The Book Mark

Books that make the grade.

Tag Archives: Tatiana De Rosnay

The Other Story



The Other Story (A) by Tatiana De Rosnay spoke to me on many levels. Though other reviewers did not appreciate this newest novel by the author of Sarah’s Key, I found it completely enjoyable.

Twenty-nine year old Nicolas Duhamel (Kolt) is basking in the power and glory bestowed upon him as a result of his first immensely successful novel, The Envelope. While renewing his French passport, he discovers a long held family secret. His father was born in Leningrad, Russia to a fifteen-year-old girl, his grandfather unknown. Since there is more mystery than fact surrounding the life of his father, he imagines his story writing an international bestseller.

The success of this novel has made Nicolas exceeding rich, recognizable and completely self-absorbed. Constantly plugged in to social media, he looses touch with himself, his family and friends. While vacationing in a luxurious resort in Italy, the disaster he has become is at long last obvious to Nicolas.

I found the story compelling. Resounding with modern day dilemmas like fame, social media, excessive wealth, lies and deceit, De Rosnay weaves her story around current events. (For example, the newspapers that Nicolas reads are riddled with the affair of the French minister and the housekeeper in a NY hotel.) The story is relevant and relatable. There is something everyone will be able to identify with. Are we all too ‘plugged-in”, too unavailable and loosing our identities? What will it take for us to realize how out of control we have become?

It has been awhile since I’ve read a book in only a day. I could not walk away from The Other Story until the very last page. I invite you to “unplug” for a day and dive into this book. Perhaps you will see a bit of yourself there too.



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.