Monday, July 21, 2014

Chateau of Secrets

Title: Chateau of Secrets
Author: Melanie Dobson
Publisher: Howard
Pages: 400
ISBN: 978-4767-4611-1
Publication Date: May 13th, 2014

Synopsis:
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…

With emotion and intrigue, Melanie Dobson brings World War II France to life in this beautiful novel about war, family, sacrifice, and the secrets of the past.
Review: 
I was introduced to Melanie Dobson's books last year during a blog tour and I thoroughly enjoyed reading her story. She has a wonderful writing story that just flows and brings you right on into the book.

I was eagerly anticipating Chateau of Secrets from the moment I read the synopsis. I've really gotten into to WW2 era stories, so to have that mixed with a mystery and the granddaughter of our WW2 heroine has to uncover had me sold. I loved the two perspectives of the story and how well they played out together. Gisele played out like a normal novel did in the second person, while Chloe's played out in the first. Each gave a definition to their part in history.

I loved the setting. Can you ever go wrong with France as your background? No!

Gisele and Chloe each faced struggles, very different, but hard struggles to each of them. Their connection not only by family, but by the ancestral home in France. Gisele lived there most of her life till after the war and fled to America, then Chloe visits as an adult at the request of her parents. Even though you think you leave your former life behind, it doesn't always stay hidden.

I enjoyed reading about Chloe, she had to make tough decisions and face public ridicule, but she pushes forward and refuses to give into pressure. She takes a stand for herself and was a good lead in this story. Her story is that of one lived daily today by many women who give in and live a miserable life, but Chloe refuses to budge on what she desires in life.

Gisele was another strong woman lead. She had to face the Nazis as they over took her home and made it headquarters, all while protecting those around her with a Jewish background and the French resistance. She had to walk a fine line that ended up being harder then imagined, but she was able to survive with the help of someone she never could have imagined, nor how it would shape her family.

The secrets that are buried in Gisele and Chloe's family was fun and interesting to uncover. The story took several twists and turns I didn't see coming. I love when that happens!

Too Read!
5 out of 5

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