The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck has been getting a lot of buzz lately. After spending a Saturday absorbed in this novel, I can understand the positive feedback it is getting.
This story features three women: Marianne von Lingenfeld, Benita, and Ania and the way they come together after World War II and work at rebuilding their lives.
Marianne von Lingenfeld's husband had been a resistor, murdered in a failed assassination attempt against Adolf Hitler. She is returning to the family's ancestral home, still standing, although much less impressively, after the war.
She believes she must help other widows of resistors, a promise she made long ago to these men who died. Benita, Marianne's best friends' wife, comes to live with Marianne, and Marianne finds Benita's young son, Martin, and reunites them. Ania, another resistor widow, comes to live with the women along with her two sons.
These three each have their own struggles and secrets. Marianne is concerned with keeping the women together and protect their children as they try to rebuild their lives.
As things unfold, it becomes obvious that now that the war is over, there are some things that have changed, and sides not so easily taken. Marianne doesn't easily forgive, but over time, she must come to terms with the choices people made in times too horrible to imagine.
This is an amazing novel full of real characters with fantastic development that allowed me to understand the choice characters made. There is plenty to think about and discuss in Women in the Castle. This ranks right up there with The Nightingale for anyone looking for a World War II novel.
Thanks to TLC Book Tours for providing a copy of this book for my review. All opinions expressed are, as always, my own.
For more information visit the HarperCollins website.