Review: THE SONG OF HARTGROVE HALL

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Publisher Synopsis:

It’s a terrible thing to covet your brother’s girl…

New Year’s Eve, Dorset, England, 1946. Candles flicker, a gramophone scratches out a tune as guests dance and sip champagne— for one night Hartgrove Hall relives better days. Harry Fox-Talbot and his brothers have returned from World War II determined to save their once grand home from ruin. But the arrival of beautiful Jewish wartime singer Edie Rose tangles the threads of love and duty, and leads to a devastating betrayal.

Fifty years later, now a celebrated composer, Fox reels from the death of his adored wife, Edie. Until his connection with his four-year old grandson – a music prodigy – propels him back into life, and ultimately to confront his past. An enthralling novel about love and treachery, joy after grief, and a man forced to ask: is it ever too late to seek forgiveness?

My Recommendation:

Rarely does one find such a wholly satisfying arrangement in a novel as author Natasha Solomons presents in THE SONG OF HARTGROVE HALL. The Downton Abbey-esque settings, the distinct and memorable characters, and the vivid and touching emotions work in matchless harmony. The following quotes reflect the themes of love, music, and grief, which the reader will experience in full and absorbing array on its pages.

Love: 

“I want her to understand that I’ve written this part for her. I know what her voice can do, how best to release that sound. She’s been fastened into those silly patriotic songs like cheap costumes, and at last she’s dressed in silk. I see in her face that she knows it too, and as she sings, a pure iridescent sound that reverberates through me, I catch her eye, wide with surprise. Listen to what you can do, I tell her through the music. Listen. You are the nightingale but not the one they think.”

Music:

“[He] stood motionless in the middle of the room. He listened with his hands held out before him, fingers spread as though catching notes like snowflakes. The hall glowed with sound. It poured down upon us from the gallery in reds and gold and yellow.”

Grief: 

“Sometimes for hours or even days I’d function perfectly well. Then, something would trigger it. The knowledge of an anniversary–‘Today a year ago was the last time we walked around the garden together’–…Then in the sudden silence, the grief would catch me and bear me off on grey tides. I was helpless until it receded once more and despair dwindled into ordinary unhappiness.”

For a chance to win a copy of one of the finest novels I’ve read this year, comment below about your favorite British set novel, television series, or movie by Saturday, December 26th, 1 PM ET, and please share on social media. (US residents only.)

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13 thoughts on “Review: THE SONG OF HARTGROVE HALL

  1. Mary says:

    This book sounds wonderful!
    My favorite British set tv series: Downton Abbey.

  2. Judith.Barnes says:

    “Foley’s War”

  3. Caralee says:

    I can’t wait for Downton Abbey to air in January! But Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch is my favorite!

  4. Joan Mora says:

    Favorite is difficult to choose! Elizabeth Jane Howard’s Cazelet Chronicles- exquisite! Or Dodie Smith’s I Capture The Castle are some of the best!

  5. Jenny Belk says:

    Downton Abbey.

  6. M Denise C says:

    I have to agree that Foyle’s War is one of the best series about WWII. Such a good story about a police inspector who was just over the age to serve. The acting is superb.

  7. Bonnie K. says:

    PBS has had many great series–hard to choose. I guess I would have to go with Downton Abbey first, then Foyle’s War.

  8. schmelzb says:

    I will pass on winning since I was a winner of “The Secret Chord” this year already. Hope your followers like Natasha Solomons as much as we do. I suggested her former novel “The House at Tyneford” a few years ago for my book club. I’ll be willing to bet, based on your intriguing review, that her writing has only improved from her other Downton Abbey-esque book.

  9. Elizabeth Bevins says:

    The End of the Affair by Graham Greene

  10. Rhonda says:

    I’ve been reading raves about this book Upstairs Downstairs my all time favorite.

  11. JJT says:

    This book sounds great. I love to watch British based TV Series. My favorite is usually the one I am currently watching. Right now we are waiting in anticipation for the final season of Downton Abbey

  12. Caryn S says:

    My favorite British-set novel this year was The Royal We by the Fug Girls

  13. erikarobuck says:

    Caralee! You are the winner! Congratulations!!

    Thanks to all of you for commenting and recommending so many fantastic British series/books!

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