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Named one of 2021's Most Anticipated Historical Novels by Oprah Magazine ∙ Cosmo ∙ PopSugar ∙ SheReads ∙ Parade ∙ and more! An epic saga from New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Dray based on the true story of an extraordinary castle in the heart of France and the remarkable women bound by its legacy. Most castles are protected by men. This one by women. A founding m Named one of 2021's Most Anticipated Historical Novels by Oprah Magazine ∙ Cosmo ∙ PopSugar ∙ SheReads ∙ Parade ∙ and more! An epic saga from New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Dray based on the true story of an extraordinary castle in the heart of France and the remarkable women bound by its legacy. Most castles are protected by men. This one by women. A founding mother... 1774. Gently-bred noblewoman Adrienne Lafayette becomes her husband, the Marquis de Lafayette's political partner in the fight for American independence. But when their idealism sparks revolution in France and the guillotine threatens everything she holds dear, Adrienne must renounce the complicated man she loves, or risk her life for a legacy that will inspire generations to come. A daring visionary... 1914. Glittering New York socialite Beatrice Chanler is a force of nature, daunted by nothing--not her humble beginnings, her crumbling marriage, or the outbreak of war. But after witnessing the devastation in France firsthand, Beatrice takes on the challenge of a lifetime: convincing America to fight for what's right. A reluctant resistor... 1940. French school-teacher and aspiring artist Marthe Simone has an orphan's self-reliance and wants nothing to do with war. But as the realities of Nazi occupation transform her life in the isolated castle where she came of age, she makes a discovery that calls into question who she is, and more importantly, who she is willing to become. Intricately woven and powerfully told, The Women of Chateau Lafayette is a sweeping novel about duty and hope, love and courage, and the strength we take from those who came before us.


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Named one of 2021's Most Anticipated Historical Novels by Oprah Magazine ∙ Cosmo ∙ PopSugar ∙ SheReads ∙ Parade ∙ and more! An epic saga from New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Dray based on the true story of an extraordinary castle in the heart of France and the remarkable women bound by its legacy. Most castles are protected by men. This one by women. A founding m Named one of 2021's Most Anticipated Historical Novels by Oprah Magazine ∙ Cosmo ∙ PopSugar ∙ SheReads ∙ Parade ∙ and more! An epic saga from New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Dray based on the true story of an extraordinary castle in the heart of France and the remarkable women bound by its legacy. Most castles are protected by men. This one by women. A founding mother... 1774. Gently-bred noblewoman Adrienne Lafayette becomes her husband, the Marquis de Lafayette's political partner in the fight for American independence. But when their idealism sparks revolution in France and the guillotine threatens everything she holds dear, Adrienne must renounce the complicated man she loves, or risk her life for a legacy that will inspire generations to come. A daring visionary... 1914. Glittering New York socialite Beatrice Chanler is a force of nature, daunted by nothing--not her humble beginnings, her crumbling marriage, or the outbreak of war. But after witnessing the devastation in France firsthand, Beatrice takes on the challenge of a lifetime: convincing America to fight for what's right. A reluctant resistor... 1940. French school-teacher and aspiring artist Marthe Simone has an orphan's self-reliance and wants nothing to do with war. But as the realities of Nazi occupation transform her life in the isolated castle where she came of age, she makes a discovery that calls into question who she is, and more importantly, who she is willing to become. Intricately woven and powerfully told, The Women of Chateau Lafayette is a sweeping novel about duty and hope, love and courage, and the strength we take from those who came before us.

30 review for The Women of Chateau Lafayette

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kate Quinn

    This is bold, exciting historical fiction: not a steady biographical march along a timeline in the past, but an imaginative splicing of three historical time periods linked by place (a French castle) and theme (the centuries-long fight for democratic ideals). Our heroines are a WWII schoolteacher turned resistance fighter, a WWI socialite turned diplomatic powerhouse, and a French revolutionary turned American Founding Mother, all linked by the home and legacy of America's favorite fighting Fren This is bold, exciting historical fiction: not a steady biographical march along a timeline in the past, but an imaginative splicing of three historical time periods linked by place (a French castle) and theme (the centuries-long fight for democratic ideals). Our heroines are a WWII schoolteacher turned resistance fighter, a WWI socialite turned diplomatic powerhouse, and a French revolutionary turned American Founding Mother, all linked by the home and legacy of America's favorite fighting Frenchman, Lafayette. A sensationally ambitious novel by Stephanie Dray, who pulls out every trick in her quiver to paint on a canvas this large, and makes it work, too. I had a chance to read this in draft form and ARC form for a cover quote, and I'd have loved this book whether I was friends with the author or not. Don't miss it!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kerrin P

    The Women of Chateau Lafayette by Stephanie Dray is a sweeping story about three women who guarded the Chavaniac castle where Gilbert du Motier, better known as the Marquis de Lafayette, was born on September 6, 1757. While the stories about each woman could have easily been the subject of its own novel, Dray expertly weaves them together to show the reader how the “spirit of Lafayette” inspired each of them. Adrienne de Noailles was only 14 years old when she wed the 17-year-old Lafayette in 177 The Women of Chateau Lafayette by Stephanie Dray is a sweeping story about three women who guarded the Chavaniac castle where Gilbert du Motier, better known as the Marquis de Lafayette, was born on September 6, 1757. While the stories about each woman could have easily been the subject of its own novel, Dray expertly weaves them together to show the reader how the “spirit of Lafayette” inspired each of them. Adrienne de Noailles was only 14 years old when she wed the 17-year-old Lafayette in 1774. While it was an arranged marriage, Adrienne was deeply devoted to Lafayette. She supported his fighting in both America and the French Revolution. She was known as a kind, gentle woman with the courage of a lion. Beatrice Chanler, a former comedic stage actress who married the wealthy adventurer William Astor Chanler, was a real-life war relief worker. Along with Mr. J.C. Moffat, she formed the French Heroes Lafayette Memorial Fund to purchase Chateau Lafayette. The Lafayette Preventorium hired physicians, nurses, and teachers to care for and educate underprivileged and sick children. Author Dray was able to learn a great deal about this beautiful and fascinating woman when one of Beatrice’s grandsons shared family letters with her. Chanler was the only person to make seven war-time sea crossings to aid in relief efforts. She earned numerous awards for her philanthropic work including being decorated as a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor. The third woman of Chateau Lafayette and the only fictional character is Marthe Simone, an orphan who was brought to the Preventorium by Beatrice as a child. While she longs to be an artist, Marthe is a teacher at the castle during World War II. Marthe is a tough character who reluctantly becomes part of the French resistance. She is constantly inspired by the strength of the women who have gone before her. 5-Stars. Book club recommended. While I have never been one to really enjoy LONG books, I loved this one. I listened to the Audible which is 23 hours and 55 minutes. The hardcover is 576 pages. I think it would have been even better if it had been a trilogy so the reader could enjoy even more about each of the three women.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)

    Behind Every good man is a good woman, they say. However, what the saying should often say is next to every good man is often a good woman and, in Stephanie Dray's book, The Women of Chateau Lafayette, we met three of the most diligent, faithful, and courageous women one would care to meet. Brilliantly written with exhaustive research this book will make you keenly aware of the lengths and depths women went to work for freedom, deliverance, and a world where salvation and the right to life is on Behind Every good man is a good woman, they say. However, what the saying should often say is next to every good man is often a good woman and, in Stephanie Dray's book, The Women of Chateau Lafayette, we met three of the most diligent, faithful, and courageous women one would care to meet. Brilliantly written with exhaustive research this book will make you keenly aware of the lengths and depths women went to work for freedom, deliverance, and a world where salvation and the right to life is one granted to all. How Ms Dray connects these women to the chateau forms the basis of the story which scans many generations. it was masterfully done and a tribute not only to the author but also to these gallant women who never gave up, never succumbed to the evil around them, but kept on pushing through to establish what was good and right. There was Adrienne Lafayette, a quiet noble woman soon to become the bride of Marquis de Lafayette, who faces so many hardships and tragedies in her life. She sees her beloved husband go off to the soon to be new country that would become America, to fight for this burgeoning nation's freedom from an oftentimes cruel oppressor. She supports him fully as well as the principles she witnesses emerging from this new nation and waits patiently for his return knowing each day he might be killed. She witnesses the emerging hatred for the nobility in Paris, ready to explode in the soon to come bloody and heartless French revolution and once again shows not only her compassion and love, holding her family together, helping those in need, and worrying about her husband who has been thrown into prison. Coming so close to the guillotine herself, she learns that her grandmother, mother, and sister have been put to death and decided to follow her husband to prison. Begging for this to happen she brings her daughters with her and when permission is granted, she finally is able to be with the man she loves. Her beautiful spirit and nature make her beloved by the people of the countryside near the chateau, as she steps forward to counsel, give aid, and cherish all people. What a truly remarkable woman who started out being meek and mild but became a voice of reason and love! There is Beatrice Chandler, a woman of the 1900's who despite coming from very humble beginnings, becomes the wife of wealthy and handsome, William A. Chandler, (the A standing for Astor). Beatrice was a modern woman, a showgirl for a time already being once married and divorced at a very young age, definitely scandalous in that age. Yet she was bright, bold, and daring, standing up for what she thought to be just, a fighter, a woman who let nothing stand in her way. Left adrift by her husband, who often took himself off to various place around the globe, she made her own way sometimes leaving her sons at home. When Beatrice had to face up to the war, she takes power in herself and turns the chateau into a children's hospital where she is also able to hide Jewish children. She meets and falls in love with a dashing French soldier, but even their love for each other, can't stop the powerful forces that move within Beatrice. There is Marthe Simone, an orphan raised in the Chateau, reluctant to fight the winds of war, but finds herself, her strength, courage and resilience so needed in the times she faces. She becomes the young woman she was destined to be. This powerful story, is long and detailed with precision and grace. It will bring these three women's lives together within the walls of the Chateau that they loved. If you love reading about forceful, tenacious, and strong women, set upon a difficult course in the times they lived, I heartily recommend this book to you.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Susan Meissner

    Brilliantly executed and unforgettable. I loved it!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

    To be perfectly honest if I hadn't recieved this book as an ARC I'm not sure I would have finished it. And it is a really great historical fiction/ biography of a couple of women from history. Unfortunately more often than not the historical stories that people are intrigued by and want to read about involve scandal. Two of the three storylines involve infidelity and the third story (the only one that was true fiction and could have been anything the author wanted) was the worst: an engaged woma To be perfectly honest if I hadn't recieved this book as an ARC I'm not sure I would have finished it. And it is a really great historical fiction/ biography of a couple of women from history. Unfortunately more often than not the historical stories that people are intrigued by and want to read about involve scandal. Two of the three storylines involve infidelity and the third story (the only one that was true fiction and could have been anything the author wanted) was the worst: an engaged woman has "feelings" for a married woman. If that kind of thing will bother you this isn't the book for you. On to the actual story. It was truly well written and a fascinating look into history. I didn't know much about Lafayette before reading this book and nothing about his wife. I also thought it was amazing that someone who fought so hard for liberty would have his ancestral home someday used as an orphanage and a place to help rescue Jewish children during WWII. I think he would have been proud. Adrienne was truly a woman of great faith and principle. To go through all that she went through and still stick by her husband's side to the very end! Amazing! Beatrice was a very colorful woman. Full of life and courage. She was probably my favorite storyline to read of the three. I've also read Stephanie Dray's novel America's First Daughter. I liked it better than this one and would recommend it if you like historical biography fiction. This one was good too if you don't mind reading about the above mentioned scandals. Some swearing, infidelity, and violence.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Renee Rosen

    This one deserves 6 stars or more. Seriously!! This is a masterpiece of historical fiction. And I don't say that lightly. Stephanie Dray has created an all-encompassing saga spanning three wars with three unforgettable women at its core. The immense scope of research, so seamlessly infused into Dray’s stunning prose, is mind-blowing. I simply can’t say enough good things about this brilliant novel. This one deserves 6 stars or more. Seriously!! This is a masterpiece of historical fiction. And I don't say that lightly. Stephanie Dray has created an all-encompassing saga spanning three wars with three unforgettable women at its core. The immense scope of research, so seamlessly infused into Dray’s stunning prose, is mind-blowing. I simply can’t say enough good things about this brilliant novel.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Hupe

    Thank you to Berkley Books, Stephanie Dray, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book! Adrienne Lafayette: 1774 Beatrice Chanler: 1914 Marthe Simone: 1940 Extraordinary women in extraordinary times. The Women of Chateau Lafayette by Stephanie Dray intertwines the stories of Adrienne, Beatrice, and Marthe and their connection to one place. Everyone knows of the Marquis de Lafayette…dare I say it… “The Lancelot of the Revolutionary set!” I can’t promise that will be my only Hamilton referenc Thank you to Berkley Books, Stephanie Dray, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book! Adrienne Lafayette: 1774 Beatrice Chanler: 1914 Marthe Simone: 1940 Extraordinary women in extraordinary times. The Women of Chateau Lafayette by Stephanie Dray intertwines the stories of Adrienne, Beatrice, and Marthe and their connection to one place. Everyone knows of the Marquis de Lafayette…dare I say it… “The Lancelot of the Revolutionary set!” I can’t promise that will be my only Hamilton reference, but I will try to control myself. Anyway. Everyone knows the man who helped America win the Revolutionary War and who was determined to bring the same freedom to his country. But what do you know about his wife? It turns out that there would be no Marquis de Lafayette without Adrienne. The name of Lafayette has a legacy, even in the year 1914 after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and the beginning of The Great War. America isn’t in the war yet, but that doesn’t stop Beatrice from doing her part. War then comes again to France in 1940 when a young artist watches as Nazi Germany takes over France. These women are all connected by the great fortress of Lafayette. A fortress that stands for freedom. History comes alive in this multi-layered epic. I love that we get to see women and their impacts on history. Adrienne and Beatrice did exist in history. But unfortunately, Marthe was not real, but she is inspiring and a representative of the woman who did all they could to stand up to humanity. Adrienne often gets lost in history with her husband’s reputation. When Lafayette is fighting for America, Adrienne is working hard for his dream at home. Their work will trigger The French Revolution. I love reading about The French Revolution. Stephanie Dray really focuses her history on the utter chaos during The Reign of Terror. But I can’t help but see all the parallels that we can see to present-day issues. Now, can I get a novel about her children??? Anastasie was MAGNIFICENT and we only get a glimpse of her. This book was originally supposed to focus on just Adrienne but the author’s research led her to expand the book. While I LOVED Beatrice and Marthe, I kind of wish this was a series. This way we could have the full focus on Adrienne. There were moments where I felt her get lost, just like in history. BUT goodness. Beatrice dazzles. I could have done without all the back and forth with her husband and her captain. But I could see myself being her best friend! This book definitely inspired me to look more into her. Then Marthe. I love how her history is just as unknown as her future in a Nazi-occupied France. But sorry Marthe, you don’t deserve Travert. His development made me completely love him!—At first, I was not sure. Anyway, this book is long and some moments may seem drawn out, but stay the course. This book is emotional and inspirational! I rate this book of 4 out of 5 stars!

  8. 5 out of 5

    SueK

    This felt like a really, really long book. It was interesting, but for some reason, very difficult to keep straight the three women of the three time periods. I almost wish I’d read the authors notes at the end before I read the book, as it outlined each woman separately, giving some chronology to their experiences, rather than flipping back and forth between women and time periods constantly. I was most interested in Adrienne LaFayette., and, as mentioned, the author’s notes really filled her i This felt like a really, really long book. It was interesting, but for some reason, very difficult to keep straight the three women of the three time periods. I almost wish I’d read the authors notes at the end before I read the book, as it outlined each woman separately, giving some chronology to their experiences, rather than flipping back and forth between women and time periods constantly. I was most interested in Adrienne LaFayette., and, as mentioned, the author’s notes really filled her in nicely. I’m not sure if it was my frame of mind at the time of reading, or if this truly is a rather slow moving book. I may pick it up again in the future and see how it feels. Actual rating 3.5; since I can only give whole stars, unfortunately I’m going to round down to three - can’t quite push it to four. Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Natasha Lester

    Just dazzling! Three women, three wars, one French chateau and a whole lot of heroism: The Women of Chateau Lafayette is quite simply breathtaking in its scope and accomplishment. Prepare to be swept away to France and beyond by a master storyteller.

  10. 4 out of 5

    MicheleReader

    If your knowledge of the Marquis de Lafayette starts and ends with the musical phenomenon Hamilton, you’re going to be thoroughly enlightened and engaged. The Women of Chateau Lafayette spans three time periods and three wars. It focuses on three powerful women who demonstrated independence, bravery and love – Adrienne de Noailles, wife of the Marquis de Lafayette, Beatrice Astor Chanler and Marthe Simone. The main setting for this sweeping story is Chateau de Chavaniac, the ancestral home of Gil If your knowledge of the Marquis de Lafayette starts and ends with the musical phenomenon Hamilton, you’re going to be thoroughly enlightened and engaged. The Women of Chateau Lafayette spans three time periods and three wars. It focuses on three powerful women who demonstrated independence, bravery and love – Adrienne de Noailles, wife of the Marquis de Lafayette, Beatrice Astor Chanler and Marthe Simone. The main setting for this sweeping story is Chateau de Chavaniac, the ancestral home of Gilbert du Motier (the Marquis) – later called Chateau Lafayette. While in their teens, Gilbert and Adrienne marry. Several years later, Gilbert travels to America, aids in the American Revolution, is befriended by George Washington and returns to France a hero. Adrienne’s strength is tested as the French Revolution progresses and their lives are threatened. She seeks refuge at the Chateau. Beatrice Astor Chanler, a woman of mysterious beginnings, decides not to live the life of a pampered New York socialite as her wealthy husband lives a life of adventure. While visiting France at the start of WWI and being moved by the plight of the soldiers, she returns to America and starts preparing care packages and raising funds for the men at war. She eventually relocates to France to convert Chavaniac into a hospital (preventorium) for children and a home for war orphans. Marthe Simone is one of the children raised at the castle. Now a grown woman and living at Chavaniac as a teacher, she uses her artist skills to falsify documents and hide Jewish children from the Nazis during WWII. As an orphan, she is searching for her true identity. This is a long book (close to 600 pages) and with so many characters and time periods, a slower than normal read. But don’t let that keep you from this wonderful book. It is truly an epic saga. Adrienne and Beatrice are historical figures and Marthe is fictional, although the heroism that took place at the Chateau during WWII did occur. Lafayette would have been proud. Author Stephanie Dray weaves together a well-researched, exceptional story that historical fiction fans should love. Many thanks to Berkley Publishing Group, the Berkley Buddy Reads program and NetGalley for the opportunity to read The Women of Chateau Lafayette in advance of its publication. Rated 4.5 stars. Review posted on MicheleReader.com.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie DeMoss

    This fascinating multi-timeline saga follows three women in three different war periods in France - Adrienne Lafayette in the French Revolution, Beatrice Chanler during World War I, and Marthe during World War II. All three storylines are connected to the Chateau Lafayette in France. All three stories are fascinating, but I am particularly interested in the French Revolution right now, and Adrienne's Lafayette's story was captivating. This is a rich saga about three strong women embroiled in th This fascinating multi-timeline saga follows three women in three different war periods in France - Adrienne Lafayette in the French Revolution, Beatrice Chanler during World War I, and Marthe during World War II. All three storylines are connected to the Chateau Lafayette in France. All three stories are fascinating, but I am particularly interested in the French Revolution right now, and Adrienne's Lafayette's story was captivating. This is a rich saga about three strong women embroiled in three different wars and the Chateau that connects them all. Recommend for all fans of historical fiction and strong female characters. I received a free copy of this book from Berkley Publishing. My review is voluntary.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The setting: "an epic saga." Historical fiction about Chateau Chavaniac-Lafayette. Billed as: "Intricately woven and beautifully told, The Women of Chateau Lafayette is a sweeping novel about duty and hope, love and courage, and the strength we find from standing together in honor of those who came before us" Three MAIN story lines involving the castle and the efforts of three women to support the fronts. Adrienne Lafayette, a " I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The setting: "an epic saga." Historical fiction about Chateau Chavaniac-Lafayette. Billed as: "Intricately woven and beautifully told, The Women of Chateau Lafayette is a sweeping novel about duty and hope, love and courage, and the strength we find from standing together in honor of those who came before us" Three MAIN story lines involving the castle and the efforts of three women to support the fronts. Adrienne Lafayette, a "gently-bred noblewoman," 1774. [the French--and American revolutions]. Wife of Gilbert, the Marquis de Lafayette [hence, his castle]. Beatrice Astor Chanler, a New York socialite, 1914. [WWI]. Married into Astor wealth; she uses her position and connections to bolster American-French relations and help the cause. Marthe Simone, an orphan [who grew up in the castle], and is now a teacher at the school and an aspiring artist, 1940. [WWII] [in the note, she is revealed as a fictional. device] And many other characters involved with these three women who figure prominently in this non-linnear novel. Lots of back and forth in this story [which meant for some confusion]. Many, many sidelines/things happening. The French Revolution--Lafayette goes to America, meets George Washington. Benjamin Franklin in France. Slavery, ideals, etc.! WWII and anti-Semitism. The French culture and infidelity. Well-written, but I honestly thought it could have been condensed a bit. Extremely detailed and well researched. And, IMHO, the Author's Note was epic. A looong, slow read. I'm in the distinct minority of readers who showed lots of love for this novel.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Claudia

    In the author's note she stated that she wanted to tell the story of Adrienne Lafayette. In her research she learned interesting information about Lafayette's house and how it was later used as a children's hospital / orphanage, so the author added two more storylines to this novel. In my opinion, she should have focused only on Lafayette. I enjoyed Adrienne's story which unfortunately became muddled by the other extraneous plots. I did not like either of the other two storylines, one of which t In the author's note she stated that she wanted to tell the story of Adrienne Lafayette. In her research she learned interesting information about Lafayette's house and how it was later used as a children's hospital / orphanage, so the author added two more storylines to this novel. In my opinion, she should have focused only on Lafayette. I enjoyed Adrienne's story which unfortunately became muddled by the other extraneous plots. I did not like either of the other two storylines, one of which took place during World War I and the other during World War II. The author tried to pack too much into one novel and it became ponderous. I read this book on my phone and it amounted to a whopping 1500 + pages. I am not opposed to long reads if they are good. However this set of three stories was not good enough to fill that many pages. The level of detail was excruciating, at least in the WWI and WWII plots, as they were not intriguing enough to support it. I could not help but skim what seemed like filler. Some people may enjoy this level of detail, but I did not find any of it compelling. I honestly did not care about the other two characters. Had the author stuck to her original plan and written a historical fiction novel about Adrienne Lafayette, she probably would have had a winner. I could have happily skipped the chapters about the other characters and just read about Adrienne. Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for an advance reading copy in exchange for my honest review.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Literary Redhead

    Stephanie Dray writes thrilling historical fiction, and The Women of Chateau Lafayette is no exception. Readers get a look at life in what Dray calls Lafayette’s “fortress of freedom” during three gripping eras: the French Revolution, WWI and WWII, focusing on courageous women from each period and their stirring legacies. HF lovers, don’t miss this! Pub Date 30 Mar 2021 Thanks to the author, Berkley Publishing Group, and for the review copy. Opinions are mine. #TheWomenofChateauLafayette #NetGalle Stephanie Dray writes thrilling historical fiction, and The Women of Chateau Lafayette is no exception. Readers get a look at life in what Dray calls Lafayette’s “fortress of freedom” during three gripping eras: the French Revolution, WWI and WWII, focusing on courageous women from each period and their stirring legacies. HF lovers, don’t miss this! Pub Date 30 Mar 2021 Thanks to the author, Berkley Publishing Group, and for the review copy. Opinions are mine. #TheWomenofChateauLafayette #NetGalley

  15. 4 out of 5

    The Lit Bitch

    This book has been long awaited. It’s been on so many ‘most anticipated’ lists and receiving a ton of hype which normally would make me a little wary, but not going to lie, I have been excited for this one since I participated in the cover revel last spring! The cover plus the multigenerational story of a stunning French chateau sounded too promising to pass up. I also read Stephanie Dray’s, My Dear Hamilton , a couple of years ago and was impressed with Dray’s historical research and writing. Dr This book has been long awaited. It’s been on so many ‘most anticipated’ lists and receiving a ton of hype which normally would make me a little wary, but not going to lie, I have been excited for this one since I participated in the cover revel last spring! The cover plus the multigenerational story of a stunning French chateau sounded too promising to pass up. I also read Stephanie Dray’s, My Dear Hamilton , a couple of years ago and was impressed with Dray’s historical research and writing. Dray has written a number of historical fiction novels and contributed her skills to other compilations. Some of her stories are more ancient history while her other more notable works are American history, this is her first historical fiction novel set during this period in Europe/France. But her novel about Eliza Hamilton was wonderful and it stood out as a well researched women’s fiction set in a historical period. That’s what made me even more excited to read this one. I love how Dray gives voice to women in history. She does a brilliant job and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this one! This novel was undeniably epic and its length reflected that. It was almost 600 pages but I didn’t ever get the feeling that it was too long. It covered the history and stories of three women and a chateau spanning three wars. It was an impressive novel with a lot to recommend itself. The first thing that stood out to me was this book was incredibly detailed in its historical research. This must have taken Dray months and months of research (perhaps even years) to gather sufficient details for three very different periods not to mention construct the lives and stories of the character. That alone makes this book one that you don’t want to miss. Plus it’s based on a true story. Historical fiction readers, do not miss this one! The only thing that I struggled with a bit was the shifting time periods. In some ways I would rather have had it told more linear rather than switching between the time periods but that was a minor thing. Once I got orientated to the style it wasn’t a big deal. WhileI loved the various stories, I felt most invested in Adrienne’s story over Beatrice or Marthe. I personally thought her story was done a little better than the other two and there were some times when I felt that this book would have worked better if the focus was just on Adrienne, but I also appreciated how the stories came together overall. I think the reason Adrienne’s story felt more authentic is because her story inspired Dray to write this one so her love for Adrienne and the chateau was evident in her parts. The meticulous research that went into this one and the detailed nature of the three narratives truly gave readers the feel that they were reading something epic and special. This book was just that. My little criticism of this one were not enough to warrant a change in rating. It was still a 5 star read for me. I loved the history, the storytelling and the research of this one. I was interested in all the time periods and loved the characters. While it was a longer read, I personally didn’t find it slow, instead I found it epic and sweeping. See me full review here

  16. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Thornton

    Impeccably researched and masterfully told, Stephanie Dray has expertly woven together the lives of three courageous women who survive devastating revolutions and harrowing world wars. This ode to the strength of women throughout the ages is a tour de force!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Literary Redhead

    Stephanie Dray writes thrilling historical fiction, and The Women of Chateau Lafayette is no exception. Readers get a look at life in what Dray calls Lafayette’s “fortress of freedom” during three gripping eras: the French Revolution, WWI and WWII, focusing on courageous women from each period and their stirring legacies. HF lovers, don’t miss this! Pub Date 30 Mar 2021 Thanks to the author, Berkley Publishing Group, and for the review copy. Opinions are mine. #TheWomenofChateauLafayette #NetGalle Stephanie Dray writes thrilling historical fiction, and The Women of Chateau Lafayette is no exception. Readers get a look at life in what Dray calls Lafayette’s “fortress of freedom” during three gripping eras: the French Revolution, WWI and WWII, focusing on courageous women from each period and their stirring legacies. HF lovers, don’t miss this! Pub Date 30 Mar 2021 Thanks to the author, Berkley Publishing Group, and for the review copy. Opinions are mine. #TheWomenofChateauLafayette #NetGalley

  18. 4 out of 5

    J'nell Ciesielski

    Stephanie Dray is the best. Her ability to spin a story of love, longing, history, legacy, and determination is astounding, but her ability to do it for three stories in one is beyond masterful. After reading My Dear Hamilton I was soo excited to learn she was doing a story for Lafayette's wife, Adrienne and it did not disappoint. Beatrice was a force to be reckoned with, and Marthe certainly had her own part to plan in Lafayette's legacy. All the stars! Stephanie Dray is the best. Her ability to spin a story of love, longing, history, legacy, and determination is astounding, but her ability to do it for three stories in one is beyond masterful. After reading My Dear Hamilton I was soo excited to learn she was doing a story for Lafayette's wife, Adrienne and it did not disappoint. Beatrice was a force to be reckoned with, and Marthe certainly had her own part to plan in Lafayette's legacy. All the stars!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Bridget O'Toole

    *work perk*

  20. 5 out of 5

    Laura Kamoie

    I was thrilled to get to read this early and to provide this quote for my friend and co-author's wonderful solo novel: Stephanie Dray sparkles and astounds with this compelling and seamlessly woven multigenerational epic about the women who resisted, fought, and sacrificed to protect Lafayette's legacy and our most cherished ideals and institutions. A monumental achievement and truly historical fiction at its finest! I was thrilled to get to read this early and to provide this quote for my friend and co-author's wonderful solo novel: Stephanie Dray sparkles and astounds with this compelling and seamlessly woven multigenerational epic about the women who resisted, fought, and sacrificed to protect Lafayette's legacy and our most cherished ideals and institutions. A monumental achievement and truly historical fiction at its finest!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    I really want to like this book. The premise is so good, and clearly other readers really love it! I have read more of this than I do some books I'm not enjoying, but I just can't get into the story or the characters. I just have so many books to read, and I can't finish ones that I'm not enjoying.But, like I said, I am in the minority, so you may love it. I really want to like this book. The premise is so good, and clearly other readers really love it! I have read more of this than I do some books I'm not enjoying, but I just can't get into the story or the characters. I just have so many books to read, and I can't finish ones that I'm not enjoying.But, like I said, I am in the minority, so you may love it.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kristina McMorris

    So honored to provide a cover quote for this incredible book: Captivating, moving, and utterly unforgettable, The Women of Chateau Lafayette is extraordinary in every aspect. Dray’s astounding depth of research and richly drawn characters combine to brilliant effect in this epically breathtaking tale that held me in its grips from the very first page. I didn’t just read the interwoven journeys of three remarkable women, I lived and fought and endured alongside them. An absolute must-read!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Emma Zucati

    Adrienne and Gilbert were definitely my favorite. I just loved Adrienne so much. The humanity and life Lin-Manuel Miranda brought to Hamilton came through here too. There's something about the 1700s that requires a special touch to invigorate the story, and Day definitely got it right. Adrienne had to be so self aware without being unfeeling and her strength was raw and full of emotion. I was not a big fan of Beatrice, for whatever reason her voice just didn't come through for me. Her superiority Adrienne and Gilbert were definitely my favorite. I just loved Adrienne so much. The humanity and life Lin-Manuel Miranda brought to Hamilton came through here too. There's something about the 1700s that requires a special touch to invigorate the story, and Day definitely got it right. Adrienne had to be so self aware without being unfeeling and her strength was raw and full of emotion. I was not a big fan of Beatrice, for whatever reason her voice just didn't come through for me. Her superiority got to me and I felt like her story was the least supported. Her good work was only mentioned in terms of numbers so I never felt the actual impact of her work. Logically, I know she helped war efforts, but her relationship issues far overshadowed her progress in a way the other two women were able to avoid. Especially with her superiority complex and need to prove she rose above. When her actions turned selfish at times, I cared less about how much they helped the soldiers. Marthe's story I found to be the most exciting and developed. She had such a journey and I was happy to ride it out with her. I also want to bring attention to this being a story about a Frenchwoman in WWII. There's a WWII genre subset of American and English female spies, even going so far as to have British/American women that grew up with a French grandmother so they have the accent. Not so much actual Frenchwomen getting the starring role in the novel. I loved this perspective and hope to find more of it, now that I know to look. My biggest gripe is her origin story, and the inevitable connection to Beatrice (this was my main sticking point with Beatrice's story too). It was weak and then only mentioned when convenient such that it was a disservice to Marthe's character. I also loved the variety of men in these stories. They complimented the individual women well and held their own, all in admirable ways. Shout out to my main man Yves. Unfortunately, the novel was a bit dull. The arcs were interesting and the character development was thoughtful, but there were entire chapters of frivolous conversation. I enjoyed Beatrice's friendship and Adrienne's interactions with royalty, but I don't think we needed quite as much as was there for the story. It brought the characters down a bit and made them feel more flippant than I felt warranted. It provided a good arc to the intricacies of the lives the women led, there just might be shorter ways to show it as opposed to telling it. Overall, I really enjoyed it. It was 3 stars during most of it, solely because it really slowed down in the middle, but the endings wrapped up well and that got me to 3.5. What pushed it to a 4 for me was the short bit at the end where Dray talked about where fact met fiction. It showed such a depth and attention to detail that I appreciated the whole book so much more for it. I would definitely recommend it with a disclaimer that it might take a bit to get through, but these women are definitely worth it in the end.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Carrie Mataraza

    Stephanie Dray has provided me and so many other lovers of historical fiction hours and hours of pleasure and learning. This, her newest work, is due out next March and I highly recommend you place it on your to-read list. You could win and advanced copy: https://bit.ly/SDCoverSweeps Here is a detailed description of what we have to look forward to: Q&A WITH STEPHANIE DRAY What made you fall in love with Adrienne Lafayette and why do you think readers will fall for her as you did? Thanks to a popu Stephanie Dray has provided me and so many other lovers of historical fiction hours and hours of pleasure and learning. This, her newest work, is due out next March and I highly recommend you place it on your to-read list. You could win and advanced copy: https://bit.ly/SDCoverSweeps Here is a detailed description of what we have to look forward to: Q&A WITH STEPHANIE DRAY What made you fall in love with Adrienne Lafayette and why do you think readers will fall for her as you did? Thanks to a popular musical, the Marquis de Lafayette is known to a new generation as "America's Favorite Fighting Frenchman"--and there's good reason for that. He's easily the most lovable of our Founding Fathers, and his wife, whom he called his dear heart, is just as lovable if not more so. Adrienne was our French Founding Mother, so right up my alley as a heroine, but at first I worried she was too sweet, devoted, and forgiving. In short, too gentle for a novel. Little did I realize that more than any other historical heroine I've ever written, Adrienne fought and sacrificed for her principles, courageously threw herself into danger, confronted tyrants, and endured trials that would have broken lesser mortals. She truly humbles me, and when I talk about the Lafayette legacy, I think of it as every bit as much hers as it is his. How long did it take you to write this book? Did the story evolve as you researched, or did you always know you wanted to take on the lives of these particular women? I was always interested in Lafayette--an interest that grew as Laura Kamoie and I co-authored America's First Daughter and My Dear Hamilton. I think I had the germ of the idea for a Lafayette novel at least seven years ago, but I had other projects in the way. And I was always in search of an angle that would be fresh and unique. That came to me when I discovered that Lafayette's castle in Auvergne, which had been purchased and renovated by Americans, served to shelter Jewish children from the Nazis. Knowing how deeply the Lafayettes both felt about religious freedom, I knew this would have pleased them, and it touched me. I was then determined to know which Americans had purchased the chateau, and when I found out, yet another glorious chapter in the Lafayette legacy was born. That's when the story took shape for me about one special place on this earth where, generation after generation, faith has been kept with principles of liberty and humanity. I find that very inspirational, now more than ever. The book is centered around Lafayette’s castle, the Château de Chavaniac, and the pivotal role it played during three of history’s darkest hours—the French Revolution and both World Wars. If you could have dinner with any three people (dead or alive) at Chavaniac, who would you choose and why? Believe it or not, this is actually a difficult choice because so many incredible men and women passed through those doors. I'd have to start with the Lafayettes--though I hope they would not serve me pigeons, which were a favorite at their wedding banquet. To join us for dinner, I'd choose the colorful stage-star of the Belle Epoque, Beatrice Chanler, because she was a force of nature without whom Chavaniac might not still be standing. Actress, artist, philanthropist, decorated war-relief worker and so-called Queen of the Social Register, she was as mysterious as she was wonderful, and even after all the startling discoveries I made researching her larger-than-life existence, I have a million questions about the early life she tried so hard to hide. I can't wait for readers to meet her! ABOUT THE BOOK An epic saga from New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Dray based on the true story of an extraordinary castle in the heart of France and the remarkable women bound by its legacy in three of humanity's darkest hours. Most castles are protected by powerful men. This one by women... A founding mother... 1774. Gently-bred noblewoman Adrienne Lafayette becomes her husband's political partner in the fight for American independence. But when their idealism sparks revolution in France and the guillotine threatens everything she holds dear, Adrienne must choose to renounce the complicated man she loves, or risk her life for a legacy that will inspire generations to come. A daring visionary... 1914. Glittering New York socialite Beatrice Astor Chanler is a force of nature, daunted by nothing--not her humble beginnings, her crumbling marriage, or the outbreak of war. But after witnessing the devastation in France and delivering war-relief over dangerous seas, Beatrice takes on the challenge of a lifetime: convincing America to fight for what's right. A reluctant resistor... 1940. French school-teacher and aspiring artist Marthe Simone has an orphan's self-reliance and wants nothing to do with war. But as the realities of Nazi occupation transform her life in the isolated castle where she came of age, she makes a discovery that calls into question who she is, and more importantly, who she is willing to become. Intricately woven and beautifully told, The Women of Chateau Lafayette is a sweeping novel about duty and hope, love and courage, and the strength we find from standing together in honor of those who came before us.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Doreen

    This historical novel chronicles the lives of three women in three different time periods who are connected to Lafayette’s ancestral home in France. In the 1770s, Adrienne de Noailles marries Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette who fights for American independence and sparks the French Revolution. While her husband is often away from home, she raises the children and unfailingly supports him and his battles for freedom and justice, even if she has to risk her life to do so. Beatrice Astor Ch This historical novel chronicles the lives of three women in three different time periods who are connected to Lafayette’s ancestral home in France. In the 1770s, Adrienne de Noailles marries Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette who fights for American independence and sparks the French Revolution. While her husband is often away from home, she raises the children and unfailingly supports him and his battles for freedom and justice, even if she has to risk her life to do so. Beatrice Astor Chanler, a New York socialite, is inspired by Lafayette to urge the U.S. to support France in World War I. She helps raise money for humanitarian aid, eventually turning Lafayette’s chateau into a school, orphanage, and preventorium for the care of frail and malnourished children, as well as a museum of the life and family of Lafayette. During World War II, Marthe Simone is a teacher at the Chateau Lafayette where she grew up as an orphan. When the Germans invade, she becomes involved in secretly hiding Jewish children at the chateau. The book describes historical events from the perspective of women. Adrienne Lafayette and Beatrice Chanler were real people who influenced events, whereas Marthe is a fictional character. All three women are courageous, resilient, resourceful, tenacious and intelligent. Though Beatrice and Marthe are flawed, Adrienne seems flawless. She is unfailingly loyal and supportive and supremely heroic. Just as Adrienne is portrayed as virtually perfect, the same is true of the depiction of Lafayette. The author and the three protagonists all seem to suffer from hero worship. I understand that Lafayette is an almost mythic figure for Americans so the mere mention of any flaws might seem almost sacrilegious, but showing him to be less than perfect would make him more realistic. In this regard, omitting Lafayette’s 30-year relationship with Diane, the Comtesse de Simiane was a mistake. Marthe’s story is also problematic. A woman is sexually attracted to a woman, but seems to adapt to marriage to a man rather easily? She says, “I don’t long for her anymore. I’ve let that go.” Is the author making a comment about homosexuality? The novel’s chapters alternate among the three women. Often chapters end in cliffhangers which are only resolved two chapters later. The author can be commended for connecting the three narratives. One of Marthe’s chapters ends with Americans landing in North Africa; it is followed by Beatrice’s chapter which begins with Americans joining the war. One of Adrienne’s chapters ends with a reunion; it is followed by Beatrice’s chapter which begins with a reunion. Several characters from Beatrice and Marthe’s stories overlap. Dray can also be commended for her extensive historical research. Perhaps, however, she should have written three novels. This one, at 550+ pages, feels too long. A trilogy, with one book devoted to each character, might have worked better. In the Author’s Note, Dray mentions that she began by wanting to tell the story of Adrienne Lafayette and perhaps one book devoted to her would have depicted both her and her husband more realistically. The other books could have continued the story of the Lafayette legacy, ostensibly the purpose of this book. Readers who enjoy historical fiction and strong female characters will find much to like in this book. Though I appreciate the message about the necessity of fighting for one’s principles, I wasn’t always totally engaged, primarily because of the worshipful characterization of the Lafayettes. And Beatrice and Marthe are inflicted with unquestioning, rapturous adoration of this couple. For me, a more nuanced portrayal is always preferable. Note: I received an eARC from the publisher via NetGalley. Please check out my reader's blog (https://schatjesshelves.blogspot.com/) and follow me on Twitter (@DCYakabuski).

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Hooker

    Three women, three wars, and one castle’s storied walls that prevailed through it all. The Women of Chateau Lafayette is an ambitious novel based on a true story of the courageous heroines who shaped the Lafayette legacy. This is a juggernaut work of historical fiction you won’t want to miss. Spanning continents and centuries, this sweeping saga is told from the point of view of three women who all have ties to Chateau de Chavaniac. Adrienne Lafayette, wife to the infamous Marquis de Lafayette, i Three women, three wars, and one castle’s storied walls that prevailed through it all. The Women of Chateau Lafayette is an ambitious novel based on a true story of the courageous heroines who shaped the Lafayette legacy. This is a juggernaut work of historical fiction you won’t want to miss. Spanning continents and centuries, this sweeping saga is told from the point of view of three women who all have ties to Chateau de Chavaniac. Adrienne Lafayette, wife to the infamous Marquis de Lafayette, is a historical figure who was pivotal in the American Revolution. Beatrice Chanler, also a historical figure, is a social maven turned plucky philanthropist. During The Great War she rallied American troops and repurposed the imposing chateau as an orphanage. Finally, fictional character Marthe Simone, is an orphan who grew up in the Chateau. She risks everything to hide Jewish children within the castle during WWII. I admit that my knowledge of Lafayette, America’s favorite fighting Frenchman, was limited to the Hamilton musical. Learning about Adrienne’s fierce loyalty and how she supported her husband during his fight for democracy was fascinating. Adrienne’s raw bravery profoundly impacted her husband’s life and shaped the way our democracy functions today. As in Stephanie Dray’s previous books such as My Dear Hamilton and America’s First Daughter, intrepid women from history are highlighted. This novel was seven years in the making and the research to weave these authentic narratives together is staggering. Each woman could easily have a book of their own. Ultimately, the novel is a poignant reminder that the struggle for democracy never ends. Each generation must revisit and defend the cause. If you are looking for a historically-rooted novel with timeless themes, this is it. A sincere thank you to NetGalley and Berkley publishing for providing me with an electronic copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. RATING: 4.5/5 stars rounded up

  27. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    When life for the entire universe and planet turns on its end and like everyone else you "have nothing to do" while your place of work is closed and you are continuing to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation, superspeed readers like me can read 250+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. And it is way too hot to go outside, so why not sit in from of the blasting a/c and read and review books?? BTW - stay home and save lives!!!!!!!! No tan is worth dying for. I requested and re When life for the entire universe and planet turns on its end and like everyone else you "have nothing to do" while your place of work is closed and you are continuing to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation, superspeed readers like me can read 250+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. And it is way too hot to go outside, so why not sit in from of the blasting a/c and read and review books?? BTW - stay home and save lives!!!!!!!! No tan is worth dying for. I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. An epic saga from New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Dray based on the true story of an extraordinary castle in the heart of France and the remarkable women bound by its legacy in three of humanity's darkest hours. Most castles are protected by powerful men. This one by women... A founding mother... 1774. Gently-bred noblewoman Adrienne Lafayette becomes her husband's political partner in the fight for American independence. But when their idealism sparks revolution in France and the guillotine threatens everything she holds dear, Adrienne must choose to renounce the complicated man she loves, or risk her life for a legacy that will inspire generations to come. A daring visionary... 1914. Glittering New York socialite Beatrice Astor Chanler is a force of nature, daunted by nothing--not her humble beginnings, her crumbling marriage, or the outbreak of war. But after witnessing the devastation in France and delivering war-relief over dangerous seas, Beatrice takes on the challenge of a lifetime: convincing America to fight for what's right. A reluctant resistor... 1940. French school-teacher and aspiring artist Marthe Simone has an orphan's self-reliance and wants nothing to do with war. But as the realities of Nazi occupation transform her life in the isolated castle where she came of age, she makes a discovery that calls into question who she is, and more importantly, who she is willing to become. Intricately woven and beautifully told, The Women of Chateau Lafayette is a sweeping novel about duty and hope, love and courage, and the strength we find from standing together on the shoulders of those who came before us. WHAT A BOOK!!!! Wow, I was blown away - it was expertly written and utterly enjoyable. The characters are formidable women but utterly enjoyable as was the plot. (Of course, Lafayette in the musical "Hamilton" and the sublime Daveed Diggs kept going through my head while I was reading this book but that is because I have watched "Hamilton" about 30 times in the past 3 weeks!) This is a perfect book club pick and I can see if flying off the shelves as it would appeal to lovers of fiction, world wide. As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis (outside of their incessant use by "🙏-ed Social Influencer Millennials/#BachelorNation survivors/Tik-Tok and YouTube Millionaires/etc. " on Instagram and Twitter... Get a real job, people!) so let's give it 🏰 🏰🏰🏰🏰

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    The Women of Chateau Lafayette by Stephanie Dray is an amazing historical fiction that kept me riveted from beginning to end. This is a multiple-timeline novel that interweaves so effortlessly that it could only be written by Ms. Dray. I have to admit I have been a fan of Ms. Dray for quite some time, so of course I was excited to be able to read her newest book. Would it love up to its name and her current portfolio? After reading this gem, I have to say, “Most Certainly!”. This book takes the r The Women of Chateau Lafayette by Stephanie Dray is an amazing historical fiction that kept me riveted from beginning to end. This is a multiple-timeline novel that interweaves so effortlessly that it could only be written by Ms. Dray. I have to admit I have been a fan of Ms. Dray for quite some time, so of course I was excited to be able to read her newest book. Would it love up to its name and her current portfolio? After reading this gem, I have to say, “Most Certainly!”. This book takes the reader through the lives and adventures of three separate women in three separate time periods: late 1700s with Adrienne Lafayette (the wife and counterpart to the beloved and famous Lafayette of the American and French Revolutions), Beatrice Astor Chanler during the early 1900s of WWI, and Marte Simone 1940s France. Each woman unique, fascinating, strong, independent, passionate, brave, imperfect, and duly impressive in their own rights. All women seemingly different, yet brought together through times of war, instability, loss, change, self-sacrifice, and a wonderful estate in the rural French countryside, Chateau de Chavaniac. This is beyond a beautiful novel. There are no words to describe how I truly enjoyed my time reading about each of these strong women, their lives, loves, losses, bravery, and experiences during each of these monumental times. I laughed, I teared up, I gripped the chair edge with my heart beating fast during times of suspense, and I smiled during times of happiness. There are very few novels that can pull all of this off effortlessly, and this checks all those boxes. I also loved the Author’s Afterword. I was able to see who were real, historical people, who inspired what characters, and what needed liberties were taken in order to weave a captivating tale. I learned so much more about Lafayette, Adrienne, Beatrice, and all of the other historical figures depicted all the while thoroughly enjoying myself. What else could one ask for in a novel? I dare anyone to read this and not fall instantly in love. Beyond amazing. 5/5 stars enthusiastically Thank you Berkley Publishing for this ARC and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am posting this review to my GR account immediately and will post it to my Bookbub, Amazon, FB, B&N accounts upon publication. I am posting a teaser listing to my Instagram account now, with the full review closer to publication as well.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Only read the Lafayette story.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Gloria

    Most castles are defended by heroic men. Remote Château de Chavaniac, birthplace of the both popular and vilified Marquis de Lafayette, is protected by women. Unbearable decisions face Lafayette’s spirited nobly born wife Adrienne during the widespread discontent and bloodbath that defined the French Revolution. Visionary philanthropist, Beatrice Astor Chanler, who determinedly rose from rags to riches, uses wealth and influence to ease the plight of French soldiers and creates an orphanage in t Most castles are defended by heroic men. Remote Château de Chavaniac, birthplace of the both popular and vilified Marquis de Lafayette, is protected by women. Unbearable decisions face Lafayette’s spirited nobly born wife Adrienne during the widespread discontent and bloodbath that defined the French Revolution. Visionary philanthropist, Beatrice Astor Chanler, who determinedly rose from rags to riches, uses wealth and influence to ease the plight of French soldiers and creates an orphanage in the face of devastating carnage in the first world war. In the second world war, Marthe, teacher and sculptor, bravely applies her art to saving Jewish children in Nazi-occupied France. Chavaniac, symbol of steadfastness, with its hidden tunnels creates a dramatic stage for resistance. Defiant, each of these inspiring women shelters children and changes the political landscape using resources unique to them. Love, strength and wrenching loss spurs each woman to examine what she can do in the face of horrific straits. This multigenerational saga establishes a subdued steady tension that never releases its captivating grip. Highly recommended.

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