Melanie Dobson weaves together two storylines in the Chateau of Secrets, the modern day and a tale of seventy-years ago. Our modern day tale is centered around Chloe Salvare, a school teacher that has just had her world tossed upside down and her hunt to figure out what happened at her families Château during WWII. Chloe wonders what transpired that has kept her grandmother's lips (Gisèle aka Mémé) sealed for so long and her father scared to go back.
I found the present day story of Chloe's life to be a bit predictable, and wished we could spend more time in Mémé's world during WWII. Both storylines stand on their own, just as they also complement each other. I, by the simple nature of enjoying history, am more compelled by the historical aspect of Gisèle's story. Gisèle is the star of the story, you will easily find yourself rooting for her and her efforts during the German occupation of not only her homeland but her home. Gisele highlights the stories of love, courage and sacrifice that faced those left behind to serve the Nazi's. She is forced to understand how and why someone might choose to march to Hitler's orders rather than stand and fight. Dobson has done a good job of pulling you into the trenches with Gisèle, you can picture yourself standing next to her as she meets each new day and new challenge with the determination to carry forward and do what she can to protect the lives of
Dobson drew inspiration from the real life of Genevieve de Saint Pern Menke and her efforts during the war at the Château d’Agneaux. Visit Dobson's blog for a few pictures of Genevieve, the Château and a synopsis of the real inspiration. Gisèle is very strong and unwavering in her faith as she fights to live and lives to fight each day. Chloe on the other hand needs to find a balance in her life, what is her heart of hearts telling her about the new future she must choose.
This was my first Dobson novel, however, after exploring her other novels I plan to look into the two novels she wrote for the American Tapestries series, Where the Trail Ends and The Courier of Caswell Hall.
Release date: May 13, 2014
Hardcover Edition: 978-1476746111
Kindle Edition: B00DPM7TN6
FTC disclosure: I received an unedited advanced reader copy of this book to review from the publisher Howard Books a division of Simon & Schuster. I was not financially compensated by the publisher, Edelweiss or the author. (via Edelweiss).
Title: Chateau of Secrets
Author: Melanie Dobson
Publisher: Howard Books; (2014)
Source: Personal Library (ARC)
Format Read: Advanced Reader PDF from publisher
Genres/Subjects: Historical Fiction, WWII, Faith
[Notice: Original posting 2014-05-25 at Plethora of Books Blog: http://bookchallenges.weebly.com]
Tags: 2014, ARC, Historical Fiction