Read-along Discussion: The House at Tyneford by Natasha Solomons, part three


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?

This entry was posted in read-alongs and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Read-along Discussion: The House at Tyneford by Natasha Solomons, part three

  1. Marg
    Twitter: MargReads
    says:

    I agree, it does appear that the relationship between Elise and Mr Rivers is developing into something more. She has noticed him a bit too much really. In some ways, he may well have more in common with Elise, but he would have to be too old wouldn’t he? I don’t know about Kit coming back though!

    My thoughts about this week’s section have now been posted

  2. irene says:

    I too had some looking up of words to do, those that you did. Thanks for posting those. Elise’s first night at Tyneford, when she went outside and washed her hair and met Mr. Rivers, I thought immediately ooooh a love story. I do hope Kit returns before it becomes a triangle, how awful would that be. But, in my heart of hearts I don’t think he will. I actually think perhaps Mr. Rivers will end up enlisting in some capacity. And Elise will loose him as well. And I do believe that Elise will never see her parents again. I keep wanting to sing that song by Mary MacGregor, Torn Between Two Lovers. http://youtu.be/w1F5BLLFAeM

  3. Suey
    Twitter: sueysays
    says:

    I actually won’t be bothered at all if she gets with Mr. Rivers. I think it would be good for them both. BUT, to then have Kit came back? Wow… that would be crazy. Yes, it has crossed my mind though.

    Thanks for the word explanations!

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Suey – I can’t comment too much as I read ahead and finished the book after writing this post – I couldn’t stop! I will say that I very much liked the ending. :)

  4. Suey
    Twitter: sueysays
    says:

    Oh, I’m back with a link to my “read along catch up” post. :)

  5. Kate Kane says:

    Thanks for the descriptions of the food items, although I think I fancied the ones I made up in my head a bit more – lol. Before, all I could do was identify with Elise’s cravings for a rich blended coffee over tea, and now, I’m able to understand a bit more of how food alone could make her homesick.
    I wouldn’t mind if Elise decides to be with Mr. Rivers and then have Kit come back from the dead, but I just hope that something unpredictable comes along. Does she even know his first name? Have I poured my evening glass a little too heavy and missed this? Needless to say, I can’t wait to see what happens with this awkward triangle!

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Kate – he’s Christopher, too. Kit is Christopher Rivers, Jr. :) And, yes, the change in the food would be so hard to get used to! There’s nothing that could turn me into a tea drinker.

  6. ibeeeg says:

    Busy week, sorry about my late arrival.

    I really enjoyed this post. I love looking up historical and cultural tid-bits – usually they are very interesting. The drinks do not sound too bad, but maybe too thick. Sounds like an elite type drink for the times because I suspect it would be casual drinking. I did not look up anything for this book because I plowed through so quickly and did not want to take the time to do so, plus my note taking was left at the wayside too. I must say, the dandelion clocks is very intriguing – thanks for that bit.

    Predictions…I cannot give any because I am done with the book,but I must say that I was not surprised at all by how things turned out, and I was satisfied. I thought it was fitting and ohhhh…i so cannot wait to discuss it next week. I am sure we may have varying opinoins.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Deanna – I also finished it – as soon as I stopped long enough to write this post! – and I really cannot wait to hear what everyone thinks of how things turned out!