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The Novel in the Viola [Kindle Edition]

Natasha Solomons
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: £4.31 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Product Description


For Mr Rosenblum's List:

'The descriptions of England - as friend, adversary and eventually home - are exquisite. A touching, surprising and satisfying read.'

(Sadie Jones, author of The Outcast)

'Utterly charming and very funny' (Paul Torday, author of Salmon Fishing in the Yemen)

'An unususal, comedy-rich novel... a treat of a book'. (Guardian)

'a subtle and moving examination of the dilemma faced by immigrants to modern Britain'. (Observer)

'Prepare to be seriously charmed'. (The Times)

Book Description

A sweeping story of upstairs, downstairs, love and loss by the author of Mr Rosenblum's List.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 972 KB
  • Print Length: 401 pages
  • Publisher: Sceptre (28 April 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004TL1M26
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #61,657 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Natasha Solomons was born in 1980. Her first job, aged nine, was as a shepherdess, minding the flock on Bulbarrow hill. Since then, she has worked as a screenwriter with her husband, and they are currently working on the adaptation of MR ROSENBLUM`S LIST. She is also researching a PhD in eighteenth-century poetry. She lives in Dorset.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't put it down! 16 Feb. 2011
By trishthedish VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I loved this book, from start to finish it gripped me. It starts off with Elise in her Austrian days, having a lovely time in the early thirties and then quickly debunks to her new setting in England where she is sent to escape the impending whirlwind against the Jews. I had only a vague notion before this that some young well to do girls were sent from Austria in this way, but Elise's experiences are so well described that these events becoming incredibly real. The descriptions of the London fog, the confusion of being in a new city, let alone a new country are brilliantly painted. This could have been a sad but worthy tale about the journey of one such girl from a charmed life with servants to becoming a servant herself; but these is nothing pitiful in Elise's story, just the facts and wonderful descriptions of how she deals with things - although it is a sad tale in many ways. She comes to love the English countryside as her own home, given time she finds love, loses it and finds a more enduring love as a consequence. What I especially liked was the way Elise could stand back at times and see her own life, the possibilities of what might have been, which are often changed in a second by some stroke of fortune, good or bad or a particular decision. I love the authors style of writing, intelligent, caring but never falling into mere sentiment. I have already ordered the book she wrote before this one and can't wait to start it; a wonderful author to have discovered.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Novel in the Viola 19 July 2011
By Herbie
The Novel in the Viola
I read this book on holiday & found it to be one of the best books I have ever read! It is beautifully written & I was totally consumed in the story, feeling the emotion of fear, loss & love. I almost felt I was in the story, which is of course fiction based on the truth. I have since visited Tyneham Village, as I am lucky to live not far away, & I could imagine the life as was in the 1940's. I cannot recommend this book highly enough!
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars predictable and too soft centred 9 Aug. 2011
By Viv
Rave reviews raised my hopes for this book but I was rather disappointed. The story is entirely predictable and I felt it was peopled with "stock characters" of the kind often found in tv dramas. The tone of the book is gently elegaic (the heroine loses not one but two lifestyles, firstly in pre war Vienna, and secondly among the English landed gentry) but given the bitterly tragic story of a girl losing her family to the holocaust I found the soft marshmallowy feel of the narrative to be inappropriate. I was speed reading it from about half way through; this reader was not gripped.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book with personality 1 Aug. 2011
By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER
I really liked some parts of this novel but was left untouched by others. While it's certainly characterful, a text with a definite personality, at times I felt that the urge to be self-consciously `charming' and `quirky' became a little too obvious.

That said, there are some really powerful and moving parts: the close nature of Elise's arty, eccentric Jewish-Austrian family is portrayed well, as is the central section of the war narrative. And the experience of the immigrant refugee, lost in a foreign language and culture, adapting herself to her new homeland feels authentic.

Elise is spiky and interesting as a narrator and her sense of survival is conveyed well. I liked the central romance, but have to admit that the ending was unsatisfying for me, though that's personal taste rather than it being badly or unconvincingly imagined.

So a mixed book for me, I loved some parts, was less keen on others. Solomons certainly has a definite literary personality and voice which is refreshing in a sea of monotone narrators - well worth a read.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Magic 24 Jan. 2011
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This book was a pure pleasure to read, its only downside being that it eventually finished. With romance, a backdrop of the second world war, and servants this has so much in it.

It is 1938 in Vienna and the Landau family who are Jewish are starting to see the storm clouds gathering. It is decided that Elise, their nineteen year old daughter, will apply for a servant's position in England, and then her sister and brother-in-law will get visas to move to California, and the parents will get visas and move to New York. The plan is then for Elise to join her parents in New York, providing they can get a visa for her.

Taking a position in a country house in Tyneford, Dorset, Elise finds herself not only having to quickly increase her English vocabulary, but also having to learn how to do a maids work, not easy for someone who is used to having servants wait on her. With Elise not really fitting in she becomes a bit of a problem, being too posh for the rest of the servants, but because of her position, too low for the house owner. With romance in the air, Elise finds her position changing; as well as having to cope with the worry of what is happening to the rest of the family, due to delays in the postal service, she also has to worry about her lover who is at war. Taking in the period just before war, and then into the war there is a lot to interest in this book.

With soical comedy as well as other humour, there is more than a hint of romance here, as well as the difficulties of being an immigrant in a different country and having to work below the normally accepted level for different classes. This is well written and more than holds your interest, but alas, like all good books it has to come to an end. Taking in a world that no longer exists, and was disappearing at the time anyway, this has a piece of nostalgia for a simpler life.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars a story as smooth and enjoyable as fresh cream.
A book suggested for our book club and one I was always happy to slide back into. The descriptive writing Inspired a gallery of pictures in every chapter.
Published 3 months ago by maggie MIDHS
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love it very good book
Published 4 months ago by Lynda
4.0 out of 5 stars Chunks of reality confict with feel good
Explores the life of middle class Jews who fled from Germany and Austria , and shows the snobbery, pejeudice and nastiness of Britain's class system. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Susan
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read!
I read this book because it was assigned by the Reading Club I belong to. It was an excellent choice. We were loaned copies by our local library. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Nancy J. Mullins
1.0 out of 5 stars generic "Upstairs/Downstairs" plot
If you're a fan of "Upsatirs/Downstairs", "Brideshead Revisited", "Downton Abbey" then this is the book for you. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Unplaced in the World
Elise is an Austrian girl, who seeks work in Britain. Whilst there is nothing untoward in such a thing. Elise is an Austrian Girl in the 1930s and Jewish. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Jo D'Arcy
2.0 out of 5 stars fiction
This was recommended to me by a friend who told me it was a true story. It began well but got more unbelievable as it continued. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Sue Harvey
3.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant very light reading
I hoped this might have been a more demanding novel but it fell into the light category from the opening pages. It sets out to charm and its tone is sentimental and romantic. Read more
Published 10 months ago by countrygirl
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite what I expected........
.... I have not finished it yet. Find it a little like BTBradford love stories. Words and sentences repeated. The Austrian part is good, but Mr Kit??? Uck
Published 11 months ago by Annie
5.0 out of 5 stars A page-turner with a connection to real history
This novel connects the Viennese Jewish intelligentsia, Third Reich, the British class system, a rollicking good tale and a nuanced love story. Read more
Published 14 months ago by JR Joffe
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