The Women in the Castle
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...more
I wonder if maybe there was a flashback chapter concerning the taking of the papers that was left out of the book for some reason? It seemed like a pivotal part of the story, and I'm surprised there wasn't more to it than that one sentence. </spoiler>(less) (hide spoiler)]
Suddenly she saw everything in its harsh, naked state. She felt the pulse of the lives lived inside the mean little house she passed: selfish or generous, kind or unkind, ugly or tolerable, almost all of them sad. And she saw the histories of the people passing by like x-rays stamped on their faces—ugly, mutinous tracings of dark and light: a woman who had ratted out a neighbor, a man who had shot children, a soldier who had held his dying friend in his arms. Yet here they were, carrying...more
This tour de force of historical imagination is set primarily in Germany before during and after WWII focusing on the lives of three women and their children.
You'll meet Marianne, "The Commander of the wives and Children.
Marianne was married to Albreht Von Lingenfels, from a long line of revered German Generals, who wanted to help bring Hitler to the court of law with the support of the outside world.
Connie Fledermann, from an old ...more
The Women in the Castle is a riveting novel that hits home with the notion that sometimes it’s our shared experiences—no matter how horrific—rather than our strongly-held beliefs or common views of the world, that can bind us together and leave a lasting impression.
Jessica Shattuck takes a different approach with her WWII story, opting to relay the devastation through the eyes of three distinct German women. Women that stumble and make mistakes along the way, like ...more
Set at the end of World War II, in a crumbling Bavarian castle that once played host to all of German high society. This is the story of Three women haunted by the past and the secrets they hold
I was really looking forward to a strong historical fiction novel with good character development and interesting historical detail but this one fell flat for me ...more
THE WOMEN IN THE CASTLE by JESSICA SHATTUCK is an intriguing, powerful, difficult, and thought-provoking read about the struggles and relationships of three widowed women. Their lives and fates become intertwined by a vow that our main character, Marianne made to her ...more
The Women in the Castle begins with the Prologue at Burg Lingenfels, site of a Bavarian Castle. The year is 1938, setting a picture of the pre-war days, the Countess’s famous harvest party is being assembled, organized, and hosting this party is Marianne von Lingelfels, niece-in-law of the Countess, accompanied by her husband, Albrecht, her once-upon-a-time professor.
Hosting the party was like setting up a civilization on the moon. But this was part of what kept people ...more
Although this is a novel ...more
4 Impressive Stars!
"The historian will tell you what happened, the novelist will tell you what it felt like.”***********************************************
"I received a free advance e-copy of this book from HarperCollins via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review, thank you!
There's something about learning history through the eyes of fictional characters that engages our senses and crystallizes the impact world affairs have had in humanity in ...more
The Women in the Castle is a remarkable, elegant and well-crafted story that left me quietly closing my eyes and thinking about each character and contemplating their stories and decisions. Giving me a highly satisfying feeling.
I was highly engaged in the relationships of these three interesting and memorable women and their stories that took me on an emotional journey as I learned how their relationships formed, grew and changed. They are flawed, damaged and brave women who ...more
This book tells the story of the connection of three very different women living in a German castle before, during and after WWII – the novel examines their struggles, secrets, motherhood challenges, hopes and relationships that helped them endure these grueling years. I liked each of the main characters, Marianne, Ania and Benita. They each grew on me more and more as I read further into their personal ...more
Especially interesting to me was the way the author dealt with the aftermath, a time of rebuilding and dealing with grief and guilt. We all know stories of battles and glory but the three women in this story show us how hard it must have been to recover from so much damage and to raise children who had ...more
I’ve read many WWII books and friends may note that I’m often not singing praises to those written by women too heavily influenced with female energy, melodrama, and romance. For example, I was not as enamored with The Nightingale to which this has been compared. I say it's more in league with All the Light We Cannot See. Initially I was not interested in this until I read early reviews from friends who told me this one might be more to my liking (Oh thank you wise readers). Edelweiss and ...more
She half knew - but there is no word for that. She knew it the way you know something is happening far away in a distant land, something you have no control over...
One of the things I really liked about this book is that it provided some insight into how Germans lived after WWI, and why some of them became Nazis. It also looks at the guilt experience after WWII. Through the three main characters, Marianne, Benita and Ania we are shown very different lives in this same harsh setting, and how ...more
Earlier this year, The Women in the Castle was alighting my newsfeed with early praise and fantastically written reviews. I find myself sort of middle of the road with my feelings on the story. The synopsis of the book and my other reviewers give a great rundown of the plot, so I'll jump into my holiday thoughts.
What I liked:
1) Jessica Shattuck really created an atmosphere of Germany from the perspective of three very determined and strong minded women living in Nazi Germany ...more
Marianne is the niece-in-law of ...more
The backstories of these women are fascinating. Through their pasts we see the initial ...more
Before, during, and after the war Marianne was there to support everyone even though she had lost everything except her castle and her children.
Marianne previously lived in a castle with her husband, Albrecht and her children before the Germans took it over. Her husband was a member of the resistance but was killed by the Germans along with other members. His request was for Marianne to take care of the families of other members if he and his fellow members were killed.
Marianne complied with her ...more
Many thanks to ...more