Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Review: The House at Tyneford

Elise Landau, a young Viennese woman, is the daughter of a wealthy Jewish novelist. When Nazi persecution in Vienna increases, Elise escapes to England, to work as a servant at rural Tyneford House. The transition from wealth to servitude is decidedly difficult. Elise is terribly homesick, and she doesn't understand the conventions of an English country house. Life becomes more complicated as she develops a relationship with the heir to Tyneford House, Kit Rivers.

War looms on the horizon. The Second World War will completely transform life at Tyneford House and all of its residents.

This is a book about transformation and loss. Elise Landau becomes an English woman, and part of the strict hierarchy of a country house. In the process she loses loved ones. World War II will take a great deal away from everyone in Tyneford. It takes people, and it also takes customs. The war marks the end of numerous customs that have defined the lives of Tyneford's servants. This book offers a haunting look at the effects of war on rural England.

Natasha Solomons, The House at Tyneford (Plume, 2011) ISBN: 0452297648 

No comments: