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House of Gold Such is the power and wealth of the Goldbaums that on dull days it’s said they hire the sun just for themselvesThe Goldbaums' influence reaches across Europe They are the confidants and bankers of governments and emperors Little happens without their say so and even less without their knowledge But Greta Goldbaum has no say at all in who she’ll marryWhile power lies in wealth strength lies in family Greta’s union with cousin Albert will strengthen the bond between the Austrian and the English branches of the dynasty It is sensible and strategic Greta is neitherDefiant and unhappy she is desperate to find a place that belongs to her free from duty and responsibility But just as she begins to taste an unexpected happiness the Great War is looming and even the Goldbaums can’t alter its course For the first time in two hundred years the family will find themselves on opposing sides The House of Goldbaum along with Europe herself is about to break apart

  • ebook
  • House of Gold
  • Natasha Solomons
  • 15 January 2016
  • 9781473537033

About the Author: Natasha Solomons

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



10 thoughts on “House of Gold

  1. Mackey Mackey says:

    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 reading and historical 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 uite 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 was a 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 thisIf 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 

  2. Jenny Jenny says:

    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 EmpireWhen you think of the Rothschilds you think of great wealth extravagance opulent wealth grand palaces vast art collections and philanthropyAs 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 readLoosely based on the Rothschilds Solomons introduces us to The Goldbaums a wealthy European banking familyThe House of Goldbaums influence spans from Austria to the United Kingdom and while they wield incredible power with their wealth they also find themselves freuent targets of antisemitism and persecutionIn order to keep the Goldbaum dynasty thriving Greta Goldbaum of Vienna marries English cousin Albert GoldbaumFeisty spoiled and fiercely independent Greta now finds herself in an unfamiliar role one that reuires her to be an obedient demure and subdued wife to her cousin now husband Albert GoldbaumWill 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 journeyThe only regret is that this book ended and left me wishing for I received an advance copy of this book from #Netgalley #HouseofGold

  3. Katie B Katie B says:

    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 uite 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

  4. Jenny Jenny says:

    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 EmpireWhen you think of the Rothschilds you think of great wealth extravagance opulent wealth grand palaces vast art collections and philanthropyAs 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 readLoosely based on the Rothschilds Solomons introduces us to The Goldbaums a wealthy European banking familyThe House of Goldbaums influence spans from Austria to the United Kingdom and while they wield incredible power with their wealth they also find themselves freuent targets of antisemitism and persecutionIn order to keep the Goldbaum dynasty thriving Greta Goldbaum of Vienna marries English cousin Albert GoldbaumFeisty spoiled and fiercely independent Greta now finds herself in an unfamiliar role one that reuires her to be an obedient demure and subdued wife to her cousin now husband Albert GoldbaumWill 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 journeyThe only regret is that this book ended and left me wishing for I received an advance copy of this book from #Netgalley #HouseofGold

  5. Celia Celia says:

    Review at 40% completeThis book is overly long but there is a lot to like tooWhat I likeThe interweaving of historical events especially the TitanicThe 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 likeAlbert is a stick in the mud but I'm pulling for him any wayClement's problems with moneyWhy House of Gold as a title? Perhaps this excerpt can give a different slant to it Fontmell Abbey is being built for Albert and GretaIn 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 cornI will undoubtedly add to this review as I am only 40% complete with this bookIt will probably be a 4 star in the final analysis that is IF I can get to the endUpdate 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 goingBut 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 beliefsI 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 starI heartily recommend this book to historical fiction and history lovers5 star

  6. Elizabeth of Silver& Elizabeth of Silver& says:

    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 streetThe Goldbaums always married distant cousins to keep the name their power and their wealth secureGreta 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 behaviorAs 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 homeThe 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 timesThe 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 didIf you enjoy reading about aristocrats politics European history in the late 1800'searly1900's war and the non public side of the wealthy HOUSE OF GOLD will be of interestThe book was well written but was a bit long The characters especially Greta made the book She was a feisty strong woman 45This book was given to me as an ARC by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review All opinions are my own

  7. Jenna Bookish Jenna Bookish says:

    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 GP 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 BookishFacebook | Instagram | Tumblr

  8. Susan Johnson Susan Johnson says:

    35 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

  9. Mellie Antoinette Mellie Antoinette says:

    #earc thanks to #netgalley for a fair reviewThis 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 eualizer as Churchill calls it After all we’re all eually 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

  10. C.W. C.W. says:

    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 facadeIn 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 beueathed 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 uest to find fulfillment the forces that unleash the calamity of war start to gather on the horizonThe 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 themThe 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

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