The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck (5 out of 5)
Haha!! I have found this year’s OTHER WWII novel. Except it’s more centrally set at the END of and AFTER WWII, but I am calling it the same mindset because the event itself directly influences the novel. It’s out now in hardcover, published by the fine folks at William Morrow (Harper Collins). And yes, if you enjoyed “The Nightingale”, you’ll love this one too!
Marianne von Lingenfels returns to the fallen-far-from-glory castle of her dead husband’s ancestors, with steely determination to reunite and protect the wives of her husband’s co-conspirators; the resistance wives. She’s reunited first with 6-year Martin, her friend’s son. Together they trek through the ruins to Germany, to try to find his mother. Marianne then comes across Ania and her boys in a refugee camp. She tries to pull all of her wounded scribe’s into a semblance of a family that has survived an unbelievable time of death and terror, but she soon discovers that as much as they may have in common, her much more privileged past and her own secrets threaten to test and tear their newly created, makeshift family apart. The three women at the forefront must mend the tatters of their new lives and come to terms with life as it is now. An emotionally stunning and heartfelt novel of picking up and relearning how to cope with the remnants of tragedy while trying to glue together pieces of the foregone past. Highly recommended.