The House I Loved

The House I Loved

by Tatiana de Rosnay

Overview: 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...

Faith Bowers: The heroine, Rose writes her story in the first person and is going to lose her home in Paris for the making of the grand boulevards. How we talk about how beautiful France is today. This is a historical novel of how they tore down block blocks of old homes to make way for the grand boulevards. It reminds me of how we made our interstate highway system. She writes of her time, her own history, loves and sorrows. We learn about Paris in the mid 19th century, the writers, poets, and middle class life. It is a good historical novel, well written by the author of Sarah’s Key. I did not know Ms. de Rosney wrote so many historical fiction books.
Rating: ***

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