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House of Gold From the New York Times bestselling author of The House at Tyneford, an epic family saga about a headstrong Austrian heiress who will be forced to choose between the family she s made and the family that made her at the outbreak of World War I Vienna,Twenty one year old Greta Goldbaum has always hungered after what s forbidden secret university lectures, unseemly trumpet lessons, and most of all, the freedom to choose her life s pathThe Goldbaum family has different expectations United across Europe by unsurpassed wealth and power, Goldbaum men are bankers, while Goldbaum women marry Goldbaum men to produce Goldbaum children Greta will do her partSo Greta moves to England to wed Albert, a distant cousin The marriage is not a success Yet, when Albert s mother gives Greta a garden, things at Temple Court begin to change First Greta falls in love with her garden, then with England, and finally with her husband But when World War I sends both Albert and Greta s beloved brother, Otto, to the front lines one to fight for the Allies, one to fight for the Central Powers the House of Gold is left vulnerable as never before, and Greta must choose the family she s created or the one she was forced to leave behindSet against a nuanced portrait of World War I, this is a sweeping family saga rich in historical atmosphere and heartbreakingly human characters House of Gold is Natasha Solomons s most dazzling and moving novel yet The immense wealth and influence of the fabled Rothschild dynasty have always fascinated me Of Jewish faith and in midst of the rabid Antisemitism rife in Europe, this enterprising family amassed an unparalleled fortune, counseled governments, and often played a vital role in the course of nations, all while maintaining an elusive, discreet facade.In her novel HOUSE OF GOLD, author Natasha Solomons fictionalizes the Rothschild family during the years leading to WWI Her central figure is Greta, The immense wealth and influence of the fabled Rothschild dynasty have always fascinated me Of Jewish faith and in midst of the rabid Antisemitism rife in Europe, this enterprising family amassed an unparalleled fortune, counseled governments, and often played a vital role in the course of nations, all while maintaining an elusive, discreet facade.In her novel HOUSE OF GOLD, author Natasha Solomons fictionalizes the Rothschild family during the years leading to WWI Her central figure is Greta, pampered and rebellious daughter of the Austrian branch of the Goldbaum banking dynasty, who submits to the traditional arranged marriage with another branch of the family in her case, her distant British cousin, Albert Greta is feisty yet naive, and her move abroad to live with her taciturn, insect obsessed spouse will test her resolve She discovers escape in designing a home and splendid garden bequeathed by her sensible German mother in law, who has long since navigated the sacrifices of her own arranged marriage to Albert s father But Albert has a hidden passionate side that Greta is determined to reveal, and her garden becomes the means through which they can discover each other As she embarks on her quest to find fulfillment, the forces that unleash the calamity of war start to gather on the horizon.The novel features a cast of well drawn characters, such as Greta s vivacious French cousin Henri, caught up in an illicit affair with an unstable gentile woman, and her brother, Otto, whose personal ambitions are stymied by duty As the story unfolds, we enter into the boardrooms and drawing rooms of an elite clan whose ties of blood are sacrosanct, bound even tighter by the prejudice against Jews not even they can fully evade Solomons fills her tale with details of a lifestyle and era we ll not see again, including menus and decor, and the various plants that flourish in Greta s English garden Though this attention to detail may overwhelm a less patient reader, I found it lovely and meaningful, a deliberate conjuring of luxury that has inured the Goldbaums to the unsavory aspects of life yet cannot shield them from the horrors of global conflict When war finally erupts, they re all taken by surprise, each challenged to their core as their cultivated lives are torn asunder What comes after will forever change and define them.The novel s pacing can be languid, as befits the era, but Solomons weaves an enchanting and irresistible spell in her homage to a legendary Jewish dynasty that persevered despite all odds House of Gold is a sweeping saga of the Goldbaum family during World War One and the events leading up to the great war I am finding myself readingandhistorical fiction often for the actual history that is included in the books Some of these authors have done extensive research on fashion, important families and, most importantly, the events of the era about which they are writing Natasha Solomons House of Gold is no exception Based on the Rothschild family, the Goldbaums are on House of Gold is a sweeping saga of the Goldbaum family during World War One and the events leading up to the great war I am finding myself readingandhistorical fiction often for the actual history that is included in the books Some of these authors have done extensive research on fashion, important families and, most importantly, the events of the era about which they are writing Natasha Solomons House of Gold is no exception Based on the Rothschild family, the Goldbaums are one of, if not, the wealthiest families of Europe They are the bankers, financiers and confidants of the most influential politicians and land owners Specifically, House of Gold follows the branches of the family in Austria, Germany, France and England just prior to WW1 The story primarily is told by Greta, from Austria, and her brother Otto Greta is married off to a distant cousin in England As the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand occurs, the branches of the family are severed with the families in Eastern Europe cut off from those in the west In the first portion of the book, Solomons delves deep into the opulence of this wealthy family their parties, their castles, their travels throughout Europe in their specially designed train car Once Greta is settled into England, we then extensively learn about the elaborate gardens and greenhouses created by both Greta and her mother in law These garden descriptions are, in fact, based on the Rothschild s famous gardens in Europe Ultimately, however, the latter portion of the book covers the war and the division of the family I was stunned at the great detail that Solomons took in her description of the war I could read historical text after text and never quite get the emotional turmoil that she evokes with her recounting of these characters fate during the war This portion of the book, alone, is reason enough to read House of Gold Overall, I found House of the Gold to be one of the best books in this genre that I ve read The details are well researched, the character development amazing However, as with all historical texts or fiction, the author will bring with them their own slant to the events that they are telling This particular book really pushed home the rise of anti Semitism and, unfortunately, not everything was historically accurate from that perspective There was a lot of anti Russian sentiment brought into play that really did not occur in Europe in WWI but wasa part of the post WW1 era and leading up to, of course, WWII It s important to remember, always, that Russia was part of the western alliance during both world wars and suffered the greatest casualty count, greater even than that of France This story would lead you to believe that Russia was the enemy to the west Not so I also did not realize before I read the book that it would be intricately tied to the Rothschild family Call me a crazy American, and I am, but I truly despise that particular family and its global machinations Every time I would begin to sympathize with one of the characters, I would pull myself back again because it s really the Rothschilds that are being described and I couldn t care less what their fate might have been and, in reality, I know the ultimate end result and their role in the world today IF the book had solely dealt with a fictional affluent family and there had been no reference to the Rothschilds, I would have enjoyed the book to its fullest Again, it s the crazy American in me and perhaps other people may not have a problem with this.If you can read the book as a totally fictional account of a totally fictional family, then it is an amazing read I did enjoy the book and I do recommend it, I just had to overlook a few elements in order to do so My thanks to Natasha Solomons, Edelweiss and GPPutnamsSons and PenguinPublishingGroup for my copy of this fascinating tale The Rothschilds were once one of the wealthiest Jewish families in Europe They established themselves as one of the most prestigious international banking families in all of Europe and gained nobility in the United Kingdom and Holy Roman Empire.When you think of the Rothschilds, you think of great wealth, extravagance, opulent wealth, grand palaces, vast art collections and philanthropy.As the Weekly Register said, The Rothschilds are the wonders of modern banking We see the descendants of Ju The Rothschilds were once one of the wealthiest Jewish families in Europe They established themselves as one of the most prestigious international banking families in all of Europe and gained nobility in the United Kingdom and Holy Roman Empire.When you think of the Rothschilds, you think of great wealth, extravagance, opulent wealth, grand palaces, vast art collections and philanthropy.As the Weekly Register said, The Rothschilds are the wonders of modern banking We see the descendants of Judah, after a persecution of two thousand years, peering above kings, rising higher than emperors, and holding a whole continent in the hollow of their hands With all of the good comes the bad and the Rothschilds were the subject of many conspiracy theories and intrigue Historian Niall Ferguson said, The Rothschilds had decided the outcome of the Napoleonic Wars by pulling their financial weight behind Britain If the story of the Rothschilds sounds intriguing then Natasha Solomons book, House of Gold, is a must read.Loosely based on the Rothschilds, Solomons introduces us to The Goldbaums, a wealthy European banking family.The House of Goldbaums influence spans from Austria to the United Kingdom and while they wield incredible power with their wealth, they also find themselves frequent targets of antisemitism and persecution.In order to keep the Goldbaum dynasty thriving, Greta Goldbaum, of Vienna, marries English cousin, Albert Goldbaum.Feisty, spoiled and fiercely independent, Greta, now finds herself in an unfamiliar role, one that requires her to be an obedient, demure and subdued wife to her cousin, now husband, Albert Goldbaum.Will Greta be everything that Albert needs in a wife Will Greta find love with Albert Will she find a way to bring life to the House of Goldbaum And when lives and family are at stake, can Greta find a way to save them in the most dire of circumstances Solomons gives us a historical fiction of epic proportions One that spans years and countries We are treated to a book that is full of rich detail and historical accuracy You will be transported back in time effortlessly and will savor Greta s journey.The only regret is that this book ended and left me wishing for.I received an advance copy of this book from Netgalley HouseofGold The Goldbaum family has wealth and power throughout Europe but all of that could change with the rise of anti Semitism It s 1911 and an arranged marriage is set for Greta Goldbaum of Vienna and her distant cousin, Albert who is part of the Goldbaum family in England But will Greta ever truly love her husband when they seem to have nothing in common And will World War 1 tear the Goldbaum family apart I love family dramas I love European historical fiction, and have read quite a few novels tha The Goldbaum family has wealth and power throughout Europe but all of that could change with the rise of anti Semitism It s 1911 and an arranged marriage is set for Greta Goldbaum of Vienna and her distant cousin, Albert who is part of the Goldbaum family in England But will Greta ever truly love her husband when they seem to have nothing in common And will World War 1 tear the Goldbaum family apart I love family dramas I love European historical fiction, and have read quite a few novels that take place during World War 1 But despite this book having elements I normally enjoy, the book just fell short of being anything but average I think the author tried to cram in too much into the book and as a result the story suffered The book bounced around between too many characters and had story lines that rather than contribute made it lack a clear focus My overall reading experience was I enjoyed bits and pieces but as a whole I expected.Thank you to First to Read for the opportunity to read an advance digital copy I was under no obligation to post a review and all views expressed are my honest opinion

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