Welcome to our third read-along discussion of The House at Tyneford by Natasha Solomons. If you’re following our schedule, you should have read through Chapter 21. (Read our previous discussions: part one and part two.)
Spoiler warning: We will be discussing the first twenty-one chapters of The House at Tyneford in detail, both in this post and the comments section.
I am having a very hard time not reading ahead at this point – less than 100 pages to go! I thought for our discussion post this week, I’d go in two directions: unfamiliar terms and predictions.
First, unfamiliar terms. I have been looking up some of the terms I have come across in The House at Tyneford in order to clarify for myself, and thought I would share with you what I’ve found. First of all, I came across the website Historic Food, which is full of all kinds of useful information! I looked up two food items that were mentioned in the book, syllabubs and possets.
syllabub: milk or cream that is curdled with an acid beverage (as wine or cider) and often sweetened and served as a drink or topping or thickened with gelatin and served as a dessert.
posset: a hot drink of sweetened and spiced milk curdled with ale or wine
I was also curious as to what Elise was referring to when she ran and said that her “plimsolls” were soaked. Turns out “plimsolls” are sneakers.
Lastly, I was curious about the scene where they talk about “dandelion clocks.” I could tell by the description that they were referring to the dandelions that are puffy with seeds, but I was curious as to why they are called a “clock.” I asked Spellbinder author Helen Stringer, who has been gracious in answering questions about the British terms mentioned in her books as I’ve read them aloud to the kids, and here’s what she had to say: “Tt’s related to blowing the seeds. When it’s gone all puffy and white, you pick them and blow. The number of puffs it takes to blow them all away is supposed to relate to the time.”
Were there any terms that I missed that you had to look up or were curious about?
Next, I thought we’d talk about predictions for the rest of the book. I think none of us are surprised that Elise has yet to be reunited with her parents, and it doesn’t look like that will happen at all.
I have a terrible premonition about how Elise and Kit’s story is going to end. As we have left it, Elise and Mr. Rivers both believe Kit is dead. I have a terrible feeling that they are going to fall into a romantic relationship, partially to console each other in their shared grief, and then Kit is going to return home, very much alive. That’s my prediction.
Do you have any predictions about what’s going to happen next?