Sunday, January 15, 2012

The House at Tyneford by Natasha Solomons

In 1938, nineteen-year-old Elise Landau leaves her artistic family in Vienna to work as a maid at Tyneford in England. Her family believes it's the best place for her--it's getting harder for Jews to escape Nazi Austria. Elise's sister, Margot, has fled to California with her husband, Robert. Elise worries constantly about her her parents, Anna (a famous singer) and Julian (a novelist) because they haven't been able to leave Vienna yet. While at Tyneford, Elise practices her English and befriends Kit, the son of Tyneford's widowed owner, Daniel Rivers. She also struggles with her place in the household, since her family was fairly well off in Austria and she doesn't fit well with the servants. In The House at Tyneford, Solomons vividly recreates life at an English country house during World War II and Elise's life in her new country. For people who enjoyed The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and the current miniseries on PBS Downton Abbey.

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