MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Features

January 29, 2013

Parisian history comes to life

— Having lived in the same house for the last 35 years, “The House I Loved” by Tatiana de Rosnay (St. Martins Press, 2012) immediately caught my eye. Set in Paris in the 1860s, the novel explores the great rebuilding project spearheaded by Baron Haussmann under Napoleon III that shook the City of Lights out of its medievalism and into the sophistication and progressiveness of the modern world.

The novel is told in first person through a series of letters and reflections written by Rose Bazelet, a 60-year-old widow who owns a house on the rue Childebert, a street that has been in existence since the Merovingian king himself in the ninth century. This ancient and narrow rue is scheduled for demolition to make way for the broad boulevards so characteristic of Paris today.

Rose’s home is the last link to her beloved husband, Armand, and the life they shared. The house, with its shops on the ground floor, also represents her only means of income. Faced with extinction of all she loves, Rose makes a decision; she will send everyone else in the house away and wait for the bombardment of shouting men and equipment advancing in the name of progress. When the house goes, a secret Rose has kept locked away for decades will go with it.

De Rosnay has woven a fine story whose themes are as diverse as the individual versus the state or the importance of memorializing history on both a personal and a civic level. Other works by de Rosnay include “Sarah’s Key” and “A Secret Kept.”

The renowned French chef, Auguste Escoffier, first went to work in Paris at Le Petit Moulin Rouge in 1865, the year the houses on rue Childebert were destroyed. While his definitive “Le Guide Culinaire” encompasses more than 1,000 recipes, he is best known today for his perfection of tomato sauce and inventing Peach Melba. Here are a couple of recipes based on his originals.

Text Only
Features
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Poll

Should a federal judge have the power to strike down Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage?

Yes
No
     View Results
Featured Ads
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks