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 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 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. 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 Review at 40% complete This book is overly long, but there is a lot to like too.What I like The interweaving of historical events, especially the Titanic.The descriptions of the trappings of the rich, especially The Goldbaum Trans Europe Express The feistiness of Greta, the main female characterThe inclusion of nature Albert s insect collecting, Greta s gardenWhat I don t like Albert is a stick in the mud, but I m pulling for him any way.Clement s problems with money.Why House of Gold as a title Perhaps this excerpt can give a different slant to it Fontmell Abbey is being built for Albert and Greta In the easy light of an autumn afternoon the stonework of Fontmell Abbey was honeyed, softened by the thick wrists of an ancient wisteria and the last pink rosettes of a rambling rose The crowning thatch glowed bright gold like ripened corn I will undoubtedly add to this review as I am only 40% complete with this book.It will probably be a 4 star in the final analysis, that is, IF I can get to the end.Update at 100% The Goldbaums are rich because they are in the banking business They loan money to governments that need it There are three tribes of Goldbaums Austrian, French and English Greta of the Austrian persuasion marries Albert of London This is what the Goldbaums do intermarry to keep the dynasty going.But can money buy A happy marriage Common sense Survival during war The story encompasses the time period of 1910 through 1918 Greta moves to England WWI breaks out Her brother is sent to fight for Austria, which, you will probably remember, is the enemy of England Greta is shunned by her English neighbors Albert and Greta have 2 children Celia and Benjamin As mentioned above, Albert collects insects, Greta gardens Oh, did I mention that the Goldbaums are Jewish They are embraced for their money but avoided because of their beliefs.I found myself getting and involved with the principal characters Albert, Greta and Otto When I came to the inevitable conclusion of this story, tears dripped down my cheeks So, dear friends, the unthinkable happened That book I did not think I could finish and hoped would stay at least a 4 star became a 5 star.I heartily recommend this book to historical fiction and history lovers.5 star Greta had been a handful since birth with her governesses explaining that if she had been anything but a Goldbaum, she would be out on the street.The Goldbaums always married distant cousins to keep the name, their power, and their wealth secure.Greta was to marry her second cousin from London whom she never met, but she was fine with it because she was hoping this would take her away from her daunting mother and all her rules about proper behavior.As I was reading, it seemed as if I were living in a fairy tale Every whim and want was satisfied for Greta and her family The description of the mansions was unbelievable, and I laughed when one of the servants confessed she needed a map to navigate the home.The writing style and the detail Ms Solomons uses draws you into the story even though some of it is filled with politics and business dealings She adds enough family drama and interest of the era to keep you reading, but it did get tedious at times.The characters were definitely depicted as true to this era and class, and they grew on you as you read Some you grew to like and others you grew to wonder why they acted as they did.If you enjoy reading about aristocrats, politics, European history in the late 1800 s early1900 s, war, and the non public side of the wealthy, HOUSE OF GOLD will be of interest.The book was well written, but was a bit long The characters especially Greta made the book She was a feisty, strong woman 4 5This book was given to me as an ARC by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review All opinions are my own. House of Gold is a sweeping family drama that follows the fictional Goldbaum family in the years leading up to and during WWI I read a lot of historical fiction, but I ve read very little set in this particular time period, so I was excited to get into this book Greta, a member of the Austrian branch of the Goldbaum family, is the main focus, although the novel does delve into the perspectives of other people in her life The cast of characters was one of the main strengths of the novel, and it was a very character driven narrative Greta is gregarious and free spirited She is getting ready to marry Albert, a distant cousin and a member of the English branch of the family when we join her story Goldbaum family tradition involves intermarrying to keep their vast wealth within the family Greta has never met Albert when her marriage with him is arranged by the family and feels extremely ambivalent about the pairing She doesn t want to marry a stranger but is afraid of going against her family s wishes While I was very invested in Greta and her story, the pacing took away some of my enjoyment of this novel The way Solomons dabbled into the stories of other relatives occasionally made the story feel somewhat unfocused The aside about Greta s cousin s gambling debts, for example, did not add much to the story It did move the story forward as a plot point, but it was not necessary to go into his perspective to do this These sections really just felt like they bogged down the pace We have no reason to care about this character as he is a relatively minor one, so his obviously impending breaking point doesn t actually introduce any tension to the story Conversely, other parts of the story seem to be entirely skipped over Greta is pregnant with her first child and the next thing I knew, she was in labor with her second Aside from just skipping over a big chunk of time, it pains me to think of the character development that could have been explored in that time frame Greta is young and a bit flighty when we meet her She is deeply changed by the war and by motherhood, but we don t get to see any of those changes happening we simply skip over from young, newlywed Greta to Greta as a mother of two Greta s brother Otto is also a major character, although he is largely separate from her throughout the story His story largely focuses on the war and some very interesting power dynamics come into play in this context The Goldbaum family is rich beyond measure, but also Jewish in a time of rising antisemitism The concept of wealth countering relatively little social privilege as well as instances in which it cannot do so play a large role throughout the novel Otto s story, despite his wealthy background, is ultimately tragic Overall, I enjoyed House of Gold despite my misgivings about the pacing I became very invested in some of the characters, I liked the importance of the family s Jewish identity in the novel, and the family s personal affairs were balanced well with what was happening on a worldwide scale Readers who enjoy family dramas and historical fiction set during war time may find this a worthwhile read My thanks to Netgalley and G.P Putman s Sons for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review All opinions are my own and are not influenced by the publisher You can read all of my reviews at my blog, Jenna Bookish Facebook Instagram Tumblr 3.5 stars I like historical fiction and this time around WWI is very interesting This is the story of the wealthy Goldbaum family based on the Rothschild family There were five boys who set up five different banking houses in England, France, Germany and Austria They keep tight ties and marry the offspring of the other houses They are courted by governments and yet ostracized at the same time because they are Jewish Greta Goldbaum of Austria marries Albert of the English house keeping family tradition alive and well Although it is arranged marriage, they develop a happy marriage Then WWI strikes and the young men in the different banking houses had very different war experiences All served in the military and yet also worked on financing the war Still they are often treated as outcasts and mocked for their faith There was an interesting section when the Tsar of Russia wants money and the Goldbaums bargain for the end of the pogroms in exchange for it Still it got a little choppy One minute Greta has a miscarriage and the next chapter has a 3 year old daughter and a new baby boy There was not much transition Another character was on a ship that had been bombed He was treading water and then went under A few pages later he was walking into his home How did he get saved No explanation is given The Goldbaum children complained a lot about their privileged lifestyle and how everything was prescribed for them but I noticed no one gave up anything to strike out on their own I guess it wasn t as bad as they thought I thought it was an interesting book that needed some good editing The transitions were jumpy and I think a good copy editor would have been a big help I am not sure the book industry employs them any Thank you for a copy of this book NetGalley. earc thanks to netgalley for a fair review This is a book where the ending defines the beginning What do I mean by that Based on the Rothchilds in the years leading up to WWI the book is organized by year , the first half of the book focuses on an intensely researched day in the life only to end with a bang on the battlefield scattering the family to the winds It s incredible how far reaching the Rothchilds influence stretched I m amazed at Natasha s this is my third Natasha Solomon, so I feel we re first name basis bookish friends now ability to subtly richly capture the in depth research in historical fiction without it feeling well, biographical Back to my thesis The first half of this novel is setup for the war years And it s the war years that really sing In closing the back cover, it s like the timeline falls into place and you fully understand why we spent so many moons watching the day in the life The family is untested, the power weighted against that of the gold lining their coffers But war changes everything as it is wont to do the great equalizer as Churchill calls it After all, we re all equally susceptible to the butt end of a bayonet Sitting somewhere between a 3 or 4 read, I find myself agreeing with the publisher there are elements of the gorgeously written The House at Tyneford here, swinging me towards a 4 finish It was the war years This may be short in length, but there were undertones of epic laced within Karl hunting for bones to sell to soap makers as the scene shifts to Greta opening a pricey packet of handmade soap in the bath Only Natasha s pen could juxtapose the shadows of poverty with the golden lights of wealth. Era tanto che non leggevo una saga familiare cosi ben scritta, fluida, interessante, mai banale ne noiosa, con dei momenti di una tenerezza infinita uno di quei libri dove mentre leggi tu sei li con loro pochi scrittori hanno questa capacita di farmi sentire dentro il libro.Il finale mi ha un po lasciata perplessa la scrittrice ha voluto darci un lieto fine che visto il periodo e la situazione ho reputato abbastanza improbabile ma cio nonostante la Solomons si merita tutte e cinque le stelle, considerato che di solito i libri che contengono storie d a mi annoiano a morte in quanto prima o dopo scadono tutti in piccoli Harmony.Invece la scrittrice riesce sempre a bilanciare perfettamente il rapporto fra Greta ed Albert con i rapporti familiari, la politica, la guerra ed i problemi sociali dell inizio del secolo.Ho detestato cordialmente il personaggio di Greta, quella che ai miei tempi si sarebbe definita una radical chic o come dicono qui una spoilt brat ragazza viziata che gioca a fare la ribelle, mentre il personaggio che piu ho amato e stato Otto, protagonista di alcune delle pagine piu belle di tutto il libro.Consigliatissimo.
Natasha Solomons is a writer and the New York Times bestselling author of The Gallery of Vanished Husbands, The House at Tyneford, and Mr Rosenblum Dreams in English She lives in Dorset England, with her husband, the writer David Solomons, and their two young children Song of Hartgrove Hall is her fourth novel.
- 436 pages
- House of Gold
- Natasha Solomons
- 01 September 2018 Natasha Solomons