Friday, June 22, 2012

Literary Friday: The House I Loved

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You will appreciate this book if you love Paris!
Above pretties from Flora Doora


This week I read The House I Loved by Tatiana de Rosnay.  It is the poignant story about a family home's impending destruction due to Napoleon III and Baron Haussmann's complete redesign of Paris in the 1860s.  Rose Bazelet tells her story in a series of letters to her deceased husband Armand.  She also shares letters written to her from other characters, and the narrative reminds me of The Guernsey Literaray and Potato Peel Pie Society.  The technique works equally well in The House I Loved; Rose's letters are filled with love, sorrow, and grief.

Rose is a very complicated character, and I am impressed with how de Rosnay reveals so many facets of her personality through her letters.  She is only one of three residents on her street, Rue Childebert, determined to take a stand against the government.  At almost sixty, Rose shows a strength of character that is admirable as she refuses to give-up her home up until the very end. The content of most of Rose's letters describe her relationships with family, friends, and people from the neighborhood.  I particularly enjoyed reading about her friendship with one of her tenants, a flower shop owner named Alexandrine.  Young enough to her her daughter, Rose learns so much about the language of flowers by spending time in the shop.  Rose also becomes a voracious reader, a pastime Armand enjoyed.  Although she never was a reader when Armand was alive, the bookstore owner, Monsieur Zamaretti, introduces her to a whole new world, beginning with Flaubert's Madame Bovary.

Because the book is sad, I do not recommend this as a beach or lake read.  It is a fantastic book, though, and I hope that you will read it.  Plus it is a very quick read.  :D  So steep a pot of tea (preferably Marriage Freres' Lapsang Souchong, Rose's favorite) and savor de Rosnay's beautiful prose!


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Boulevard Saint-Germain, the street that will overtake Rue Childebert (Rose's Street)
You can see Rue Childebert below the rose's leaves.  The map is on the book's endpapers.


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Look at this adorable Flora Doora Jane sent me this week while I was reading The House I Loved.
See the street on it?  Jane rocks, I tell ya!



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Alexandrine says that the rose is the queen of all flowers.  She also said that Rose is aptly named.


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These are creamy Vendela roses.  


What have you been reading lately?  Please link up and share!








Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill




13 comments:

  1. That looks like a great book. Isn't Jane the sweetest person? She sent me a Flora Doora so that I can thank my daughter for giving me a trip to Paris! What a great friend. I am going to look through my TBR pile and pick a new book today! Hugs, Linda

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  2. I have to read that book! Isn't that amazing that I thought the St Germain Flora Doora would suit you so well. I am so happy you like it. Thank you for the post...I love how you arranged everything so perfectly! Oh, and thank you for the book review.... I am going to buy it right now! Enjoy your Summer too!

    Jane
    Flora Doora

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  3. I love this author so I'm sure I would enjoy the book! And aren't the Flora doora's FUN! I have a cute one for my lanai! I need some fresh flowers in it now though! Enjoy your weekend!

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  4. buona giornata e felice fine settimana a te...ciao

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  5. Oh, I have a long list of books just waiting for me to break open on the 1st of July...Canada Day....and my first official day of holidays!!!

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  6. i'm a depressing book reader, so even my beach reads are sad :) this ones next on my list!

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  7. How sweet is that! It sounds like this is a novel that can really transport you. Thanks for sharing! :)

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  8. I am so reading this Ricki! Thanks for asking how I've been doing! Your encouragement means so much to me. And of course your good taste!

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  9. So happy to link up! I haven't done a reading post in a couple of months. Love those flowers!

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  10. This book sounds lovely! I have always admired Haussmann's beautiful wide avenues that really open up Paris, but never thought about the little streets that had to be demolished in the process...interesting! Happy weekend!...hugs...Debbie

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  11. Hello Ricki, I am following you. I have put your blog button and your Smash Journal button on my sidebar. I will do a post about the summer Smash journal party after I pick up a journal. I'm going to visit your smash partner now. Oh, Marcia sent me. Joyous Wishes, Linda
    PS. Thanks for the summer beach book suggestion.

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  12. I'll have to add this book to my ever growing TBR pile! I've had less time to read lately, I'm hoping that is going to change and I have some lazy summer days to soak up some sun and wade through the pages! Loved your review with your Frenchy accents...note to self~ order a Flora Doora :)

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  13. What a delightful review and I cannot resist adding this to my ever growing wishlist of titles. Thankyou for reminding me about Literary Friday I have added the link to my last review.

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I read and appreciate all of your comments :D