Oct 7, 2015

French Days Book Review: The Chateau on the Lake by Charlotte Betts

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Review by Suze

It's 1972 and Madeleine's parents own a school in London. It's a school for girls and Madeleine is a teacher there. Her father is French and her mother English which means she's fluent in two languages. They've always been a happy family, but then something awful happens and Madeleine loses both of her parents. Because her best friend Sophie is in a difficult situation they decide to go to France. Together with the French comte Etienne d'Aubery they're traveling to Paris where he has a house. It's the time of the French revolution and it isn't safe in the big city. Etienne offers to stay with Madeleine and Sophie to make sure they're all right, so they continue their journey and arrive at his countryside chateau, Ch√Ęteau Mirabelle.

Madeleine and Sophie are staying in a beautiful cottage near the chateau and they're enjoying their time in France. They can't tell anyone they're English, so they have to keep their identity a secret. Etienne has a handsome assistant, Jean-Luc, and they're best friends, but even he can't know who Madeleine and Sophie really are. Both men want Madeleine's attention, but there's only one of them she really likes... The revolution also reaches the village and France is in turmoil. The country is at war and a lot of young men are recruited to fight. Being nobility is dangerous. Will the castle still be a safe place to stay?

The Chateau on the Lake is a beautiful story about a woman who goes to France in a very dangerous time. Madeleine wants to know more about her ancestors and she can't wait to find some information or to even meet them. Fortunately Etienne is there to help her and Sophie. They don't have to travel by themselves. Etienne is brooding and dark, but he also has a kind side. He has a difficult past and is not very approachable. That made him such an interesting main character. I was intrigued by all the characters in this book and I really liked Madeleine, I think she's a wonderful heroine.

I love reading books about France and think Charlotte Betts has written a story that is both interesting and gripping. There are a lot of thrilling scenes because of the dangers of the revolution. The story kept me on the edge of my seat most of the time. I could really feel the unrest and the fear, which was in complete contrast with the tranquility of the amazing surroundings. I enjoyed the descriptions of the chateau and the French countryside. The story is also quite romantic and I loved the clever plot. If you like historical fiction this is a book you don't want to miss.

1 comment:

  1. Oh this book sounds very interesting. Going to add it to my TBR list now.


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