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Chateau of Secrets by Melanie Dobson

Title:  Chateau of Secrets
Author:  Melanie Dobson
Pages:  371
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Howard Books
Fantastic!  Wonderful!  A definite must read!  These are all words or phrases that briefly describe my opinion of this novel.  The novel has two storylines going at the same time, one set in present day and one beginning in 1940 and continuing until the Allies expel the Nazis from France some time in 1944.  The story alternates chapters between Chloe and Gisele.  While this story is fiction, it is based on a real person’s life and her heroism is to be greatly commended.
Chloe Sauver is engaged to the challenger for Virginia’s governor’s seat.  She has been coached on how to act, what to say and even how to position her body and face when answering questions.  She believes she is in love and that her fiancé loves her in return.  That is until she discovers something about him that causes her to rethink their relationship.  She goes to France to the family castle or chateau to do an interview for a documentary on WWII.  Her French grandmother, Gisele, is in the end stages of Alzheimer’s and has never talked very much about the war she lived through.  While Chloe is in France, she learns more about her grandmother, her family and what others suffered at the hands of the Nazis.  She also begins to spend time with Riley, the man who is creating the documentary, and sees what a good Christian man he has been transformed into.
Gisele Duchant is a young college graduate who lives in a marvelous home that has been in her family for over 300 years.  The chateau is a place of security and safety that is until her father is murdered and the Germans come to town.  The Nazis decide to make the chateau their headquarters in the area and to have Gisele work for them by feeding them and cleaning up after them.  Meanwhile, Gisele’s younger brother is head of the local French Resistance movement and is in hiding from the Nazis.  Gisele takes food to help support him and his men.  Gisele’s best friend is deported and leaves behind her baby daughter, who Gisele takes in and cares for at great danger to herself.  Gisele is a strong Catholic and relies on her faith in God to provide answers.
There are many themes prevalent throughout the story such as redemption, heroism, courage, bravery, succeeding against all odds, being willing to lay down one’s life for another, and allowing God to transform ugliness in to beauty to name a few.  I had no idea that there were Jewish men who served in the German Army during WWII.  I learned some interesting history about France.  I was thoroughly immersed in this story from beginning to end and was easily able to relate to the emotions and fears of characters in the story.  Melanie did a fantastic job of drawing me in to the story, keeping me intrigued and providing a wonderful ending.  Please get a copy and enjoy this fabulous story for yourself!
My rating is 5 stars.

Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/.  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457
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