the United States.  The family was not able to get a visa in time, they are able to find a sponsor in England. The catch she has to work as a domestic servant.

When Elise first arrives, she encounters isolation and being very lonely. She can't identify with the help. She was raised in a very wealthy family. Then to work as a servant cleaning the bathrooms, and attending the every need and wants of the master is very different.

Tyneford is a manor surrounded by the ocean, isolated by everything. The lord of the house Mr. Rivers has many employed by him. He's son Kit is very mischievous. He causes many problems for Elise. But eventually they fall in love, and are engaged.

I enjoyed reading the novel. The House of Tyneford was descriptive, but not overly that it became dull. I enjoyed the characters especially reading about Kit. He was a trip.

 I did have a problem the entire book Elise referred  to her parents by their first name. I had a problem with this at first until I realized who was Julian and Anna. 
What is interesting how the book was set up. In Europe Hitler and the Nazi party was trying to kill all Jewish culture. There were many Jews that were writers, singers, opera, ballet, and the arts of Europe.  Hitler at the time attempting to stop all culture. There were many Jews in that circle. He murdered many people that were artists. If anyone was caught with artwork of a Jew, they were killed, the artwork was confiscated and destroyed. Luckily some of it was hidden, and surfaced later after the Nazi party was destroyed.

 I enjoyed reading about the house, the house to me was character. I could see the house, and the beautiful landscapes. I could visualize the ocean spray hitting the rocks below. I could smell the ocean breezes.

No comments:

Imagination Designs
Images from the Glamor Amour by Irene Alexeeva