The Women of the Castle

The Women of the Castle : the moving New York Times bestseller for readers of ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE

3.85 (58,696 ratings by Goodreads)
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In war they made impossible choices. Now can they live with them?

'Moving . . . surprises and devastates' New York Times
'Masterful' People
'Mesmerising . . . reveals new truths about one of history's most tragic eras' USA Today

The Third Reich has crumbled. The Russians are coming.

Marianne von Lingenfels - widow of a resister murdered by the Nazi regime - finds refuge in the crumbling Bavarian castle where she once played host to German high society. There she fulfils her promise to find and protect the wives and children of her husband's brave conspirators, rescuing her dearest friend's widow, Benita, from sexual slavery to the Russian army, and Ania from a work camp for political prisoners. As Marianne assembles this makeshift family she is certain their shared pain will bind them together.

But as Benita begins a clandestine relationship and Ania struggles to conceal her role in the Nazi regime, Marianne learns that her clear-cut, highly principled world view has no place in these new, frightening and emotionally-charged days.

All three women must grapple with the realities they now face, and the consequences of decisions each made in the darkest of times . . .

Deeply moving and compelling, The Women of the Castle is a heart-wrenching and hopeful novel of secrets and survival, a reckoning, and the astonishing power of forgiveness. Perfect for fans of All the Light We Cannot See, The Reader and The Light Between Oceans.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 368 pages
  • 162 x 240 x 33mm | 625g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1785762710
  • 9781785762710
  • 967,171

Review quote

'startling and powerful... Emotional, though-provoking and packed with history, atmosphere and authenticity, The Women of the Castle is a poignant tale of suffering, shame, friendship and, ultimately, the redemptive power of forgiveness.' * Lancashire Evening Post * Shattuck creates three dynamic and complex characters. Completely engrossing, with unforgettable characters, The Women in the Castle is a must read. * Historical Novel Society * 'In the wake of the second world war, the widow of a resistor to the Nazi regime offers her home to fellow resistance widows- only to find they may be hiding the truth about their part in the regime'. * The Bookseller * very moving and a compelling read. An excellent book and I thoroughly recommend it. This isn't just a story about war, whatever side you were on, but is about human beings and their power of forgiveness. * Nudge Books * It is brilliantly researched and her prose is so evocative that it will transport the reader back to a time when Germany was coming to terms with its defeat, complicity and grief as it rebuilt itself from the ashes of the war. * The Straits Times * This is an astonishingly powerful well written and an important and absorbing story set around one of the most horrific times in history. Highly recommended. * Books and Me * This is an astonishingly powerful story that follows 3 women - Benita, Marianne and Ania - and how their lives are affected before, during and after the 2nd World War in Germany. All of the women face their own personal battles and the author captures brilliantly the position that they are put in, as those around them disappear and new ways of life are forced upon them. * Books and Me * This book is an astounding piece of work. This book is so thought provoking, insightful, brutal and brilliantly told. I'm fascinated with this era having studied it in depth, but this is the first real text that I've read from the point of the surviving Germans. I urge you to read this astonishing work by Shattuck. * Bookaholics Refuge * 'This is a very thought provoking read, one that feels very balanced and incredibly well thought out. I do think this would be a fantastic book choice for a book group, it is one that would spark debate and much interesting conversation.' * The Quiet Knitterer * 'You might think that all the WWII stories have been told by now, yet this novel feels fresh and revelatory. I found it both melancholy and hopeful, with strong characters and a haunting atmosphere' * Bookish Beck * '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.' * Debbie Krenzer * Amid the ashes of Nazi Germany's defeat, Marianne von Lingenfels returns to the once-grand castle of her husband's ancestors. The widow of a resistor murdered in a failed plot to assassinate Hitler, Marianne plans to uphold the promise she made to her husband's conspirators: to find and protect their wives, her fellow resistance widows. With 2018 marking the 100th anniversary of the First World War, there are sure to be plenty of books - fiction and non-fiction - to mark the occasion. This one has already been called 'a masterful epic' by People magazine. * The Times Series, Ealing Times, Enfield Independent, St Albans and Harpenden Reviewer, Epping Forest Guardian, This is Local London, Boreham and Elstree Express, Guardian Series, Watford Observer, Haringey Independent, Harrow Times, Borehamwood Times *
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About Jessica Shattuck

Jessica Shattuck lives with her husband and three children in Massachusetts. The novel is based on seven years of research and writing and delving into Jessica's own family history.
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Rating details

58,696 ratings
3.85 out of 5 stars
5 23% (13,590)
4 45% (26,680)
3 26% (15,105)
2 4% (2,629)
1 1% (692)
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