Monday, January 26, 2015

Must Read Monday - Chateau of Secrets


Chateau of SecretsChateau of Secrets

By: Melanie Dobson

Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: 4 Stars

Summary:
A courageous young noblewoman risks her life to hide French resistance fighters; seventy years later, her granddaughter visits the family’s abandoned chateau and uncovers shocking secrets from the past. Gisèle Duchant guards a secret that could cost her life. Tunnels snake through the hill under her family’s medieval chateau in Normandy. Now, with Hitler’s army bearing down, her brother and several friends are hiding in the tunnels, resisting the German occupation of France.

But when German soldiers take over the family’s château, Gisèle is forced to host them as well—while harboring the resistance fighters right below their feet. Taking in a Jewish friend’s baby, she convinces the Nazis that it is her child, ultimately risking everything for the future of the child. When the German officers begin to suspect her deception, an unlikely hero rescues both her and the child.

A present day story weaves through the past one as Chloe Sauver, Gisèle’s granddaughter, arrives in Normandy. After calling off her engagement with a political candidate, Chloe pays a visit to the chateau to escape publicity and work with a documentary filmmaker, Riley, who has uncovered a fascinating story about Jews serving in Hitler’s army. Riley wants to research Chloe’s family history and the lives that were saved in the tunnels under their house in Normandy. Chloe is floored—her family isn’t Jewish, for one thing, and she doesn’t know anything about tunnels or the history of the house. But as she begins to explore the dark and winding passageways beneath the chateau, nothing can prepare her for the shock of what she and Riley discover…

My Thoughts:
I love that cover, so I made it a little bigger - doesn't it just look gorgeous to you?

So I read this in one sitting as the internet had gone out and someone had to watch the house while the cable guy took a while to fix it. But it was a very pleasant way to spend a Friday. I was reminded a little of the work of Kate Morton (The Distant Hours, Forgotten Garden and others are all amazing) In that it was a book alternating the story lines from the past and present trying to help families figure out their pasts. It was great to read about France during the occupation, and I feel like because of the book All the Light We Cannot See (I'm currently reading it, review to come) it is a part of history that many people are interested in. 

It discussed the ideas of who are the good guys and the bad guys? And is it still possible to be a good person when circumstances force you into doing things you would rather not?

I found it charming and sweet, with characters who were well written and fleshed out. I loved the growth of both Gisèle and Chloe. However I wasn't entirely content with Chloe's ending. Spoiler*** I wouldn't have had her end up in another relationship so soon after a break up, please just let her move to France and start that home for orphans like her dad wanted, No need for a relationship!!!***Spoiler done.

It was a good novel and one that I think could be good for book clubs to spark up some discussion and debate. 

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