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3.5 out of 5 stars
The House I Loved
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on August 14, 2015
Not as good as Sarah's Key
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2014
Boring.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 27, 2013
Not the best Tatiana de Rosnay novel as I still really did like Sarah's Key the best. This book has the same theme as all of her other ones family loyalty and a family secret. I always love finding out what the secret is because it is always a much horrible secret than I could ever think of.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2013
This novel, set in Paris, is an interesting historical fiction. The love of a house causes an aging woman to stay in it until the wreckers arrive. A story of love, devotion, and loyalty, along with stubbornness.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon December 20, 2012
"The House I Loved" is a fictional first person account of 60 year old Rose Bazelet writing letters to her deceased huband Armand about the demise of their beloved family home during the renovation of Paris in the 1860's. I was interested in the book's theme - it was my first chance to learn about the "Haussmann Plan". However, I was disappointed that it didn't go into greater detail. If you've ever read Moby Dick, it examines whales in great detail. So, maybe not that kind of extensive detail, but at least a little more to offer readers who spend the money on it.

For a book of just over 200 pages, it took me longer to read than I thought it would. It didn't have a steady clip, rather, it sauntered along. It was far too repetitive on Rose's statements about the destruction of her neighbour. Rose befriends Alexandrine the florist and Gilbert the ragpicker, two characters with much potential, but with surface sketches only. It seemed like a cop-out for Rose to say (a few times) that she didn't know much about their background. Why the author didn't flesh them out further seems odd. I was always taught in writing to show don't tell - this book was more about the tell, which is why it was not as compelling as it could have been.

Although Rose's letters to Armand are heartfelt, the story remained at surface level, not running deep enough to produce a grounded emotional pull. As my title states, I liked it and it certainly was not a waste of reading time, but as you can tell from my review, I didn't love it as much as Rose loved her house!
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on December 11, 2012
An interesting read and overall I enjoyed the book. However, after having read "Sarah's Key", it was a bit of a let down. There was an overload on street names and descriptions and got weary of this content. However, it was worth the money and for what it was, it was well written
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2012
I waited for this book, based on Sarah"s Key, which I loved. I gave up on this book about 2/3 through, which I never do, as I just couldn't take it any more. "Heroine" is whiny, self-absorbed and I had no idea why she had all these loyal friends. Letters to dead husband as a narrative device? Really bad. Wish I could send it back and get a refund
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Story Description:

St. Martin's Press|February 14, 2012|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-1-250-01288-3

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...

My Review:

Rose writes letters to her deceased husband, Armand who has been gone 10 years. She is writing about the tearing down of the homes and shops on their street so the construction organization can widen the roads. This is going to change the face of Paris forever. Some of the neighbours and shop keepers are upset whilst others are not. Flower shops and bars can be moved to new establishments, but the doctor in the area isn't happy and worries over losing all his patients.

Rose's husband was born in the house she lives in as was his father and grandfather. The house was 150 years old and had seen several generations of Bazelets living there. "No one else but the Bazelet family had lived between these walls built in 1715, when the rue Childebert was created." No siree, Rose had no plans whatsoever on leaving her beloved home. They could offer her all the money in the world, tear down around her, but she wasn't budging! Rose continues to putter around her home, making tea, sewing embroidery all the while the men outside are hard at work demolishing.

When things get too close to her home, she takes to the basement and lives in the cold, drab dark where no one knows where she is except a lonely tramp of a man who brings her food and warm beverages. Rose, by candle light, pens her story to her husband Armand and reveals to him a secret that she's kept her entire life.

Rose is a woman who possesses great strength and courage and is loved by everyone. She reminds me of the quintessential grandmother, one I'd love to have myself.

The House I Loved was beautifully written and was a gorgeous, loving, testament to the type of woman Rose was. I loved this book so thoroughly that I want to read it again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 8, 2012
I had the pleasure of reading Ms. DeRosnay"s previous 2 novels. This one isn't the "page turner" that they both were. It is enjoyable, however, and I do look forward to her next novel.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Only if one has lived & loved will one completely capture the beauty of this story. Perhaps only ones of a certain age will appreciate the devotion that would compel a woman to pen a letter to her beloved departed husband while she is facing the last destruction of her life & all she holds dear.

The sights & sounds of Paris of 1860 simply seep through the beautifully written pages of this tender & touching book. A story as much about a house as it is about the lives lived within its walls. Secrets & passions alike.

Houses in every corner of the world, not just in Paris, do very much absorb the joys & laughter, tears & tragedy of the people who live in them for generations. Perhaps only ones of a certain age would grasp this concept, but indeed it is very real.

At the end of the book I believe I can say that I know Rose Bazelet personally, so vividly was her character portrayed through these pages.

This book is a testament, in my view, to the fact that `progress', however advantageous to the future, carries a price & a burden. Always! Something that young people would do well to consider. There is no future without a past.

It may not be fair to compare this novel to the previous two by this author since the story is completely different in writing style, content & tone.

`The House I Loved' is a mere 222 pages long, perhaps as it should be considering that it chronicles the ending of something rather than a beginning. I treasured every beautiful page of it.
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