The Book Mark

Books that make the grade.

The Big Bad Wolf…..

Once again I am extremely grateful for my local library; it has saved me again from a worthless purchase.  The House I Loved (F) by Tatiana De Rosnay is one of my most disappointing reads .  De Rosnay of  Sarah’s Key falls way short of the mark here. I would hardly consider The House I Loved a novel; it is more like a glorified short story.

Paris in the 1860’s was a city under siege.  Baron Haussmann, under the direction of Emperor Napoleon III, was modernizing the city by gutting the old to make way for the new.  Rose Bazelet is the widow of Armand Bazelet who has lived in the house on Childebert his entire life.  His family has lived there for generations and now it is to be demolished because it is in the way of the construction of the Boulevard Saint-Germain .

While the house appears to be evacuated, we find that Rose has taken up residence in a hidden storage area in the basement.  It is there that she is writing a letter  to her deceased husband.  She is reliving memories and catching him up on things that have occurred since his passing. She reveals a secret that has haunted her for twenty years.  She doesn’t intend to ever leave her home.  She writes freely and openly because she knows no one will ever find her letter.

While the outcome is obvious from the very beginning, I still found it unbelievable.  We have all lived in places that we love and we have all witnessed the extremes of political activists but the logic of secretly dying for your cause escapes me. To be perfectly honest, I was left feeling a bit angry.  I expected better from De Rosnay and kept hoping that the purpose of this story would be bigger than the story itself.  The book was only 222 pages a very quick read for me but definitely one that I could have done without.


One response to “The Big Bad Wolf…..

  1. Joanne February 22, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    Ro- thanks for telling us about this book-Yes there are so many books to read and appreciate your doing a review for us.

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