Memory-Filled 1860s Paris will Encompass You
By Tatiana de Rosnay
St. Martin’s Press, $25.99, 222 pages
I began De Rosnay’s latest book The House I Loved with great expectation. After all, who was not completely immersed in “Sarah’s Key”? The House I Loved is set in 1860s Paris, France during a time when Emperor Napoleon III wants to convert old Paris into a modern city. This conversion means that many grand streets with stately homes are being razed for wider, more modern boulevards. Rose Brazelet happens to live on a street that will be razed. Rose hold fond memories of her family home and De Rosnay skillfully spends time with Rose’s past memories coupled with current day happenings.
Rose moves to the basement while homes are being torn around her. An unlikely friend brings her food and checks on her in the deep of the night. Rose moves in and out of dreams of her home’s past glory while huddled in the dark, dank basement.
De Rosnay is at her best when she writes about historical happenings with a very personal face attached. This reviewer easily pictured the grand rooms of Rose’s home. De Rosnay expertly draws readers in with emotions that are raw and believable. When you are done reading this book, you will understand why your home has a very special place in your heart and your memories.
Reviewed by Seniye Groff