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. Veronika says:

    Dear Natasha,

    I have just finished your novel about the Viola and I enjoyed it sooo much; as many others in your blog: I just could not put the book down and stayed awake the whole night until 5.30 a.m. (and hoped my baby would not wake up ;-)! I am living in Vienna and am so glad about the vivid picture you gave about Jewish prewar-life in this wonderful city, on the other hand of course, everything is so sad…I wept alot during reading it!

    Thank you so much!!!!
    Veronika, Vienna

  2. Anonymous says:

    My eyes are red from reading your incredible book cover to cover in hours. It’s the best book I’ve read since Howard Springs (c. 1935). Thoroughly enjoyed it and hope there will be many more.
    Word of mouth will get your book read by many of us who adore English novels.
    Thank you for a most enjoyable day.
    Marin County, California USA

  3. Gloria White says:

    My eyes are red from reading your incredible book cover to cover in hours. It’s the best book I’ve read since Howard Springs (c. 1935). Thoroughly enjoyed it and hope there will be many more.
    Word of mouth will get your book read by many of us who adore English novels.
    Thank you for a most enjoyable day and a book I will remember for a very long time.
    Marin County, California USA

  4. Juliet says:

    A friend introduced me to The Novel in the Viola and I finished it in record time, reading late into the night and early the next morning. I loved it and confess to a few tears . I was an opera singer myself,(actually I still perform in the chorus) and the ambition to be one arose while watching Rigoletto at the Vienna Staatsoper.
    Sachertorte and Schlagobers were my regular treat when I was there, I loved the place, even though it was post war, and a bit bleak in places. I was intrigued to see I could hear the especially composed waltz on this website, but unfortunately pressing the arrow on the picture didn’t work. Is there another way of hearing it?
    I do look forward to reading Mr Rosenblum and other books of yours.

  5. Sheri Neel says:

    Well written, held my interest all the way through the book. I looked forward to what Elsie would do next. In my minds eye, I could see everthing about the house and country side clearly. Thank you for such a fabulous novel

  6. tina says:

    ho appena terminato di leggere il suo libro “la fidanzata inopportuna” e devo dire che mi è piaciuto molto. complimenti per la trama e per come ha saputo descrivere sia i luoghi che i personaggi, era come vivere dentro il racconto. aspetterò con gioia un suo prossimo libro e grazie per il piacere che mi ha fatto provare durante la lettura, sarò una sua fedele lettrice, un caro saluto dall’italia

  7. Lynn says:

    I could not put this down!

  8. G’day Natasha – I have just finished the book about Tyneford House and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I checked on my UK atlas where some of the towns were, and “googled” them to get an idea of the geography. It was brilliantly written, and I loved it.
    I enjoyed your first book about Mr R’s wish list too – very very funny.
    Best wishes
    Chris from Australia.

  9. barbara Igelsrud says:

    It’s hard to let go after spending time with Elise and Kit and Mr. Rivers! To watch Elise face her life challenges and grow from girl to woman in a new country during
    wartime is gripping and I enjoyed your book immensely! Your finely drawn characters spring to life and I really cared about them and that to me is the real test of a good book. Even with the sadness, it is a happy book…just like life!
    Thank you for writing such a thoughtful, intelligent story.

  10. Christine K. Rüdisser says:

    A wonderful book, I read it in German first but now I will read it in English because I like all the descriptions of nature, moods and can imagine how it was at Tyneford House in the original language. Congratulations Natasha, at such a young age you are already a perfect writer and I am looking forward to many other stories, novels etc.

  11. Adrienne Perlow says:

    It seems towards to the end of the book, much information is missing. It just jumps from one major life event to another, separated by many years. For example, life for Elise/Alice as Christopher/David’s wife. Where did they live? Did they have any children? Did Elise end up being close to her sister Margot? Did either sister ever find out what happened to their father, Julian? I wish I knew more about Elise’s young musical niece and any professional accomplishments she might have achieved in or out of Vienna.

    I liked it best for its sumptuous descriptions of the pampered lives of the wealthy, the flora and fauna of deep rural woods and colorful villagers living amidst a grand, albeit decaying, old style manor. As for the story, I must admit I hadn’t known about Churchill’s betrayal of a certain village in the English countryside, laying waste to its former existance as a modest but bustling small town. It was interesting to learn that its sad story was the creative impetus for this book.

  12. Nathalie Bongrand says:

    Voilà un livre auquel je suis très attachée et que je ne me lasse pas de relire. Les personnages sont très présents, non pas avec des descriptions qui seraient trop précises, mais dans d’infimes petits détails visuels ou psychologiques qui laissent le lecteur les façonner suivant leur sensibilité. Tout est suggéré avec subtilité, paysage, odeurs, contacts, atmosphère… une impression nostalgique d’un monde disparu.
    Merci encore à Natasha Solomons pour son talent.

  13. Cheryl E. Lane says:

    Oh, I loved this novel!! And I enjoyed listening to the Viola music. I am particularly fond of English novels and this one did not disappoint. I now intend on reading your other works.
    Thank you so much for writing such a sad and happy and touching novel!

  14. Borghild Friestad says:

    August 23 rd, 2012
    I also loved this novel. And the music. I read the book in Norwegian, but I hope to find an English edition too. It was difficult to leave the book in order to do housework.
    Thank you for writing this book.

  15. liz baldwin says:

    i enjoyed your book very much. i have visited tyneford and found it very sad, seems to be waiting for the people to return.

  16. Sarah says:

    An absolutely beautiful book, so haunting and evocative. I finished it yesterday and had to go back and read all my favourite parts again. Thank you for all the hard work you put into it.

  17. Carolyn says:

    Just finished House at Tyneford at 1:30AM! What a wonderful story, playing like a movie! All the characters coming to life, and wishing it hadn’t ended. Love English novels and the fact there was a bit of real history included. Thank you for a beautiful story, are there more in the future?

  18. Cristina G. says:

    I started your book yesterday aroun 11pm and finished it at 5.30am.
    Luckily we moved are our clocks back, and I could get an extra hour of sleep.
    I’m currently living in Vienna and it was probably one of the reasons that made me pick your book. But I didn’t know that I would just be unable to put it down once I started it. I was in Vienna and Tyneford through the night.
    Books like yours will help people not to forget what went on not so very long ago.

    Thank you

  19. Lisa Gotkin says:

    Thank you for this and your Mr. Rosenblum book. I have read a lot of WWII books about Jews and have tired of reading of such a sad time in our history. However, I made an exception for Tyneford because I loved your Rosenbum so much. Elise/Alice’s story did not disappoint. Thank you for the pictures you paint with your words. I lived in England for a bit in my 20’s. Because of you, I know from Rosenblum’s country village and Tyneford that I didn’t tour enough of the countryside nor did I appreciate it enough when I did. Please, please keep writing! I am looking forward to your next novel and to all your (hopefully many) novels to come!

  20. Gwen Gennery says:

    Captivated could not described how much the book got inside my head . I was born in 1937 and felt I was almost there with them at the house and cried when their home was ruined for the war cause. Enjoyed the music, perfect for era and events that took place at that time.

  21. Beth Bishop says:

    I have seldom enjoyed a book any more than I did Tyneford House. I simply couldn’t put it down and almost cried when, no matter how slowly I forced myself to read, I got to the last page. I grew up with Rebecca, House on the Strand, etc., and although they will always be some of my favorite books, I have to say that Tyneford just knocked me for a loop! I can’t wait for your next book and for all the readers like myself, thank you a million times for a fantastic, wonderful, heart breaking gem of a book!

  22. When will all of these intriguing people find their way to the screen? Just as “Call the Midwife” has taken us all by storm this year, I suspect “The House at Tyneford” could do the same.

  23. Eliane Stuber says:

    Ich konnte nicht mehr aufhören zu lesen. So schön und berührend mir liefen am schluss die Tränen. Vielen Dank für diese wundervolle Geschichte, ich hoffe Sie schreiben noch mehr so wundervolle Bücher.

  24. Rebecca Nichele S says:

    I would like to tell you as an avid reader and violist herself, that your book was truly wonderful. It took me two days to read and it will be offically the last thing I will read this year. The love between Elise and Kit, and then Alice and Daniel left me speachless, in tears, and with a smile on my face. I felt as if I was a part of the book and watching as the birds flew in the sky and the mackerel swam in the water with their rainbow bellies. Thank-you for the amazing journey,

    Rebecca (USA)

  25. Rebecca Nichele S says:

    I would like to tell you as an avid reader and violist myself, that your book was truly an incredible read. It took two days to read and it will be offically the last thing I will read this year. The love between Elise and Kit, and then Alice and Daniel left me speachless, in tears, and with a smile on my face. I felt as if I was a part of the book and watching as the birds flew in the sky and the mackerel swam in the water with their rainbow bellies. Thank-you for the amazing journey,

    Rebecca (USA)

  26. Natasha Solomons says:

    Thanks, Rebecca! I think the viola is such an under appreciated instrument… xx

  27. Cristina says:

    I have just finished your novel about the Viola and I like it so much. And the music is fantastic, very beautiful.
    I couldn’t writte more I feel, because my english is very bad.

    Cristina from Spain.

  28. iris says:

    Dear Natasha! What a wunderful story about Elise. But: the geman title is not very successful. “Als die Liebe zu Elise kam” means trivial literature ;-))))

    All the same: I love your phrase, your language ….. and the fantastic discribition of Englands landscape in Dorset.

    Thank you for the hours, to have amuse with your book!

    All the best for you – Iris

  29. João Albuquerque says:

    From Portugal,

    I liked very much, congratulations and thank you.

    All the best for you, João Albuquerque.

  30. Maria Silvestre says:

    I am a Portuguese fan of yours. I simply adored your book. What a lovely story. You belong to that special kind of writers that make us “feel and see” with the eyes and with the heart. Through your description we are transported to a by gone era that sometimes remind me of tv’s “Upstairs Downstairs”. I start reading by 10:00 pm and finished by …5:00 am. Impossible to stop!

  31. Valle says:

    Una novela estupenda.quisiera oír la partitura de la viola

  32. inglês

    I’m Maria Pacheco, Brazilian and living in Portugal. I watched every episode of Dawton Abbey and I am reading the book The House at Tyneford . Today I will certainly finish reading your book, I can not quit because it is absolutely fascinating. Thank you! And accept my congratulations for your wonderful work on this project.

  33. Sue says:

    Natasha, I am an avid reader and just wanted to say that yours is one of the most beautifully written books I have ever had the privilege to read. Not only was the story line excellent, but the way you write – I felt that I was right there, first in Vienna and then at Tyneford. Rather than eager to finish your book (although I was eager to find out how it all turned out), I purposely slowed down to enjoy it for a longer period of time. I hope that there are more books in your future as you are truly a talented writer. Thank you for bringing such a marvelous experience to us. Sue

  34. Helen says:

    My Bookgroup loved this book but a question was brought up as to why Natasha

    placed so many (5?) important scenes in the bathtub? does she answer these


  35. Helene from Fair Oaks, CA says:

    Ms. Solomons: Your vivid, lucid and inspiring novel transported me back to the bits and pieces of stories of eastern European life I learned from my grandmother sitting at the kitchen table in NYC during the ’50s and ’60s. The music, the opera, the literature, the hand-made dresses, suits and shoes. And interspersed with tales of the elegance and culture of Jews in Warsaw, I recall the abbreviated notes she relayed of the imperative to leave. . . . which she and my mother and aunts could not do until the fall of 1919. I was very moved by your eloquence and, like others’ comments hereinabove, I could not put down the novel. I grappled with my need to get some exercise today, this sunny Sunday in northern California, work out or shop to fill up the refrigerator for the upcoming work week. But the eloquence and story line of your novel transported me – albeit a different time, a similar one – to the time of my ancestors and for that I am eternally grateful. Your novel was eloquent and created a world I could not leave until the book resolved and that world left me. Thank you. Helene F. from northern California

  36. Brydie says:

    Thank you, Natasha, for your wonderful book that was with me during my recovery from surgery. I love the vivid imagery of your writing that reminds me of my youth in England. “The House at Tyneford” was given to me by my daughter-in-law who is of Jewish origin who also was moved by its story. I look forward to reading “Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English” which I have just ordered. With much appreciation, Brydie

  37. MindyP51 says:


  38. MindyP51 says:

    Listening to the waltz of the Novel in the Viola now…it is beautiful, and absolutely perfect for its time and the book’s story.

    This MUST become a series on the BBC!!!!! I do hope your agent is able to make it happen!

  39. Natasha Solomons says:

    Thanks Mindy! I’m glad you enjoyed the novel so much. We’d love to adapt it for film or tv but there aren’t any plans just yet. I’ll keep you posted though!

  40. Lana says:

    I went into a book store one day and I wasn’t looking for any particular book. I looked though many shelfs of books and I saw your book and just picked it up and went straight to the register. I couldn’t set it down once I started reading it! I felt like I was in your book. I cried for Elsie when kit died. I kept hoping that he would just miraculously come back but I knew he wouldn’t. Then Elsie changed to alice and loved daniel!I coulnt help but fall in love with them. Though i will always love kit more than daniel. I haven’t read a good book in a while and I read this and I just want to read more about Alice and Daniel. I want to know what happens in their old age. What happens to Juliana? This is one of the best books I’ve read in a very long time and I can’t wait to read more of your books! Thank you!

  41. Lara says:

    Estimada Natasha Solomons, estoy leyendo su novela ” La viola de Tyneford House” no la he terminado aún y cada noche cuando me pongo a leer mi pensamiento se traslada junto a su protagonista Elise Landau a esa mansión en la villa de Tyneford y me emociono cuando imagino todos sus escenarios,esas imágenes de la naturaleza,la guerra,la incertidumbre de otra época,pensamiento,el amor,etc.

    Estoy encantada de verdad.Desde Las Palmas de Gran Canaria ( España) a 16 de junio de 2013.
    Ruego disculpe mi falta de inglés but my english is very bad sorry. Canary Islands (Spain).

  42. Hi Natasha!

    I just finished The novel in the viola, and I have to admit that there were some tears in the end… Being a musician myself, I thought this element added something special to the atmosphere of the story. All though, I have to inform you that I cannot say that I am very impressed with the Norwegian translation. I’m sorry to say that the words viola and violin are being used as synonyms, and even the name of the book is “The novel in the violin”. First I thought this was the result of bad research, but after having read your comments, I realize that you are well aware of the difference between a viola and a violin. I just think it is a pity that you shall loose your credibility because of this, so I hope you are informed of it. Thanks for a great story, it moved me deeply!

  43. Sophie Wagner says:

    Hello Natasha,

    so I finished your second book today, reading is a lot quicker than writing.
    Concerning the German translations I am really unhappy that they did not try to pick up more of the funny scenes.

    The German translation of “I will cook your goose.” Doesn´t have a double meaning whatsoever, so this joke goes completely unnoticed and the remark of Mr. Rivers, about the add being funny, doesn´t make sense.

    good luck to your writing career and thanks for all those hints in the internet
    that make your background more clear

    Sophie from Leipzig

  44. Ofer says:

    Looked for something to read and happened to find your book on my mom’s shelf. I am a slow reader but that’s a good thing; it was pleasant to be with Elise for a few months.

    Found some ups like when Elise thinks of saying Kaddish when learning that her parents were no longer alive and downs – Elise eats rabbit pie. Ups and downs are good – sort of like life.

    I was impressed by the detailed descriptions of changes in nature as indicators of new months and new seasons.

    Couldn’t understand why Margot would not speak to Elise for so many years after she found that the papers were blank. The reason for them being blank was also left a mystery, at least for me. Loved that the blank papers were rewritten with Elise’s story.


    Ofer – Jerusalem, Israel

  45. Joana Guerra says:

    Dear Natasha,

    I have finished your book ‘The Novel in the Viola’ a couple of minutes ago and I wish it could last forever. It was such an amazing and inspiring story, so evocative and so rich in tiny details, I could feel it so deeply inside. I just wanted to write you a note and I hope that your books can be all translated to Portuguese one day, so I can read them. Thank you so much for writing this story.



  46. Emory Austin says:

    All the members in my book club loved it. You are extraordinary in putting words on a ‘blank piece of paper.’

    One question: One of the few times Kit mentions his mother is to say that, not only does he not remember her, but that she drowned in the bathtub, even thought she was an excellent swimmer. I kept expecting this to pop up again somehow in the book. Was this brief mention to indicate that perhaps she committed suicide? And, if so, why? It seemed somehow to be a loose end. . .

  47. Anitha Kvamme says:

    MANY THANKS for the wonderful book: “Fiolinen”. ( in Norwegian) !! I have just finished it and I love Your book and wish that it never ending!!!!:)
    Hope I can find some more in Norwegian!!!!
    You are a fantastic writer !!!!!!



  48. Christine says:


    I’ve just finished The Novel in the Viola this morning. Crying over my café et baguette was not the best image you can give to start a lovely Sunday morning, but then the end of the novel left me in tears. Your story is so gripping that I could not put the book down (what about cooking with it?). I’m French and live in the centre of France but travel to England at least once or twice a year because I love the country and most particularly the countryside. I love Dorset and, with the way you described it, all the tiny details, I could see it through Elise’s eyes. Ravishing! The story, the setting and the period are captivating. I spent most of my day searching information about Tyneham, Lilian Bond, the House, Worbarrow… I’m now planning a visit! After having been in Thomas Hardy’s footsteps, I would very much like to walk into yours! (sorry if my English is not accurate) I now have 2 things to do: buy The Gallery and … buy The Novel in the Viola in French for my family! As we say”Quand on aime, on ne compte pas!” MERCI Natasha!

  49. Cate says:

    Hi, Loved Novel in the Viola. It really captured the feel of Tyneham. My fellow singers and I have just finished Tyneham The Musical which we performed in Weymouth, Dorset (where we live) and we did a concert version in Tyneham Barn itself. It was a magical experience, especially funny when you had a pause and a sheep would baa. My sister told me to read your book which she found for sale in Bincombe Church.

    I have to ask why you changed the names of Tyneham and Lulworth but none of the other towns? Were you not allowed to use their real names? I love Tyneham, it is magical, a visit should be on everyone’s bucket list.

    I will now read your other books :o) Cate, Weymouth, Dorset, UK

  50. Linn, Norway says:

    As I picked this book up and started reading, I barely put it down until it was finished only two days later. I cried my heart out of all the misery, but also of all the love. It was one of the most amazing books I’ve ever read and I wish it never ended. I really hope it turns into a movie. It fits perfectly and I would watch it over and over again. This is one of the few books I’m guaranteed to read more than once. I’m actually at a loss for words right now, because I can’t explain how much this book means to me.

Leave a Reply