“And that is how our wonderful friendship started, nearly a decade ago. Over a cup of tea and roses.”

Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 222
Published: 2011
Rate: 3.5 ⭐⭐⭐
Goodreads Synopsis
Paris, France: 1860’s. Hundreds of houses are being razed, whole neighborhoods reduced to ashes. By order of Emperor Napoleon III, Baron Haussman has set into motion a series of large-scale renovations that will permanently alter the face of old Paris, moulding it into a “modern city.” The reforms will erase generations of history—but in the midst of the tumult, one woman will take a stand.

Rose Bazelet is determined to fight against the destruction of her family home until the very end; as others flee, she stakes her claim in the basement of the old house on rue Childebert, ignoring the sounds of change that come closer and closer each day. Attempting to overcome the loneliness of her daily life, she begins to write letters to Armand, her beloved late husband. And as she delves into the ritual of remembering, Rose is forced to come to terms with a secret that has been buried deep in her heart for thirty years. Tatiana de Rosnay’s The House I Loved is both a poignant story of one woman’s indelible strength, and an ode to Paris, where houses harbor the joys and sorrows of their inhabitants, and secrets endure in the very walls…

My Take
The House I Loved was a complete title buy for me and its a purchase I don’t regret.

Tatiana De Rosnay’s writing is so beautiful and immersive in this book. I felt like I was in Paris myself with the characters. I got to learn a lot about how old Paris was turned into a new modern city and it was shocking as it was fascinating.

The book is written in form of letters and I think that even made the book much better. The emotions and feelings felt so honest and raw. The characters were a delight to read up on.

One thing I didn’t like was the lack of character development. They felt the same from the first page to the last. The plot was also all over the place and it was annoying trying to keep up.

“The fascinating aspect about poems, as apposed to novels, is that one can read just a couple, and a few more later on like a sort of continuous treat that one nibbles at.”

All in all The House I Loved was a charming and heartbreaking read. If you love epistolary novels, this is one I recommend.

Do you love epistolary novels? Have any recommendations for me?