“It was a secret as small as a leaf. It belonged only to her.”
Greta was born into the elite financial family Goldbaum and wants for nothing in life until she is forced to marry a distant cousin and realizes love may be completely out of her reach in House of Gold. Her one faithful companion, her brother Otto, must stay in Austria while she heads to London. Her husband, Alfred, is surprised when she write the night before their wedding asking him to call it off due to all her faults and the lack of love between them. He declines until right before the wedding when he clears the room and offers her the choice. Freedom is within reach, but his actions slightly endear him to her and she goes forward with the wedding and must learn for forge a life with a stranger.
I came across House of Gold while looking through available book in NetGalley. The plot looked really interesting. Historical fiction books are my favorite and I don’t come across many that are set during the World War I time period. This is the first book I’ve read by Natasha Solomons.
The first half of the book focuses on the relationship between Greta and Alfred and then moves on to how the Goldbaum family is affected by the start of World War I. The Goldbaums own large banks and while they have tried to stay apolitical through the years, the war tears at their family and country loyalties. Greta must rise to the occasion of a Goldbaum wife, but finds solace and independence in her own garden. Even she is tested by the war, though, in ways she never would have imagined.
I enjoyed reading House of Gold and read through it fairly quickly. I wanted to know if and how Greta and Alfred were going to get along. The ending is satisfying, but could have gone a little further in their story. The book is for adults as there are some descriptive romantic scenes and war scenes. Lovers of historical fiction will love this view of the world before the First Great War when some families had extravagant wealth.