Thursday, May 31, 2012

the house at tyneford by natasha solomons

this was a book club read.

it was pretty good, but don't be fooled by the caption on the front that compares it to downton abbey. it's not. it's nowhere near as compelling as downton abbey.

it's a bout a technically jewish girl (not religious at all) who had to flee austria to escape the nazi's. she ends up working as a servant in a manor house on the england's south coast.

going into our book club meeting several of us voiced concern that there wouldn't be anything to talk about, but it turned out we had a lot to talk about!

it was an enjoyable read and i appreciated several of the themes in the book: it's exploration of how the wars broke down the class divisions in england; the privations suffered by all during the wars; determination to survive despite suffering great loss.

the thing that stood out for me the most was the fact that the story was inspired by an actual place/events. at the end of the book the people living in the town are all forced from their homes by their own military with a promise they will be able to return after the war. in real life the village of tyneham was commondered by the military, turned into a target practice location, and never (NEVER, still to this day) returned to the owners. it reminded me of my days studying the revolutionary war in jr. high/high school, and one of the things we talked about that angered the colonists was the british troops demanding food and lodging in private homes without paying for it. it also reminded me of some of the civil rights we enjoy in america that are not rights in great britain. 

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