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The Women in the Castle

Three women haunted by the past and the secrets they holdSet at the end of World War II in a crumbling Bavarian castle that once played host to all of German high society a powerful and propulsive story of three widows whose lives and fates become intertwined an affecting shocking and ultimately redemptive novel from the author of the New York Times Notable Book The Hazards of Good Breeding Amid the ashes of Nazi Germany’s defeat Marianne von Lingenfels returns to the once grand castle of her husband’s ancestors an imposing stone fortress now fallen into ruin following years of war The widow of a resister murdered in the failed July 20 1944 plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler Marianne plans to uphold the promise she made to her husband’s brave conspirators to find and p. 375 ish stars rounded up The Women in the Castle is a riveting novel that hits home with the notion that sometimes it s our shared experiences no matter how horrific rather than our strongly held beliefs or common views of the world that can bind us together and leave a lasting impression Jessica Shattuck takes a different approach with her WWII story opting to relay the devastation through the eyes of three distinct German women Women that stumble and make mistakes along the way like we all do but ultimately strive to find some semblance of a life among the scattered ruins of their bleak existence and the memories of the awful things they witnessed throughout the war not to mention the things they were forced to sacrifice Flat and borderline lifeless it was the pity and heartbreak I felt on behalf of these characters than any sort of likability that kept me interested in their storyAlmost a character in and of itself Burg Ligenfels a remote and decrepit Bavarian castle opens and closes the doors on these women and their journey to peace It all starts with a party in 1938 held at the castle where Marianne s husband Albrecht and her best friend Connie decide it s time to take a stand against Hitler conseuences be damned It s at the same party Marianne vows unbeknownst to them to take care of the wives and children of the resistanceFast forward years after the war and now a widow herself Marianne is taking her role as pseudo resistance mother seriously Despite her determination she only manages to track down Connie s widow Benita and the widow of another resister Ania The three women along with their children settle into Burg Ligenfels and become somewhat of a makeshift family Things aren t easy though their relationships are weighed down by guilt lies and Marianne s unwavering beliefsAs compelling as I found this story to be it wasn t without its faults The author skips huge chunks of time and tries to make up for it by going back and filling in some of the blanks along the way but the delivery is muddled and often confusing There were uite a few times I had to straighten out the timeline in my own head and figure out whose voice which particular chapter pertained to before I could move on Around PART III I felt the story lost a great deal of momentum and teetered on the edge of boring The author gave up the few secrets she held uite easily and too early on making the ending less impactful in my opinion Acceptable and peaceful in some ways but lacking the strong emotional edge I expected from a story of this calibre While I enjoyed this book it didn t come close to dethroning The Nightingale the most remarkable WWII story I have ever read from the mighty pedestal I ve placed it on The women in this story aren t as emotionally adept or as memorable as I found the characters from Sarah s Key to be either For the different take this story provides on WWII I would say it s worth the read and would even go so far to say it s on par with All the Light We Cannot See It s one I m glad I took the time to read but not one I would consider a new favorite in this genre Favorite uote She was her own kind of dreamer a blind mathematician skating along the thin surface of life believing in the saving power of logic reason and information overlooking the whole murky expanse of feeling and animal instinct that was the real driver of human behavior the real author of history Thank you to Bonnier Zaffre and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review

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Past has become infinitely complicated filled with secrets and dark passions that threaten to tear them apart Eventually all three women must come to terms with the choices that have defined their lives before during and after the war each with their own uniue share of challenges Written with the devastating emotional power of The Nightingale Sarah’s Key and The Light Between Oceans Jessica Shattuck’s evocative and utterly enthralling novel offers a fresh perspective on one of the most tumultuous periods in history Combining piercing social insight and vivid historical atmosphere The Women in the Castle is a dramatic yet nuanced portrait of war and its repercussions that explores what it means to survive love and ultimately to forgive in the wake of unimaginable hardshi. NOW AVAILABLE The Women in the Castle begins with the Prologue at Burg Lingenfels site of a Bavarian Castle The year is 1938 setting a picture of the pre war days the Countess s famous harvest party is being assembled organized and hosting this party is Marianne von Lingelfels niece in law of the Countess accompanied by her husband Albrecht her once upon a time professor Hosting the party was like setting up a civilization on the moon But this was part of what kept people coming back despite yearly disasters minor fires and collapsed outhouses fancy touring cars stuck in the mud mice in the overnight guest beds The party had become famous for its anarchic un German atmosphere It was known as an outpost of liberal bohemian culture in the heart of the proper aristocracyAmong the guests are Connie Flederman and his betrothed Benita Gruber Connie has been Marianne s lifelong friend dear to her heart and she is just beginning to take in the reality of Benita when Connie extracts a promise from her to take care of Benita should plans go awry She gives her word In 1945 Marianne returns to Burg Lingenfels with Benita after Marianne has finally found and rescued her The castle is worse for the seven years that have passed since the night of the harvest party Her son Martin has been with Marianne ever since Marianne was able to locate him and bring him home Since that night of the party when Connie declared her commander of wives and children she has taken this role very seriously but her first duty was her promise to Connie to watch over Benita and Martin Still she drew up a list of names names taken from Albrect s journal checking everywhere she could to see if anyone on the list appeared giving names to Herr Peterman so she could be notified when they found anyone And so this is how Ania and her two sons come to join their mismatched family The wife of one of the men who attended the party Pietre Grabarek The one who brought the news of Kristallnacht that evening Their new lives are very different from their old ones much has changed aside from the destruction of the war They ve changed Endured much knowing those who endured worse Lost loved ones lost homes rebuilding lives Surrounded by a new morality the blaming the guilt Hanging onto or trying to hang onto what little is left of hope and belief in goodness and kindness It is heartbreaking but there is love and maybe even a flicker of faith Three women bonded by the place and time by their husbands friendships and eventually through their friendships with each other Friendships that are tested time and again and yet remain No one else could understand what they re endured who they ve become no one else knows their storiesJessica Shattuck s story is a gem a uniue perspective on a story which most of us feel we know fairly well There are so many variations on the theme of the Holocaust but this explores it from a perspective I ve not encountered before All through this narrative Shattuck manages to move effortlessly back and forth through time filling in details from an earlier time as they become relevant to the unfolding of this heartbreaking and heartwarming story Highly recommendedPub Date 28 Mar 2017Many thanks for the ARC provided by William Morrow A Daddy for Christmas repercussions that explores what it means to survive love and ultimately to forgive in the wake of unimaginable hardshi. NOW AVAILABLE The Women in the Castle begins with the Prologue at Burg Lingenfels site of a Bavarian Castle The year is 1938 setting a picture of the pre war days the Countess s famous harvest party is being assembled organized and hosting this party is Marianne von Lingelfels niece in law of the Countess accompanied by her husband Albrecht her once upon a time professor Hosting the party was like setting up a civilization on the moon But this was part of what kept people coming back despite yearly disasters minor fires and collapsed outhouses fancy touring cars stuck in the mud mice in the overnight guest beds The party had become famous for its anarchic un German atmosphere It was known as an outpost of liberal bohemian culture in the heart of the proper aristocracyAmong the guests are Connie Flederman and his betrothed Benita Gruber Connie has been Marianne s lifelong friend dear to her heart and she is just beginning to take in the Banned in Britain reality of Benita when Connie extracts a promise from her to take care of Benita should plans go awry She gives her word In 1945 Marianne Hour of the Beast returns to Burg Lingenfels with Benita after Marianne has finally found and Dictionary Of Dreams rescued her The castle is worse for the seven years that have passed since the night of the harvest party Her son Martin has been with Marianne ever since Marianne was able to locate him and bring him home Since that night of the party when Connie declared her commander of wives and children she has taken this The Love of a Latino role very seriously but her first duty was her promise to Connie to watch over Benita and Martin Still she drew up a list of names names taken from Albrect s journal checking everywhere she could to see if anyone on the list appeared giving names to Herr Peterman so she could be notified when they found anyone And so this is how Ania and her two sons come to join their mismatched family The wife of one of the men who attended the party Pietre Grabarek The one who brought the news of Kristallnacht that evening Their new lives are very different from their old ones much has changed aside from the destruction of the war They ve changed Endured much knowing those who endured worse Lost loved ones lost homes Other Days, Other Eyes rebuilding lives Surrounded by a new morality the blaming the guilt Hanging onto or trying to hang onto what little is left of hope and belief in goodness and kindness It is heartbreaking but there is love and maybe even a flicker of faith Three women bonded by the place and time by their husbands friendships and eventually through their friendships with each other Friendships that are tested time and again and yet Deception Island remain No one else could understand what they The Family re endured who they ve become no one else knows their storiesJessica Shattuck s story is a gem a uniue perspective on a story which most of us feel we know fairly well There are so many variations on the theme of the Holocaust but this explores it from a perspective I ve not encountered before All through this narrative Shattuck manages to move effortlessly back and forth through time filling in details from an earlier time as they become The First Partition of Poland relevant to the unfolding of this heartbreaking and heartwarming story Highly The Hero of Varay recommendedPub Date 28 Mar 2017Many thanks for the ARC provided by William Morrow

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Rotect their wives her fellow resistance widowsFirst Marianne rescues six year old Martin the son of her dearest childhood friend from a Nazi reeducation home Together they make their way across the smoldering wreckage of their homeland to Berlin where Martin’s mother the beautiful and naive Benita has fallen into the hands of occupying Red Army soldiers Then she locates Ania another resister’s wife and her two boys now refugees languishing in one of the many camps that house the millions displaced by the war As Marianne assembles this makeshift family from the ruins of her husband’s resistance movement she is certain their shared pain and circumstances will hold them together But she uickly discovers that the black and white highly principled world of her privileged. I started reading this a couple of days after Holocaust Remembrance Day and on that day I thought about how it should be remembered than on just one day each year This is why I really believe that reading books about WWII and the Holocaust is so important This book certainly made me remember the horrors of what happened during WWII but this was from a perspective that we are not used to reading from The war and what happened to so many looms in the background but is always there The focus in this novel is on the German resistors who believed that what Hitler and the Nazis were doing was horrific and immoral Their belief was so strong that they thought the only way to stop him was to assassinate him Their failed attempt resulted in their executions But this is the story not of the bold brave German resistors but of the wives and children left behind The three women here are each bold and brave in their own ways but yet each has their own flaws as well Their lives become intertwined after the war Marianne von Lingenfels is told by her best friend Connie You are appointed the commander of wives and children She definitely becomes their commander as she finds Connie s wife Benita and their son Martin Ania and her children survivors of another resistor An old castle belonging to Marianne s husband s family becomes their place of refuge With chapters that move around in time the lives of these women unfold and it becomes clear to the reader but not necessarily to Marianne that these two women have secrets and pasts that are very different than the privileged life she led before the war Their stories are chilling at times and Marianne s efforts to save and protect them although in good faith seem a bit heavy handed What this novel has brilliantly done is depict the lives of these women before the war in the flashback chapters and of course afterwards giving a view on the Germans that I have not often read about Their relationships are complex and the story is heartbreaking at times It spans a period of time over 50 years and even to the end it is apparent what the war has done these people It s a well written and captivating story I received an advanced copy of this book from HarperCollins through Edelweiss


10 thoughts on “The Women in the Castle

  1. says:

    Suddenly she saw everything in its harsh naked state She felt the pulse of the lives lived inside the mean little house she passed selfish or generous kind or unkind ugly or tolerable almost all of them sad And she saw th

  2. says:

    The storytelling grabs you IMMEDIATELY I LOVE ITThis tour de force of historical imagination is set primarily in Germany before during and after WWII focusing on the lives of three women and their children You'll meet Marianne The Commander of the wives and Children Marianne was married to Albreht Von Lingenfels from a long line

  3. says:

    375 ish stars rounded up The Women in the Castle is a riveting novel that hits home with the notion that sometime

  4. says:

    At the end of World War II Marianne von Lingenfels tracks down her childhood friend Connie Flederman's son Martin and his wife Benita Marianne had made Connie a promise to take care of his family if anything happened to him Her husband Albrecht and Connie as well as various others had been a part of a plot to try and assassinate Hitler tha

  5. says:

    For all the horror of the official reports she and Albrecht had seen with their language of extermination and elimination they could not come close to conjuring this How could they? There was no point of reference Later such footage would come to be so familiar it became unseen a kind of placeholder for human evil The firs

  6. says:

    I started reading this a couple of days after Holocaust Remembrance Day and on that day I thought about how it should be remembered than on just one day each year This is why I really believe that reading books about WWII and the Holocaust is so important This book certainly made me remember the horrors of what happened during WWII but thi

  7. says:

    Captivated initially by the premise and cover but disappointed in the historical detail delivered This book just wasn't what I was hoping for Set at the end of World War II in a crumbling Bavarian castle that once played host to all of German high society This is the story of Three women haunted by the past and the secrets they holdI was really looking forward to a strong historical fiction novel with good character development a

  8. says:

    I found this to be a dramatic and an uniuely told story that gave me a new understanding and a different perspective on thi

  9. says:

    NOW AVAILABLE The Women in the Castle begins with the Prologue at Burg Lingenfels site of a Bavarian Castle The year is 1938 setting a picture of the pre war days the Countess’s famous harvest party is being assembled organized and hosting

  10. says:

    Three women Marianne Benita and Ania from different walks of life but all have one thing in common They have survived the holocaust the plot to kill Hitler which took two of their husbands and for Ania the evil in which she found herself involved It is the immediate aftermath in Bavaria of this terrible and horrific time a promise made by Marianne will bring these women and their children together where they now must depend on e

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