The Women in the Castle - Jessica Shattuck

The Women in the Castle

By Jessica Shattuck

  • Release Date: 2017-03-28
  • Genre: Literary
The Women in the Castle book review score

4 Score: 4 (From 255 Ratings)

The Women in the Castle Jessica Shattuck Book Review Score: ★★★★★ 5/5 stars


GoodReads Choice Awards Semifinalist 

"Moving . . . a plot that surprises and devastates."—New York Times Book Review

"A masterful epic."—People magazine

"Mesmerizing . . . The Women in the Castle stands tall among the literature that reveals new truths about one of history’s most tragic eras."—USA Today

Three women, haunted by the past and the secrets they hold

Set 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 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 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 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. 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 unique 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 hardship.

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User reviews about this book

  • Thought Provoking

    By Jobo238
    I am a fan of history and particularly fiction-based on fact historical novels. I found this novel compelling and saw some similarities between politics than and now. How politicians today deliver rhetoric that blames our problems on another ethnic group. How they rev up nationalism at someone else’s expense. A cautionary tale for those of us who are far removed from the events that took place in early 20th century Germany. I could feel for each of the characters. No one was perfect in this story; each had her/his demons, which made them that much more relatable. It was well-written, kept me interested and I was sorry when it ended.
  • The Women in the Castle

    By SPBerko
    Well written historic novel.
  • Love this book

    By Jam13839
    You should read this book.

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