Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

Summary from Good Reads

     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 resistor 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 protect their wives, her fellow resistance widows. 

First, 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 naïve Benita, has fallen into the hands of occupying Red Army soldiers. Then she locates Ania, another resistor’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 quickly discovers that the black-and-white, highly principled world of her privileged past has become infinitely more complicated, filled with secrets and dark passions that threaten to tear them apart.

My Thoughts:

     I enjoy a good World War II historical fiction and this book has been hyped in some circles as being a good one.  I was looking forward to reading it and seeing a different side of the effects of WWII.  This story wasn’t what I was expecting. 
     I was expecting a very Girl Power story of hardship and female friendship as these women fought to stay together and provide for their children after their lives had been torn apart.  Mostly this was various stories from before, during and after the war of where the women came from, how they ended up at the castle and how they dealt with post-war problems. 

     While the writing is good I was left wanting more especially from Marianne von Lingenfels story.  Also, I never really felt that I had a chance to connect with anyone specific character or feel anything for them.  For me most of the characters were a bit cold and unlikable with the exception of Martin, whom I felt empathy for all the way through the book.     

This one just wasn't for me:  2/5 Stars

Author's site:

No comments:

Post a Comment