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The Women in the Castle

by Jessica Shattuck

26 Reviews

The Women in the Castle
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Overview

Overview

The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

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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Product Details
ISBN-13:
9780062563668
9780062563668
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
03/28/2017
Pages:
368
368
Sales rank:
161
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.50(d)
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About the Author

About the Author

Jessica Shattuck is the New York Times bestselling author of The Women in the Castle, The Hazards of Good Breeding, a New York Times Notable Book and finalist for the PEN/Winship Award, and Perfect Life. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, The New Yorker, Glamour, Mother Jones, and Wired, among other publications. 

Hometown:

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Date of Birth:

April 2, 1972

Place of Birth:

New York, New York

Education:

B.A. Harvard College, 1994; M.F.A. in Writing, Columbia University, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

Shattuck's characters represent the range of responses to fascism. Her achievement—beyond unfolding a plot that surprises and devastates—is in her subtle exploration of what a moral righteousness like Marianne's looks like in the aftermath of war, when communities and lives must be rebuilt, together.

The New York Times Book Review - Mary Pols
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Customer Reviews (26)
A Must Read. I entered the contest to win this book, though its n ...
A Must Read. I entered the contest to win this book, though its not the usual books I like to read, and I was lucky enough to have won a copy. Having grown up in Germany and being required to watch the movies in school about the concentrations camps, which left a horrifying impression on me, I typically avoided books of this nature, but somehow I was drawn to this book. It brought back many memories of stories my parents told me and I had a really hard time putting it down, I connected with the characters and could feel their struggles and burden. I know this book will stay with me for a long time and I feel it is also relevant for today, because we are heading into a new and scary future and I hope that history will not repeat itself.
- Buecherwurm161
March 28, 2017
Oh what a touching story. I felt so much for these women. This was ...
Oh what a touching story. I felt so much for these women. This was such a touching story. One woman had an idea of what her of what her husband was doing but she she kept it in the back of her mind. She said "no way, this was not happening in my world". Another wife was so innocent and young, that she had no idea that she had no idea that this was even going on. The final wife was aware, shocked, and appalled and for that reason she took her two boys and left. Such was the life that these three women were together after their husbands were gone, either through death or because they left them. Their stories are sorted and the lady of the castle (Marianne) took them in. Either through the knowing of their husband such as the case of Benita, the wife of her childhood friend, Martin. And Ania, the wife of another resistor who Marianne does not recall the name but still admits her to the castle. These three ladies bond and become friends while the war goes on around them. Together they raise their children and become a family as such. The bond that they form lasts a lifetime for all of them and the book is the story of these three women. While they are together and their lives before they come together. It is a very touching and moving story that I thoroughly enjoyed. It was entertaining, moving, mesmerizing, haunting, chilling and I really grew to like these characters immensely. Huge thanks to Bonnier Zaffre for approving my request and to Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest unbiased review.
- Deb-Krenzer
March 28, 2017
- Anonymous
April 14, 2017
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    The Women in the Castle
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