The Women in the Castle

The Women in the Castle

eBook - 2017
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Baker & Taylor
In a novel set at the end of World War II, in a crumbling Bavarian castle that once played host to all of German high society, three widows' lives and fates become intertwined. By the author of The Hazards of Good Breeding.



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.

Publisher: William Morrow & Co.,, 2017
ISBN: 9780062563682
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: Baker & Taylor Axis 360
Alternative Title: Axis 360 eBooks


From the critics

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brookse0518 Dec 31, 2017

Good story. Reminded me of the Nightingale by Hannah.

AL_ANNAL Dec 14, 2017

This addition to the historical fiction of WW II provides a realistic look at the experience of a diverse group of German citizens. We understand the societal and psychological pressures in Germany and how they came to play out in the lives of those who would become heroic resisters and those who became unwitting and unwilling pawns on the side of great evil.

Nov 29, 2017

In my old age I thought "oh no, not another WW2 story" but I have to say, it is really good.
I really got caught up in the lives of the three women, and the author writes well. ( I really wish
the library and publisher's comments would stop with so much detail. What are they thinking?!)

Nov 29, 2017

It's a rare thing to find a book that you can't put down because it is such a compelling read. "The Women in the Castle" is one of those rare books. Highly recommend this book, especially if you are a fan of the WWII genre.

Nov 07, 2017

a good read. I would recommend it.

Oct 27, 2017

A moving story of 3 women in Germany during and after WWII.

jilllib Oct 10, 2017

Historical fiction based on a true story. Through different circumstances, three women live in a castle in Germany after WWII.

Oct 01, 2017

Sometimes difficult subject matter but an excellent book. Three women and their children survive Germany in WWII and what happens after.

Sep 16, 2017

Emotion story of survival of the women left behind in Germany in WWII.

Sep 13, 2017

Thought provoking tale from the perspective of 3 different women before, during, and after World War II. This might lead to musings on how evil is allowed to flourish when there are good people all around.

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