The Lighthouse

the lighthouse

11 January 2013

The House at Tyneford

Isn't this wonderful?

"I knew I wasn't being British. An Englishwoman would have kissed her boyfriend lightly on the lips and said, "Darling, I'm quite fond of you, you know. Try not to get into any bother," and then waved politely, perhaps concealing a stoic tear in her handkerchief. Then she'd make herself a nice cup of tea and get back to darning socks."

It is from The House at Tyneford, a novel by Natasha Solomons. It is about Elise, a young Jewish girl from Vienna who goes to England just before the war to be housemaid at Tyneford. She falls in love with Kit, the heir of the estate. In this scene, he's about to go off to sea to rescue British troops stranded in France. Kit, Englishman to the core, doesn't quite know how to handle his Continental beloved expressing her feelings so freely, but Elise continues regardless,

"Everyone I love in England is about to climb into that wooden boat and disappear across the sea. Sail carefully because you sail with everything I hold dear on this funny, damp little island."

This is turning out to be a book I can't put down.  But darn it, I must get ready for work.  That's the wonderful thing about books, isn't it?  Everyone in them waits for your return before carrying on.


  1. I've read a lot of sentences that make up my personal list of favorites. Your last two on this post are now in that number.

  2. Happy to know yo're a fan of romantic and exquisite novels set on the english countryside.

  3. It really is art, isn't it, a well-crafted sentence? This book has wiggled its way into my heart.

    What other sentences are on your list?