For readers who might be interested, here's a link to my Goodreads review of Tatiana de Rosnay's The House I Loved. I don't normally write about history or fiction, but this book moved me to write down some thoughts. It's a story of Paris in the 1860s, and obviously not directly related to travel, international education, or cultural exchange. Yet I think perhaps there's an indirect connection. It reminded me how a place we visit isn't just the scene in front of you -- in the case of Paris, the city isn't just the city you see today. To understand a place, you need to know more.
You can find out more about Tatiana de Rosnay and her other books on her author page at Goodreads.
Laura, thanks for alerting me to your review! This story about what modernization and renovation – or neighborhood reclamation – does is timeless. Here, in St. Paul, Minnesota, we celebrate Rondo Days to commemorate an African American neighborhood that was destroyed when the much needed freeway I-94 was routed through the Rondo neighborhood. Another route was also considered and it is thought that dividing the Rondo neighborhood served a double purpose by disempowering African American community.
Thanks, Reva, for your thoughts. Your example is another good one. I think it is too easy for us to forget how the past weaves into the present and future of our surroundings. We talk about learning from history, but how that history affects current culture is also ignored! Things we need to pay more attention to….