Chateau of Secrets is a gripping journey into the climax of the World War period mingled with a modern-day story that slowly untangles some mysteries from that time. In 1940s France, Gisele Duchant grapples with the Nazis' intrusive occupation of her historic home, while protecting her brother and his fellow Resistance workers, and caring for the infant daughter of her best friend who has disappeared. In the present day, Gisele's granddaughter Chloe Sauver copes with the sudden severing of her engagement while traveling to the family estate in France to prepare for its role in a documentary film on aspects of the war. During her time at the estate and the making of the film, Chloe uncovers facts about her family history that will forever change how she views it and the grandparents she loves. This story takes hold from the first page and will keep the reader flipping pages swiftly till its conclusion. The setting in the French countryside, the various issues impacting the heart of each woman, and the manner in which each clings to the promises of God throughout make for compelling reading. The storyline of CHATEAU OF SECRETS exposes readers to a little-known aspect of World War II and those who served in its fighting forces. Very highly recommended for aficionados of solid women's fiction, the WWII era, France, or all three!
This story, while fictional, uses the WWII backdrop to tell a beautiful, memorable tale that left me with no choice but to spread the word. I could not put the book down. I cannot recommend this book enough.
I was impressed with Dobson's research, as well as her ability to draw me in and love all of her characters. I came to feel sympathy for Nazis who, by no choice of their own, joined Hitlar's army. I learned things about Nazis that I have never heard before. So moving and so thought-provoking.
I had not read any of Melonie's books before but the story seemed interesting so I gave it a try. She is a very good author. I finished the book on Memorial Weekend which was so appropriate given the theme of the story. I unsually read for a while each day but this book propelled me to the end. It is the kind of story that leaves you wondering about the characters. I will not get into the plot, don't want to spoil it. I will be looking for more for this author.
Chateau of Secrets tells a tale of WWII. We see the resiliency of the French people under the harsh rule of the Nazis, some of the efforts of the French Underground, and an amazing tale of Jewish soldiers in the German army. Gisele has been left to take care of the family chateau. The Nazis decide to commandeer it for their headquarters in the town of Saint-Lo. She must cater to their whims while trying to protect some Jewish children and members of the French Underground.
Chloe is Gisele's granddaughter. She has come to France to guide a documentary filmmaker through the her family's ancestral chateau. Little does Chloe know that there are family stories about which neither she nor her father knew. As Chloe becomes more familiar with the stories of her grandmother's heroism, she begins to examine her values and the plans that she has had for her life.
This is a very interesting tale, going back and forth between Gisele's WWII story and Chloe's modern dilemmas. The story is loosely based on a factual one and the author has brought out some little known information about Jews serving in the German army. This is well worth your time reading if you have any interest in history, especially WWII.
I received this from NetGalley for my honest opinion
First things first. I adore reading, but I am not a big fan of fiction. With that understood, Chateau of Secrets is a lovely read. Melanie Dobson consistently keeps you engaged through masterful transitions between two time periods, 1940 and 2014. With flawlessly written characters, French food, history, romance and suspense, it is a great escape novel.
Practically speaking, I love the shorter chapters as they made it easier to follow between the two time periods and pick up where you left off. I couldn't help but bring the book with me everywhere and read a chapter here and a chapter there. As much as you hate to put it down, you will love to pick it up.
With Chateau being based on a true story, one's expectations are set high. Melanie does not disappoint.
(I received a gratis copy of this novel from Howard for an honest review.)