The House at Tyneford by Natasha Solomons, narrated by Justine Eyre
Published in audio by Blackstone Audio, published in print by Plume, an imprint of Penguin
From the publisher:
It’s the spring of 1938 and no longer safe to be a Jew in Vienna. Nineteen-year-old Elise Landau is forced to leave her glittering life of parties and champagne to become a parlor maid in England. She arrives at Tyneford, the great house on the bay, where servants polish silver and serve drinks on the lawn. But war is coming, and the world is changing. When the master of Tyneford’s young son, Kit, returns home, he and Elise strike up an unlikely friendship that will transform Tyneford – and Elise – forever.
Thoughts on the story:
The House at Tyneford is certainly a charming story, with the well-off young Jewish woman from Austria leaving everything she knew to be safe from the encroaching war as a parlormaid and subsequently falling in love with the heir to the estate. However, the story was also utterly predictable. At any given time while listening I could likely have predicted at least the next hour’s worth of plot. This, in turn, made for a less-than engaging experience with the story. If there are no surprises and no wonder, if the plot is all but formulaic, then what, really, is the point? Nothing amazed me, and as a result I find The House at Tyneford to be more than a little lackluster.
Thoughts on the audio production:
Eyre gave a fairly good performance, although she didn’t really blow me away. I was impressed, however, with her ability to switch between Austrian and British accents. For a more detailed audio review, please see my review for Audiofile Magazine.
Although many others have loved this story, I cannot particularly recommend it either in print or audio.
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