Determined to protect her historical family home from Emperor Napoleon's orders to renovate 1860s Paris, Rose Bazelet establishes a defense in the basement of her house on Rue Childebert and records her experiences in letters to her late husband. - (Baker & Taylor)
Determined to protect her historical family home from Napoleon's orders to renovate 1860s Paris, Rose Bazelet establishes a defense in the basement of her house on rue Childebert and records her experiences in letters to her late husband, a process that helps her come to terms with a decades-old secret. Reprint. 250,000 first printing. - (Baker & Taylor)
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...
- (McMillan Palgrave
Rose has spent all her married life in her home on rue Childebert, and though Napoléon's prefect now plans to tear the neighborhood down in the name of progress, she is unwilling to part with it. While she doggedly awaits the impending destruction, she writes letters to her beloved late husband, sharing memories from their past, both good and bad, and building up to a final confession that she has kept as her secret for 30 years. Set in nineteenth-century Paris during the Haussmann reconstructions of the Second Empire, this story is as much about that iconic city and its legacy as it is about the strength of its citizens. Those who enjoyed Sarah's Key (2007) will recognize de Rosnay's love for her native France and appreciate the poignancy and tenacity of her characters, but this newest novel is more one-dimensional than her earlier work. Told entirely through letters, the story tends to feel choppy and forced, and events are not related in chronological order, leaving the tale at times hard to follow. Still, fans of Sarah's Key may want to sample the latest from de Rosnay. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.