The House I Loved
By Tatiana de Rosnay
St. Martin’s Press, 2012. 222 pgs. Fiction
Tatiana de Rosnay’s new novel reveals another less familiar period in Paris’s history. Her first novel ‘Sarah’s Key’ gave us a heartbreaking look at Nazi occupied France and now we travel further back to the 1860s when whole neighborhoods were razed to make way for a new ‘modern’ city. Rose Bazelet, the narrator, is a widow living in one of the homes facing demolition. ‘The House I Loved’ is basically a love letter to both her departed husband and his family home where they shared their lives.
I did not love this book. I’m not even sure I liked it. There were times when the history was interesting enough to make up for Rose’s sentimental recollections, but not for long and not often. The conclusion seemed overly dramatic and insanely frustrating as Rose refuses to let go of the past.