The Novel in the Viola/ The House at Tyneford

The Novel in the Viola / The House at TynefordThe Novel in the Viola / The House at Tyneford

‘The House at Tyneford’ (US) and ‘The Novel in the Viola’ (UK) are out now!

In the spring of 1938 Elise Landau arrives at Tyneford, the great house on the bay. A bright young thing from Vienna forced to become a parlour-maid, she knows nothing about England, except that she won`t like it. As servants polish silver and serve drinks on the lawn, Elise wears her mother`s pearls beneath her uniform, and causes outrage by dancing with a boy called Kit. But war is coming and the world is changing. And Elise must change with it.

At Tyneford she learns that you can be more than one person.
And that you can love more than once.

Read an excerpt from the book below!

Click the arrow to play the waltz!


Buy the book

UK outlets

US outlets

109 Responses to “The Novel in the Viola/ The House at Tyneford”

  1. Brenda Habshush says:

    Dear Natasha,
    I have just finished your marvellous book “Mr Rosenbloom’s List”,having received it as a birthday present from my relative Dr.Naomi Lightman,lecturer of english literature,London.
    The story was extremely vivid in every way and beautifully written,also,of course
    quite sad amidst the delightful descriptions.The Baumtorte and all the symbols of a lost past are very touching…living here in Israel at the side of so many people just like the Rosenblum’s makes one understand even more just what they went through “before” and “after”.
    The book will be sent to a golfing cousin (aged 85yrs) in Leeds !
    Wishing every success.
    Brenda Habshush. Kibbutz Sde Boker, Negev Desert. Israel.

  2. Brenda Habshush says:

    Dear Natasha,
    I have just finished your marvellous book “Mr Rosenbloom’s List”,having received it as a birthday present from my relative Dr.Naomi Lightman,lecturer of english literature,London.
    The story was extremely vivid in every way and beautifully written,also,of course
    quite sad.. amidst the delightful descriptions.The Baumtorte and all the symbols of a lost past are very touching…living here in Israel at the side of so many people just like the Rosenblum’s makes one understand even more just what they went through “before” and “after”.
    The book will be sent to a golfing cousin (aged 85yrs) in Leeds !
    Wishing every success.
    Brenda Habshush. Kibbutz Sde Boker, Negev Desert. Israel.

  3. Julie says:

    Congratulations on two wonderful books. Read Mr R’s List months ago, and it’s become the “most sellable” book in my Melbourne bookshop! AS well as your wonderful words, your publisher should be congratulated on 2 terrific editions for both the hardback & paperback. Have just finished the proof of the “Novel” tonight and it’s wonderful. I’m certain it will take me ages to get to sleep.
    Thank you so much.

  4. Natasha Solomons says:

    Thanks so much Julie! I’m so glad that you liked Viola. xx

  5. Deborah Stone says:

    Dear Natasha,
    I have just finished “The Novel in the Viola”. I love both your books because they provide resonances for me I have rarely found in literature. I grew up in New Zealand, the only Jewish girl in my class, balancing a traditional Jewish home with a very Anglo environment (NZ is in some ways more English than England!) I love the way your work addresses living between those two cultures. Have you read Somerset Maugham’s story “The Alien Corn”? Until you it has been my standard for a literary attempt to address this issue and it is problematic. I’d love to know what you think of it.
    I also love the waltz and the fact that having read Viola on an e-book I could just click and hear the waltz I had thought was purely ficitional!
    Despite being an avid reader, I have never written to a novelist as a fan before but the combination of the ease of online communication and the sense of connection I feel with your cultural milieu has prompted me to make contact. All power to your writing hand.

  6. Natasha Solomons says:

    Hi Deborah,

    Thank you so much — I’m thrilled that you enjoyed ‘Viola’. It’s such a great feeling when a reader connects with my work. Thank you for taking the time to write to me.


  7. Bree Moyls says:

    Thank you Natasha; I literally finished the novel minutes ago and my cheeks are still wet with tears. I’m lead a very busy life and reading time is sparse but I was really drawn into Elise’s story and have eagerly returned to the novel at every spare moment over the past few weeks.
    I knew from the moment Mr Rivers stumbled upon Elise washing her hair in the moonlight that a subtle but persistent attraction lurked between them.. very ambient! I think the curiosity of wondering what would develop between them that kept me hooked.
    I also really appreciated the way you made Anna and Julian’s sad demise so tragic and upsetting (I’ve gone through countless tissues, I’m telling you) without dehumanising them and resorting to the graphic and horrifying accounts of how so many died during the Holocaust. The simple text “Typhoid in the ghetto..” was evocative enough.
    So thanks for a great read. I haven’t read “Mr Rosenblum’s List” but I’m off to buy it now.
    Thank you! Bree

  8. Natasha Solomons says:

    Thanks so much Bree! I’m so glad you enjoyed Viola… and secretly, I’m glad I made you cry. I hope that doesn’t make me evil.

  9. Miriam says:

    Thank you for yet another amazing book. I’ve just logged on to hear the music. I’ve had to forgo planning any lessons this weekend in order to finish the end of the book … although now I’m sad I’ve finished it so quickly! Please keep writing!

  10. Natasha Solomons says:

    Thanks Miriam! I am so pleased you enjoyed Viola — it was so much fun to write.

  11. Marcel Ladenheim says:

    Just finished The Novel in the Viola.
    Quite an ending!
    Best wishes, it should do well.
    When is the next book/
    Marcel Ladenheim ( French Holocaust Survivor, parents from Vienna)

  12. Natasha Solomons says:

    Marcel, thanks for reading. Yes… I’m pleased with the ending. I wouldn’t let my dad read it first. I was very mean.

  13. Janet says:

    Hi Natasha. I’ve just finished reading The Novel in the Viola, which your publishers so kindly sent me after I commented on Mr Rosenbaum’s List. I have to say that I loved it! You capture how I imagine WW2 in the countryside to be exactly and the wonderful descriptions simply carried me away.

    I loved it so much in fact that I went and bought a copy for my friend for her birthday – I’m sure she’ll love it too.

    Thanks so much – I look forward to seeing what you come up with next. xx

  14. Clara says:

    Dear Natasha, I spent last night reading The Novel In the Viola. I couldn’t put it down. Thank You so much for writing it. I think you just became the author of my favorite book. I love the way you write about houses and food (and this is a big compliment coming from a very demanding Italian foodie who started liking Germany for her baked goods).Your first book was recommended to me by a Christopher who will never be mine. He’s one of the two men I love. If I had his address, I would send him your beautiful novel.

  15. Natasha Solomons says:

    Hi Janet,

    Thanks so much — I am so pleased that you enjoyed ‘Viola’. It was so much fun to write… xx

  16. Natasha Solomons says:

    Hi Clara,

    I think this is the most romantic message I’ve ever received. Maybe Christopher dreams of you too…

    Thank you so much for writing.


  17. Judith says:

    Natasha where and how did you think of the name Wrexham.. it is the most unpleasant place , I know it well and every time I read Mr. Wrexham I think and see that most awful place in North Wales however I know and love Tyneham so I have to switch back and to and Tyneham wins over everytime

  18. Helen Markou says:

    Hi Natasha

    I have just finished the Novel in the Viola and let’s just say I got through a few tissues, it was so sad. I thoroughly enjoyed it, it kept me guessing until the end as to what was going to happen. I loved the characters, especially Elise of course.
    Please hurry up and write another book!


  19. Karen Hill says:

    Dear Natasha,
    I have just finished reading the Novel in the Viola and I loved it!!
    I enjoyed the way you created the worlds of Vienna and Tyneford, both where desribed so beautifully. I spent a whole day reading your book, I couldn’t put it down. I liked the way you rounded the story off, by having the pages of the novel empty when Alice opens the viola. I didn’t see that coming, that was a surprise.
    Have you read any of Mary Wesley’s books, there is a similar theme between many of your books (especially the Chamomile Lawn and Part of the Furniture) and many of hers are set in war time Britain too.
    I am going to start on Mr Rosenbaum’s List next and I’m greatly looking forward to it.
    Thanks for giving me such a great reading experience, your story took me to another place and another time, it was wonderful!!
    I will recommend it to many of my friends and encourage others to read your work.
    Many thanks,

  20. Florence says:

    Dear Natasha,
    it’s three in the morning here in Paris and I’ve just finished reading “The Novel in the Viola”, which I bought this afternoon on an impulse. I started reading as soon as I got home and wasn’t able to stop. You made me cry for six straight hours! It’s a beautiful book – thank you from the bottom of my heart for turning me into such a sodden mascara-streaked lump!

  21. Caroline Howlett says:

    Dear Natasha

    I would also like to echo what other readers have said and how much I enjoyed reading your lovely book “The Novel in The Viola”. I hadn’t read your previous novel but I intend to after this. Such a bittersweet ending which left me in tears.

    I shall recommend it to my book group friends.

    I’m sure it would make an excellent transition to screen as well.


  22. Ilianna says:

    Dear Natasha,

    You book is wonderful!!! I stayed up the entire night reading to finish it, my room was filled with the sounds of sea of Tyneford and the melancholy of early 20th century Vienna. It has been a long time since I found a book worth staying up for. Thank you for making me travel in Elise’s world!! I wish that you write many more such books in the future.


  23. Isobel says:

    I received a free copy of The Novel in the Viola after commenting on how much I enjoyed Mr Rosenblum’s List. I had been very moved by Mr Rosenblum’s List and have to say that The Novel in the Viola had the same effect on me. It is beautifully written and the story is so gripping I couldn’t put it down. The way you write is so absorbing, I felt completely drawn into the story and could almost feel Elise’s pain, happiness and sorrow. A truly beautiful book, thank you so much.

  24. Marianne says:

    Dear Natasha,

    I just finished The Novel in the Viola and loved it every bit as much as MRL, which I didn’t see coming, as up til now it was my favourite book. I’m so happy to be among the masses that you make cry (of joy, not just sadness). Please keep writing.


  25. Endora says:

    Dear Natasha,

    What a beautiful, bittersweet novel.

    I loved many things about this novel, especially the way you write about music. I could hear Anna’s voice, like ‘cherries and chocolate’ as I read; you brought this story to life through sound as well as words.

    Warmest wishes,


  26. Kate Saunders says:

    Dear Natasha,

    I have read and loved both the novels you have written – Mr Rosenblum’s List has to be my all time favourite – I discovered it quite by chance in a book shop and have been buying it for my friends to read ever since! Will there be a film? – I do hope so!
    You are a most talented writer – your books are totally absorbing and emotionally engaging – I do hope you are inspired to keep writing!

    Best Wishes


  27. Natasha Solomons says:

    Hi Kate,
    Thanks so much. I’m so pleased you enjoyed both novels! Are you the Kate Saunders from The Times? If so, thank you for 2 such gorgeous reviews.

    I really appreciate your taking the time to read my books — and thanks for giving copies to your friends!


  28. Jacquie Seemann Charak says:

    Dear Natasha

    Thank you so much for ‘Viola’. It sings and sighs, and its characters are exquisite. It will stay with me.

    My father’s family left Vienna ‘five minutes before the Anschluss’ for the alien safety of Australia – and one of my grandmother’s cousins went into service in England. (A very different story from Elise’s, but the link is poignant nonetheless. Perhaps more so because that cousin has a brand new namesake – a great granddaughter in America born in June.) My family’s ambivalence towards Vienna is beautifully summed up in the scene between Elise and the Tyrolian pilot. And the book helps fill some of the huge gap in my knowledge of that time/geist – a gap that that feels like a loss.

    Thanks again; and may yor writing go from strength to strength.


  29. Lucia says:

    Dear Natasha,

    I’ve never written to an author before. I just finished reading ‘The Novel in the Viola’ and it’s so perfectly sad, but hopeful. I love most how Elise weighs the balance of her two cultures, especially when she needs to tell Kit she loves him in German. I’m Australian, but recently spent several months in France, not knowing any of the language before I arrived there. Although words like ‘please,’ ‘thankyou,’ and ‘hello’ were the first I learnt in French, I always say them in English because otherwise the person hearing them might not know what I mean. This is ridiculous as the people I speak to in French are not usually native English speakers, but in order to make something truly definitive, I have to say it in my language.

    Thankyou for 2 wonderful books.

    – Lucia.

  30. I am a lady aged 88 and have just finished your superb book”the novel in the viola”Thank you so much for all your hard work and research Natasha.I cant remember being so rivitted to a novel.I live in Devon and know what is left of Tyneham well.During WW11 I was a Rador operator in the Royal Artillery and know only too well how areas were cleared of all civilians in the”National Interest” Please keep on writing,you give so much pleasure and “food for thought”to all your readers.My love and best wishes,in friendship Margaret. July 27th 2011 6 pm

  31. William Alden says:

    I loved Mr Rosenblum’s List. I can’t wait to read The Novel in the Viola. But I would like to buy it in hardback. As far as I can see, it is currently only available in paperback? Any idea when the hardback might come out, if ever?

  32. Susan Adams says:

    Have just finished “The Novel in the Viola” and don’t want to get dressed and enter the real world. Your writing is so evocative. I felt Elise’s pain and joy.
    I am off to visit Vienna for the first time next week and look forward to finding the theatre, streets and coffee houses in the book.
    Passing the story onto my daughter today and going in search of Mr Rosenblum’s List.

  33. Catherine O'Connor says:

    I have just finished your ‘The Novel in the Viola’ with tears but I am utterly enchanted! An all-time classic from a modern day perspective that traverses so beautifully and magically through time. I has engulfed almost every emotion, and the turning of every page tickled an eager anticipation. As a lover of classics such as Jayne Eyre, to which gentle references are made to in the book, I am delighted to think that masterpieces of that kind are not just brought forward from the past, but that Ms. Solomons has the obviously wonderful talent of entertaining us with elegant, new classics like this absolutely stunning literary piece. I am overwhelmed and cannot praise you highly enough Ms. Solomons! I cannot wait to read more of your books.

  34. Christina McCrae says:

    I too have just finished Viola – also with tears. I don’ t think I have ever read such a moving book. Your words moved me back in time so much. I could almost smell the sea, touch how icy the water was, visualise & hear the birds in the sky. I know Tyneham well, visiting often, in the past with my parents, and now with my children as I live in Poole, Dorset. Today I am desperate to get in the car and drive straight there with this most wonderful story in my head to feel Elise, Kit & Christopher’s present and imagine their life and the struggles it bought and of course ,Mr Bobbin in his old stable.
    I can’t wait for the next book. Thank you.

  35. Anne Wotana Kaye says:

    Actually this book is not of the romance genre. If you are looking for a romantic novel with a happy ending, you will be sadly disappointed. Rather it is a story of survivors, at a time when life could be snuffed out without warning, and survival became the name of the game. Elise, a spoilt and childish nineteen year old learns what life is really like. On the way she finds love too, but like everything else in her life, it is snatched away. Mr Rivers is also a survivor, a ‘Mr Rochester’ character with a gentle shell concealing a tough, survivor’s soul. Elise and Mr Rivers finally emerge as Alice Land and Daniel. She has wandered through a looking glass land and come out the other side. Daniel had beaten the lion. A brilliant book.

  36. Doreen says:

    Dear Natasha I have just finished your Novel of the Viola, and found it so very moving my only dissapointment was that I visited Swanage in july and visited Tyneham village and just wish I had read the book before I went there, the cottages now have pictures and informatoin on the people who lived there . I look forward to your next book.

  37. Hi Natasha, What a wonderful book. I have just finished it and I had to log on and listen to the waltz immediately to complete the story of Elise. Deeply moving and beautifully written. I must pass it on to my mum next to read. Thank you for such a moving story. It will stay with me for a long time to come.
    Rachel Belcher

  38. Vivien Collins says:

    Hi Natasha, I have just finished ready Novel in the Viola -another wonderful book. My mother came to England in 1939 fortunately with her family. Like Elise they left a priviledged life in Germany, but had to leave it all behind for their own safety. My mother worked as a domestic servant when she came to the I could relate to many aspects of the story.She always loved England rather like Elise did when she got used to the English way of life. I am looking forward to your third novel.

  39. Dear Natasha,

    I’m writing this before I finish reading, The Novel in the Viola, I don’t want to get to the end, please bring Kit back so they can make love…boo hoo. Much of the writing feels so real, I’m about to look up Wareham station and see if I can find a lovely old mansion in the area that I can visit – well done. Thank you for sharing your novel with the reading world.

    Best wishes,

  40. Hannah says:

    I bought Mr. Rosenblum just by chance (stuck in a book store during a thunderstorm) and I just loved it. So I couldn’t wait until The Novel in the Viola was translated and published in Germany and so I had to read the English version. It was like plunging in Elise’s world by not understanding all the words and knowing the right names of all the flowers and things around her (I got tired of looking up everything in the dictionary…).
    Believe it or not, – I’m an opera singer. Not the kind of opera singer on stage at Burgtheater or Unter den Linden, – but still completely fulfilled by the love of Rigoletto’s Gilda, Contanze’s dolefullness at “Ach ich liebte” or Cunegonde’s shame in Candide. And I broke an engagement to a really handsome guy for a boy called Christopher, born on March 6th (Elise’s birthday), even though I knew I could never be with him. But to marry somebody else seemed ridicoulus to me.

    You can love more than once, – and you can be more than one person.

    And I want to go to the British cost and visit Tyneham 😉

  41. roberta benedetti says:

    I am Roberta from italy. I loved the novel in the viola. if it wasnt for the fact that I read natasha solomons I wouldn’t have bought a novel with such a title”la fidanzata inopportuna” Please make sure to have a good translation of the title. I think it is very important. YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY GREAT!! I look forward to reading your next work!!
    take care
    Roberta Benedetti

  42. Gilly Norman says:

    Hello Natasha – I got up at the crack of dawn to finish The Novel in the Viola and listen to the waltz. Thank you so much for a most moving yet enjoyable read. I am so grateful to you for bringing Tyneham to life again if only in imagination. I live in Swanage and visit this most beautiful area as often as permissible – I now can’t wait to return and see it through your eyes. The young lady on the beautiful cover reminded me very much of a girl I was at school with in the 1950’s who was of Jewish decent – so work well done by an excellent team. Best wishes, Gilly

  43. Donna Cohen says:

    Hello Natasha- this is the first time I have written to an author after finishing a book. I have read through all the comments above and am not surprised to see other people being touched by the book in the same way that I was. To have the ability to make one feel the depth of the holocaust without all the horror is a huge feat, and you have succeeded well. The icing on the cake however was listening to the concerto just now- it makes the book come alive more than words can describe.
    The copy of the book I bought has no details about your background- were members of your family killed in the holocaust? I often wonder what happened to my grandmother’s family- Donna

  44. Ruby says:

    What is more alluring and intruiging than the idea of a novel secretly captured inside a viola for years? I play viola myself and had to buy the book purely for the title.

    I adored the story but what i loved most was the Concerto in D Minor at the back of the book. I’ve played it myself and it’s so utterly heartbreaking, for Elise’s story and the story of those who endured the holocaust.
    I am thinking of playing this piece as part of my HSC (australian finishing school exams) for music and was wondering if you could tell me more about it?
    Is there available copies of the score for the piano part aswell? Have you only had the concerto writen and played or is there a full orchestral score? what does the piece sing most of to you?
    it makes me cry eah time i play it.
    i would love anymore information.
    Thankyou heaps 🙂

  45. Annie says:

    Dear Natasha

    Thank you – I’ve just finished reading The House at Tyneford and it was exquisite. Your descriptions of the countryside and the changing seasons, the characters, and all that was left unsaid were incredibly moving. My heart broke, and the tears flowed – yet you managed to portray such beauty amongst such sadness.
    I am very much looking forward to reading your other novel.
    Many thanks

  46. silvia says:

    ho appena terminato di leggere “The novel in the viola”!bellissimo,commovente!L’ho letteralmente divorato!ti prego Natasha!Scrivi ancora di Tyneford House!!!

  47. Georgia says:

    “The House at Tyneford “- Marvelous compelling story. I could not put it down. Being a fan of programs such as DOWNTON ABBEY, UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS, etc. – this novel brings another dimension to the period. Hoping you have some more stories of this type up your sleeve! Thanks.
    from Massachusetts/USA

  48. Tracy says:

    I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed “The House at Tyneford”. Your descriptions of character and place really transported me to a different time. It was terrific that I was able to read this as I’m immersed in the second season of “Downton Abbey”.
    Very enjoyable!

  49. Natasha Solomons says:

    Thanks Tracy! It was so much fun to write — it’s wonderful that readers are enjoying it too. xx

  50. John Whitley says:

    I have just finished “The House at Tyneford”. Born and raised on a farm in Yorkshire, I have been living in the USA since 1985. I have rarely read a book that so vividly describes the English countryside – you took me back to my childhood. Could not put the book down – wonderful story. Will be recommending it to my avid book-reading friends. Thank you so much Natasha.

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