Monday, May 12, 2014

Chateau of Secrets

Chateau of Secrets
Melanie Dobson
(Howard Books)
ISBN: 978-1476746111
May 2014/400 pages/$14.99

A courageous young noblewoman risks her life to hide French resistance fighters; seventy years later, her granddaughter visits the family’s abandoned chateau and uncovers shocking secrets from the past.

Gisèle Duchant guards a secret that could cost her life. Tunnels snake through the hill under her family’s medieval chateau in Normandy. Now, with Hitler’s army bearing down, her brother and several friends are hiding in the tunnels, resisting the German occupation of France.

But when German soldiers take over the family’s château, Gisèle is forced to host them as well—while harboring the resistance fighters right below their feet. Taking in a Jewish friend’s baby, she convinces the Nazis that it is her child, ultimately risking everything for the future of the child. When the German officers begin to suspect her deception, an unlikely hero rescues both her and the child.

A present day story weaves through the past one as Chloe Sauver, Gisèle’s granddaughter, arrives in Normandy. After calling off her engagement with a political candidate, Chloe pays a visit to the chateau to escape publicity and work with a documentary filmmaker, Riley, who has uncovered a fascinating story about Jews serving in Hitler’s army. Riley wants to research Chloe’s family history and the lives that were saved in the tunnels under their house in Normandy. Chloe is floored—her family isn’t Jewish, for one thing, and she doesn’t know anything about tunnels or the history of the house. But as she begins to explore the dark and winding passageways beneath the chateau, nothing can prepare her for the shock of what she and Riley discover…

With emotion and intrigue, Melanie Dobson brings World War II France to life in this beautiful novel about war, family, sacrifice, and the secrets of the past.


Melanie Dobson is the award-winning author of thirteen historical romance, suspense, and contemporary novels. Two of her novels won Carol Awards in 2011, and Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana won Best Novel of Indiana in 2010. Melanie lives with her husband Jon and two daughters near Portland, Oregon. Visit her online at


Melanie Dobson combines historical and contemporary worlds in this intriguing novel that focuses on a French family whose lives were forever altered by the events of World War II. Alternating chapters intermingle the past and present and Dobson parallels each account until she brings them both to their connected resolutions. This book highlights a fascinating and previously unknown-to-me aspect of World War II: that of Jews conscripted to serve in Hitler's army, making the tale that much more riveting and inspiring. Impeccable research and a real-life heroine who inspired the novel add depth and meaning, and I continued reading through all of the author's notes at the end of the book. Folks who are World War II history buffs or who just love a good story will want to put Chateau of Secrets on their TBR lists.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book from Howard Books/Simon & Schuster as part of a blog tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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