From the New York Times best-selling 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. 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....
©2012 Éditions Héloise d'Ormesson, Paris (P)2012 Macmillan Audio
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I love the way Tatiana de Rosnay writes, this was a great story of one woman’s life told by her in letters to her dead husband. It is 1865 and Rose’s house is being torn down to make room for the streets to be widened, she doesn’t want to give up her house but has no choice but she is not ready to leave she sends her belongings to her daughter and says she will be there soon but is really living in the basement of her home and re-living her life through memories she puts down in letters to her dead husband. Throughout these letters you sense there is a secret, something she needs to tell her husband. Plus what she really plans to do is kind of just hanging there the whole time. (no spoilers). The author also brings the times to life through the descriptions of the demolition of Paris to make way for new and improved Paris.
I found this a fascinating look at one woman’s life in time of such change I Paris. I thought this was very good story telling about well, simply about life. I went into this book expecting a good story and that is what I got , is it different from her other books, yes, why would you want an author to write the same book over and over. All of Tatiana’s books are different from each other and that’s what I like about her as an author you never know what the story will be but you know it will be written beautifully! I just really liked this one, the character of Rose telling her story it was so simple yet brilliant.
Jennifer Mendenhall’s/Kate Reading(I guess they are the same person) narration of this one was perfect I was glad she was there to pronounce all the French for me and because this book feels like story-telling I think listening to it on audio was the way to go, I found it beautifully written and narrated. This was my first book by this narrator and will definitely look for her again.
I am an avid "reader"- I prefer to listen to books rather than read them due to the added dimension added by the narrator.
I have already read two of Tatiana de Rosnay's books and loved both of them. This one was a real disappointment.
I felt that the writing style was too dramatic and almost child-like. I could not relate to any of the characters.
The voice was satisfactory.
One could not listen to this and not feel the sadness in the Parisians of the time. But I did not get emotionally invested in it for some reason.
I loved Sarah's Key and was hooked right from the beginning....but this one is such a snooze fest! I only made it through the first two chapters before I couldn't take anymore. The narration is sooooooo monotonous and flat. This story moves at a shockingly glacial pace. I wouldn't recommend it.
The writing is stilted and juvenile.
The narrator had a very flat droning delivery which was appropriate for the flat droning story.
My first unfortunate pick. Wish I could return it!
Absolutely! I liked A Secret Kept and was enthralled with Sarah's Key. As far as Kate Reading's narration, I enjoy hearing her voice very much. I think she does a fine job with her narrations.
There is no comparison to Sarah's Key. I was sucked in to Sarah's Key from the very beginning and didn't want it to end. A Secret Kept was a little slow in places, but still held my attention. If it had not been for the historical value with such vivid descriptions of an early 1860's France and the fact that I was outside gardening without ready access to another audio book, I may not have finished this one. I kept thinking "oh, this has to get better" and continued listening. It seemed to drag on in many places throughout the book. I am glad I finished it though. There were several story line plots that were resolved as the book progressed. Had I been reading this in book form and not listening to it in audio form, I probably would not have finished it.
I think the main character, Rose, showed such determination and will. She seemed a strong, it not stubborn, woman for the time period.
No, I think the reader understands the end is here and why. It did not leave me hanging on for more.
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About half way through and so far I am bored.
I wanted to read it because I was interested in learning more about people who were displaced when "Paris was renovated" and the whole process around that, but this book is (so far) not satisfying that craving.
The format is not for me - the story is told from the point of view of a 60 year old woman writing a letter to her long dead husband... so it's a lot of recalling and looking back and creating images and describing feelings... but nothing interesting has happened yet!
Here's hoping the second half is better.
Done now. The second half was much much better - perhaps because by then I knew what to expect? I would recommend it with a warning that it's very slow going.
This was a book well suited to audio. It is not a terrible gripping tale, but makes a drive diverting. However, the book has a BRILLIANT theme...the story is set in Napoleon III’s Paris when he re-configured the city by razing many of the medieval streets and replacing them with the boulevards we so admire today. Like any
The narrator's voice fit the character. The joy and sadness in the story was expessed in her voice.
I felt the story was already cut too much. It seemed too short in parts.
I was transported to the Pairis neighborhood where the story took place. Anyone who feels a loss when seeing changes due to modernnization will be moved by the story.
"How Paris became the city we know now."
Nice story. Interesting glimpse into how modern Paris came into being; and what the people had to go through in the process. I spent time going through maps of modern Paris attempting to glimpse the landscape portrayed in this great little book. Good read, especially if you intend to explore the streets of Paris; this has opened my eyes to so much.
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