by Natasha Solomons (Sceptre) ISBN 978-0-340-99568-6
Elsa Landau flees from Vienna to become a parlour maid at Tyneford, a great house in England. She comes from an upper class family and battles to do the housemaid chores that were done for her in Vienna.
Natasha Solomons was a way of capturing the English people and countryside. You grow to love it through her eyes.
Elsa mourns the loss of her family in Vienna and writes copious letters home. Her father is a famous author and she sees his books on the shelves of Tyneford library. She carries a viola with her with an unpublished novel in it from her father.
War is about to break out and she falls in love with Kit, the son of the manor. The author writes so well and has such an engaging personality on paper that you want to read on forever.
War destroys everything precious in her life and even Tyneford begins to crumble.
I loved this book. And feel that I would have loved to have met the heroine. A splendid novel.