Professional Reader 80% 25 Book Reviews 2016 NetGalley Challenge

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Women in the Castle - Review

The Women in the Castle   🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
by Jessica Shattuck
Published March 28 2017 by William Morrow
Read June 11 2017

I have read so many excellent stories of World War II, and after a while they seem to blend into one another with just a few of them remaining especially memorable.  Also just a few have brought real tears to my eyes as I don't easily cry over books.   This was one, and I already know it is going to be a story I remember and think back on for a long time to come.  The writing is so gorgeous and wrought with emotion, and the characters are so very real and sympathetic.

Marianne is the niece-in-law of a German countess, living in a castle in the woods of Bavaria in 1938, when her husband and best friend from childhood, both men in the German Resistance, fail in an attempt to assassinate Hitler and are themselves killed.  Marianne keeps her promise to her friend to find his wife Benita and son afterwards and keep them safe once the war is over.  Not only does she find them, but another widow named Ania and her children also come to live in the castle.  Ania is quiet and secretive but turns out to be a good housemate, and the three women form a type of life taking care of each other.

Marianne is one with a good heart, and good intentions that will end up going wrong.  The story takes many turns, some quite sad, some just heartbreaking.  Once Ania's true past is revealed about three-fourths into the book, I became glued to the pages.   And from there it just got better and better.  Very powerful and impactful, it delves into how the people who remained in Germany after the war were affected.  Those who were displaced, left with nothing, and those who cared enough to help their fellow citizens.  I also hadn't read many books on the German Resistance, so found that fascinating and relevant.   

I won an ARC copy from LibraryThings that never arrived so then was grateful to obtain a finished copy direct from the publisher.  

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