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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....
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By MissSusie66 on 02-28-12
Love the way Tatiana de Rosnay Writes!
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.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
By Teresa on 11-07-13
Slow compared to Sarah's Key, but glad I finished
Would you try another book from Tatiana de Rosnay and/or Kate Reading?
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.
If you’ve listened to books by Tatiana de Rosnay before, how does this one compare?
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.
Which character – as performed by Kate Reading – was your favorite?
I think the main character, Rose, showed such determination and will. She seemed a strong, it not stubborn, woman for the time period.
Do you think The House I Loved needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?
No, I think the reader understands the end is here and why. It did not leave me hanging on for more.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By J on 09-30-15
Delightful story beautifully told
Where does The House I Loved rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
Near the top, I enjoyed the historical references to Paris
Who was your favorite character and why?
Which character – as performed by Kate Reading – was your favourite?
All characters are beautifully described, even the ones we dont meet
By Fiona on 04-14-12
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.