Monday, April 9, 2012

Fiction Focus: Engaging slice of history

The House I Loved by Tatiana de Rosnay - St. Martin’s, 2012.

The issue of eminent domain links present culture to 1800s middle class Paris. Rose’s voice was captured well through the letters she writes as she waits in the basement of her house for it to be destroyed. She reflects on her life, providing an overview of her background--which makes her a sympathetic character--along with a strong sense of the setting. She also reviews some letters from others, which gives a feel for the significant people in her life, as well as gives dimension to Rose’s character from the different perspectives. The poignant element was very manageable. The ability to accomplish all this in 288 pages is enviable, to say the least.

One writing note: this good example of a strong narrator was helpful to me.

This is a great selection for historical fiction and character-driven fans alike!

1 comment:

  1. It took me a VERY long time to make it through this book. I love this author and count her novel Sarah's Key as one of my all-time favorites. But all the elements that combined to make Sarah's Key the Perfect Storm of books, were largely absent in The House I Loved. I agree that Rose was a compelling character, but, for me at least, it wasn't strong enough or compelling enough to drive me to finish this book. Even well-written novels with historical interest sometimes miss the mark. I give it a B.