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Customer Reviews for Howard Books Chateau Of Secrets

Howard Books Chateau Of Secrets

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.

Gishle 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 chbteau, Gishle 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.

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18 out of 18100%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Chateau Of Secrets
Review 1 for Chateau Of Secrets
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Come and learn the Chateau's secrets!

Date:July 13, 2014
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Chateau of Songs
Location:Tempe, AZ
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
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Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
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Chateau of Secrets is a gripping journey into the climax of the World War period mingled with a modern-day story that slowly untangles some mysteries from that time. In 1940s France, Gisele Duchant grapples with the Nazis' intrusive occupation of her historic home, while protecting her brother and his fellow Resistance workers, and caring for the infant daughter of her best friend who has disappeared. In the present day, Gisele's granddaughter Chloe Sauver copes with the sudden severing of her engagement while traveling to the family estate in France to prepare for its role in a documentary film on aspects of the war. During her time at the estate and the making of the film, Chloe uncovers facts about her family history that will forever change how she views it and the grandparents she loves. This story takes hold from the first page and will keep the reader flipping pages swiftly till its conclusion. The setting in the French countryside, the various issues impacting the heart of each woman, and the manner in which each clings to the promises of God throughout make for compelling reading. The storyline of CHATEAU OF SECRETS exposes readers to a little-known aspect of World War II and those who served in its fighting forces. Very highly recommended for aficionados of solid women's fiction, the WWII era, France, or all three!
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Review 2 for Chateau Of Secrets
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

History and storytelling at it's finest

Date:July 13, 2014
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SandraLew
Location:Gorrie, ON
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
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5 out of 5
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This story, while fictional, uses the WWII backdrop to tell a beautiful, memorable tale that left me with no choice but to spread the word. I could not put the book down. I cannot recommend this book enough.
I was impressed with Dobson's research, as well as her ability to draw me in and love all of her characters. I came to feel sympathy for Nazis who, by no choice of their own, joined Hitlar's army. I learned things about Nazis that I have never heard before. So moving and so thought-provoking.
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Review 3 for Chateau Of Secrets
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Very good read

Date:May 27, 2014
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anna
Location:Missouri
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I had not read any of Melonie's books before but the story seemed interesting so I gave it a try. She is a very good author. I finished the book on Memorial Weekend which was so appropriate given the theme of the story. I unsually read for a while each day but this book propelled me to the end. It is the kind of story that leaves you wondering about the characters. I will not get into the plot, don't want to spoil it. I will be looking for more for this author.
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Review 4 for Chateau Of Secrets
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A little known piece of WWII History

Date:May 23, 2014
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KGD history teacher
Location:Florida
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
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Chateau of Secrets tells a tale of WWII. We see the resiliency of the French people under the harsh rule of the Nazis, some of the efforts of the French Underground, and an amazing tale of Jewish soldiers in the German army. Gisele has been left to take care of the family chateau. The Nazis decide to commandeer it for their headquarters in the town of Saint-Lo. She must cater to their whims while trying to protect some Jewish children and members of the French Underground.
Chloe is Gisele’s granddaughter. She has come to France to guide a documentary filmmaker through the her family’s ancestral chateau. Little does Chloe know that there are family stories about which neither she nor her father knew. As Chloe becomes more familiar with the stories of her grandmother’s heroism, she begins to examine her values and the plans that she has had for her life.
This is a very interesting tale, going back and forth between Gisele’s WWII story and Chloe’s modern dilemmas. The story is loosely based on a factual one and the author has brought out some little known information about Jews serving in the German army. This is well worth your time reading if you have any interest in history, especially WWII.
I received this from NetGalley for my honest opinion
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Review 5 for Chateau Of Secrets
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A Great Escape Novel

Date:May 21, 2014
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Leslie M
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
First things first. I adore reading, but I am not a big fan of fiction. With that understood, Chateau of Secrets is a lovely read. Melanie Dobson consistently keeps you engaged through masterful transitions between two time periods, 1940 and 2014. With flawlessly written characters, French food, history, romance and suspense, it is a great escape novel.
Practically speaking, I love the shorter chapters as they made it easier to follow between the two time periods and pick up where you left off. I couldn't help but bring the book with me everywhere and read a chapter here and a chapter there. As much as you hate to put it down, you will love to pick it up.
With Chateau being based on a true story, one's expectations are set high. Melanie does not disappoint.
(I received a gratis copy of this novel from Howard for an honest review.)
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Review 6 for Chateau Of Secrets
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A beautiful resolution!

Date:May 20, 2014
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Sufficient in Jesus
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I really don't want to admit this, but I put off reading Chateau of Secrets. I looked at the cover and the plot and I thought, Nope. Don't ask me why, I just didn't think I'd connect with this story. I was very wrong.
I ended up soaking in this book over a period of time that was quite sad, with my Grammy in the hospital. I really needed a reminder that no matter how broken, tough, and dark the day might be, our own Author delights in good endings. (Not easy, bloodless, tearless, painless, but GOOD.)
This novel reminded me of that.
Basic Plot: Chloe Sauver is nine weeks away from marrying the man she's given her whole heart to. Other than a few small blips on the radar, everything seems just right. Then the offer/request comes out of the blue: Chloe, come to France, to your ancestral home, and tell us about your grandmother Gisele's involvement in WWII. Come to the Chateau L'Epines, and help us film a documentary.
Through circumstances you'll just have to read about, Chloe ends up on that plane, with bags packed and life in a whirlwind.
Her co-adventurer is Riley Holtz, the documentary filmmaker. He's a guy who looks like the last thing Chloe needs. When she looked him up online, she saw photos that suggested an inflated ego and a devotion only to partying. The Riley she meets has a whole different aura.
Melanie, Riley's story tied so well into Chloe's, and you brought them both into a lovely resolution. It had me teary. His life story, and the way he revealed it, added so much more depth and transformation. Riley and Chloe are bound for a spot on my Favorite Characters 2014 List.
Grandmother Gisele's life also comes into sharp focus- a brother in the French Resistance, a baby that needs loving arms and a new last name, and circumstances that force you to decide what you can lose and still live. I mean literally keep alive, and also live with yourself.
As in all good past-meets-present novels, Chloe finds perspective and fresh courage when she encounters Gisele's life. Gisele was truly devoted to protecting her loved ones, and keeping true to God and country.
Gisele and for Chloe both worked on something bigger than themselves, learning to make choices that will give tomorrow a chance for hope and as much healing as possible for themselves and others.
I also loved the presence of the Church in this novel, both the old chapel and those who sought sanctuary there. Well done in crafting a story that handles faith in the best way possible. I'm proud of Howard Books for publishing novels that touch the ragged edges of life, and the ragged edges of Jesus robe, and reach for both reverently.
Reading this story was like seeing a puzzle put together. At first, it was all tumbled in front of me, offering glimpses of beauty and lots of unanswered questions. As more of the picture developed I found myself leaning into the story, eagerly watching it come together.
Thank you Howard Books for my review copy!
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Review 7 for Chateau Of Secrets
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Wonderful!

Date:May 19, 2014
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Becca
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
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5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Right off, I was drawn in to the story of these two characters, Gisele and Chloe, whose genuine and sensitive nature pop off the page, making you identify with them both, the feelings of loyalty and wanting to be loved, the fear of being lost and the uncertainty of sometimes having to live each day without assurance of the future, I loved author Melanie's way of describing the scenes so that I felt I was right there, in France.
The chapters are short enough that the hopping back and forth between the two timelines isn't too difficult. There were times I found myself wanting more before jumping to the other storyline but all in all, I enjoyed the rhythm of the story and connecting the characters lives.
Melanie does a fantastic job weaving an underlying theme of redemption and hope even in the midst of two unimaginable trials... WWII and a relationship betrayal, and the terrible challenge of choosing how to survive in the war. I hardly felt able to pass judgement toward the characters where their compromises are shown (Lisette and Josef Milch).
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Review 8 for Chateau Of Secrets
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:May 18, 2014
Every once in a while a book comes along that I think would make an intriguing movie. Chateau of Secrets is one of those books. Not only is the story full of twists and turns, but it also contains a piece of history that isn't widely known. During World War II there were a group of Jewish men that fought in the Germany army. They had many reasons to do so. Some were forced into service and some volunteered in an effort to save their loved ones.
Another thing that sets this historical fiction book apart from others is the way the story unfolds. Chapter by chapter the reader is taken from the present then back into the past. As modern day Chloe is discovering the secrets of her family at the Château d’Epines in one chapter, then the tale of her grandmother Gisèle during the German occupation is playing out in the next chapter. This made the story read like a fast-paced suspense thriller.
The most amazing thing about this book was that it was loosely based on the real life story of Genevieve Marie Josephe de Saint Pern Menke. It is completely plausible to think of this story as a work of fiction, but to understand that someone actually went through and survived all that this novel contains is just mind blowing. I enjoyed reading all of the follow up notes about the story at the end of the book just as much as the novel itself.
What struck me the most about this account is how much we really don't even know about our own stories. Vague memories that we have as children may have one meaning to us, but if the truth were completely revealed it would have another meaning entirely. This story will cause you to think about how important our past is in relation to what our future will become. If you are a fan of historical fiction you are going to particularly like this one!
I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
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Review 9 for Chateau Of Secrets
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

World War II, French Resistance, Action Adventure

Date:May 13, 2014
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VicsMediaRoom
Location:Irvine, CA
Age:55-65
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Melanie Dobson in her new book, “Chateau Of Secrets” published by Howard Books takes us into the lives of Gisèle Duchant and Chloe Sauver.
From the back cover: 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.
GisèleDuchant guards a secret that could cost her life. Tunnels snake through the hill under her family’s medievalchateau 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.
In WWI France stopped the German Invasion at The Maginot Line. The Nazis wanted to make up for that humiliation and roared across the Maginot Line taking Paris and occupying France. For four years, fearing retribution, France willingly allowed The Occupation. Well not everyone! There were a small but brave group of individuals across France that fought against the Nazis that were called The French Resistance. Genevieve Marie Josephe de Saint Pern Menke was a real life Resistor. Ms. Dobson has created the character of Gisele based on some of her adventures. Make no mistake this is a WWII actioner that will make your heart pound and your breath stop as you get involved in the action. Danger, action, adventure suspense thriller all rolled up in a very exciting read. Ms. Dobson has given us a story that belongs up there with the terrific movies that have come before. These are wonderful characters that live and breathe on the pages and you care deeply for them. This book does not disappoint at all. I enjoyed it and I am sure you will also.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Howard Books for this review. 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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Review 10 for Chateau Of Secrets
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Riveting Family Secrets

Date:May 13, 2014
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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5 out of 5
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5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Chateau of Secrets was a novel that takes place in the past and the present. In the present we have former school teacher Chloe who is trying to fit the mold her fiancé has made for her as he runs for political office. Her parents and fiancé want her to travel to France to the family chateau to be interviewed for a documentary for World War 2. Chloe really wishes that her paternal grandmother, Gisele and late grandfather, had shared more about their time during the war. Now her grandmother is deteriorating mentally and asking for her daughter Adeline, whom no one in the family knew ever existed. In the meantime, Chloe finds out some devastating news about her fiancé, and cannot wait to go and hide away in France. There she meets filmmaker Riley, who has secrets of his own and an interesting connection to her family. She also meets with a mysterious older woman, who is living near the chateau who knows things about her grandmother but refuses to speak to Chloe. In the past, we have Gisele’s viewpoint of what is going on from the time the Nazi’s have entered her beloved city and home and have changed her life forever. Trying to protect her family she finds her Jewish neighbors’ daughter seemingly abandoned and pretends she is her own child to protect her from the soldiers. While we are in Gisele’s story in the past, everything is unfolding for us as it does for her. Fast forward to the future with Chloe and we are right there with her slowly uncovering her grandmother’s lifetime of secrets. This was a well written novel and I absolutely enjoyed how Melanie uncovered the secrets in the way the story was told. Not only that, but I learned some things about the war I did not know and to be honest shocked me a bit. I received this book from the publisher however, the opinions are my own.
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Review 11 for Chateau Of Secrets
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A Story I Have Been Waiting For!!!

Date:May 13, 2014
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Robin Wallace
Location:Florida
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
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Chateau of Secrets
Melanie Dobson
Book Summary: 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.
Book Review: This is a book that sticks you! I spend days after finishing this book wishing there was more to read of it. I loved the moving back and forth between World War II and present day. I loved both the stories. I never wanted either to end. It was a spectacularly written, very believable and such a tender story of redemption. I once read a book similar in nature but this story fulfilled everything that other story could not. It was a private wish of mine to read a story developed as Melanie Dobson did. I laughed, I cried and I lived every moment of the story. I can not thank the author enough for writing this moving piece of fiction that was thread around the true events of World War II and the beauty of God within those horrific events. Gisele’s story was wrapped in the gospel of Christ who is greater than any tragedy man can think up. I love secret tunnels and rooms. A mystery of how things really were versus what people tell. These are the things that make a good mystery.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Howard Books for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.
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Review 12 for Chateau Of Secrets
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:May 9, 2014
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lcjohnson1988
Location:Indiana
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Fantastic! Wonderful! A definite must read! These are all words or phrases that briefly describe my opinion of this novel. The novel has two storylines going at the same time, one set in present day and one beginning in 1940 and continuing until the Allies expel the Nazis from France some time in 1944. The story alternates chapters between Chloe and Gisele. While this story is fiction, it is based on a real person’s life and her heroism is to be greatly commended.
Chloe Sauver is engaged to the challenger for Virginia’s governor’s seat. She has been coached on how to act, what to say and even how to position her body and face when answering questions. She believes she is in love and that her fiancé loves her in return. That is until she discovers something about him that causes her to rethink their relationship. She goes to France to the family castle or chateau to do an interview for a documentary on WWII. Her French grandmother, Gisele, is in the end stages of Alzheimer’s and has never talked very much about the war she lived through. While Chloe is in France, she learns more about her grandmother, her family and what others suffered at the hands of the Nazis. She also begins to spend time with Riley, the man who is creating the documentary, and sees what a good Christian man he has been transformed into.
Gisele Duchant is a young college graduate who lives in a marvelous home that has been in her family for over 300 years. The chateau is a place of security and safety that is until her father is murdered and the Germans come to town. The Nazis decide to make the chateau their headquarters in the area and to have Gisele work for them by feeding them and cleaning up after them. Meanwhile, Gisele’s younger brother is head of the local French Resistance movement and is in hiding from the Nazis. Gisele takes food to help support him and his men. Gisele’s best friend is deported and leaves behind her baby daughter, who Gisele takes in and cares for at great danger to herself. Gisele is a strong Catholic and relies on her faith in God to provide answers.
There are many themes prevalent throughout the story such as redemption, heroism, courage, bravery, succeeding against all odds, being willing to lay down one’s life for another, and allowing God to transform ugliness in to beauty to name a few. I had no idea that there were Jewish men who served in the German Army during WWII. I learned some interesting history about France. I was thoroughly immersed in this story from beginning to end and was easily able to relate to the emotions and fears of characters in the story. Melanie did a fantastic job of drawing me in to the story, keeping me intrigued and providing a wonderful ending. Please get a copy and enjoy this fabulous story for yourself!
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Review 13 for Chateau Of Secrets
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Most Intriguing Book of 2014

Date:May 9, 2014
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ECowgill
Location:Georgia
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
"Chateau of Secrets" was one of the most intriguing books I've ever read! Well-written, and enjoyable,
I could have read the book in just a couple of days had I not been so busy! The story is told by alternating
chapters between modern day Chloe Sauver and her grandmother, Gisele Duchant.
Descriptions of scenery, scenes and people were so realistic, it was as if I was reading a true story. Ms. Dobson has an award-winning novel in Chateau of Secrets.
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Review 14 for Chateau Of Secrets
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A favorite for this year!

Date:May 6, 2014
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homesteading
Location:rural NC
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Riveting! I knew when Melanie contacted me about reviewing this book that I was going to enjoy the story but little did I know how much. Chateau of Secrets is a historical-contemporary novel expertly written to engage the reader in both the past and present.
With alternating chapters, this story gripped my heart from the opening scene in the chapelle, to the ending scene in the same chapelle some 70 years later. I don’t know a lot about France during WWII but I was mesmerized from the start by the story of Giselle, a young woman fighting for her country in the only way she could during a most horrible time in history.
Emotions of fear, angst, loyalty and love were prominent throughout this superbly written novel. I could feel the horrors of death and war, and at the same time I was swept away by the love Giselle had for her family and country. The pages are filled with faith, intrigue, suspense, drama and romance. This is a story of secrets that are kept out of shame and fear and love.
It’s also a story about another young woman in today’s world suffering heartbreak, an identity crisis and foundering in her faith. Chloe is searching for answers. She needs to find out who she is, where she is supposed to be in this life, and why her grandmother won’t talk much about when she lived in France during the war.
There are a lot of characters in this story but I had no problem keeping them straight. As much as I enjoyed the contemporary scenes, I could have reveled in it being a total historical, those sections are that good! It was so hard to put this book down when I absolutely needed to, that I kept thinking about it as I was doing other things, anticipating the next time I could pick it back up. Finally, I decided I just could not wait any longer and stayed up from 3:30am until 6:00am so I could finish it! This is definitely one of the best books I have read so far this year. I highly recommend it to any historical/contemporary fan. If you haven’t read a book written this way, you really should give it a try. And it’s loosely based on a true story so that makes it even better!
I want to thank the author, Melanie Dobson, for sending me an Advance Uncorrected Proof for review purposes. I wasn’t required to write a positive review, just my opinion of the book, which I have done. No compensation has been received.
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Review 15 for Chateau Of Secrets
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Excellent War Ravaged Tale!

Date:May 4, 2014
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Wanda
Location:NC
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
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"Courage doesn't mean you stop being afraid." He kissed her cheeks. "It means you continue to fight, even when you're terrified." - Michel Duchant
Chateau of Secrets and the main character Gis'ele Duchant, is loosely based on the life of Genevieve Marie Josephe de Saint Pern Menke, a French survivor of World War II. Gis'ele Duchant worked in secret to help the Jews and the Allies by hiding them from the German soldiers in the secret passageways under her family home, Chateau de 'Epines. The Germans confiscated her home to use as their headquarters and forced Gis'ele to feed them during their stay but they didn't know she was also slipping away to feed her brother, Michel, and other members of the French Resistance. Gis'ele lost almost everyone she cared about to the Germans but she never gave up in her fight for freedom.
Meanwhile, her granddaughter Chloe Sauver was fighting a battle of her own. After finding out her fiancé, soon to be Virginia Governor Austin Vale, was cheating on her, Chloe flew to France to share her grandmother's story with filmmaker Riley Holtz. Riley planned to make a documentary about the Jews who became German soldiers and the events that happened during the time of the war. Chloe soon began to uncover devastating family secrets and Riley soon began revealing secrets of his own.
This book was overflowing with Characters that displayed amazing strength. Gis'ele Duchant was a woman of faith, a brave woman who risked everything to save those around her despite the fact that it could mean her very life. Chloe Sauver faced humiliation by the media for walking away from her soon-to-be marriage, but her strength and determination wouldn't allow her to give up. Two amazing women. One fought for her freedom, while the other fought for her future. Michel Duchant, Gis'ele's brother, fought with the French Resistance and risked his life on a daily basis to help bring freedom to his country. Josef Milch, half German and Jew, joined the German army in order to save the life of his mother, save orphans and help the Allies. And even Riley Holtz showed strength by facing his past and asking for forgiveness from those he had hurt the most.
I have never seen such an amazing and inspiring heroine or a story that touched me as deeply as this one did. It shifted between Gis'ele's story in the 1940's and Chloe's story in the present day and the transition was so flawless and smooth. I have read books that switched from present to past and they often felt as if they should have been written as two separate books. This one, however, was done beautifully. I can really tell the research that went into writing this book, also. The attention to detail and the historical facts drew me in until I felt as if I were part of the story. As if I were the strong and fearless Gis'ele Duchant hiding in an underground tunnel while aeroplanes passed overhead and bombs exploded around me. Faith was a big part of this story as well. The characters, especially Gis'ele, often prayed for safety, guidance and wisdom. Hope poured from every page despite the feelings of despair they each sometimes felt. And the entrance to the underground tunnels was hidden inside the chapelle!
I have always held a sadness in my heart for the people that were tortured or killed during the holocaust and their surviving families. The Diary of Anne Frank really opened my eyes to the travesties that happened during that time and I have thought about them often since. This book is one of the best written, mostly fictional accounts I have had the pleasure of reading. It's a novel of epic proportions that I would love to see as a movie. It's exactly what I have come to expect from Melanie Dobson. She is an amazing writer that takes every aspect of a story and blends them together flawlessly to leave you satisfied and well entertained. I LOVE her books and Chateau of Secrets is my ultimate favorite! I couldn't put it down and I am anxiously awaiting her next book! If you like war-torn stories with characters of amazing strength and faith you'll love it as well. I can't recommend it enough!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review. The opinions expressed are mine alone. I received no compensation for this review.
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Review 16 for Chateau Of Secrets
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Betrayal, Family, and Secrets!

Date:May 1, 2014
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Judy K Burgi
Location:Kendallville, IN
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
If you like excitement, mystery, thrills, secrets, and enjoy historical novels, this book is for you. This is the first book I have read by author Melanie Dobson. In a word, Wow! I am looking forward to reading more books by her.
I loved how the story goes back and forth between two main characters. Gisele Duchant is on a mission to hide her brother and others who are resistance fighters against Hitler and his army. Their hiding place happens to be in tunnels that are underneath her home Chateau d’ Epines. The excitement begins and builds as the pages turn. I was enthralled with this book and read it slowly to take everything in. The author paints beautiful pictures of Gisele’s Chateau and the surrounding property. It is written so vivid that I felt I was actually there with Gisele. Gisele’s very life is at stake many times and as a reader I had many heart stopping moments!
Chloe Sauver is the granddaughter of Gisele. Her life isn’t a bed of roses either, far from it. A betrayal from her fiance sends her to her grandmother’s Chateau in search of Adeline, a girl from Gisele’s past and to be interviewed by a filmmaker who is doing a documentary about Jews serving in Hitler’s army. Chloe is surprised to find what she uncovers while living in the Chateau during her stay.
This storyline is so fascinating. While I wanted to uncover all the secrets, I wanted to savory this story as long as possible. The twists, turns, and surprises will thrill you, stun you, and perhaps even cause you to say, Wow! Have you guessed by now that I loved this book?
I highly recommend this book. It is worth five stars many times over.
I wish to thank Howard Books and the author for allowing me to read and review this book. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
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Review 17 for Chateau Of Secrets
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great book!

Date:May 1, 2014
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Nancy
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This is an excellent book by Melanie Dobson, which weaves together the stories of two women, one during World War II and the other from present day.
Gisele is a young woman who lives at a chateau in France during World War II. Nazis invade her village and use Gisele's home as a headquarters. She must deal with the fears and stresses of life during war times, made even more challenging as she risks her life to help the French Resistance, Jews and orphans, but at the same time bravely serve the Nazis in her home so that she can continue her secret missions.
Chloe is Gisele's granddaughter living in the United States 70 years later. Gisele is still living, but her mind wanders. Chloe travels to France to meet with a filmmaker who is making a documentary about Jews serving in Hitler's army. She wishes she had asked her grandma more about her life at the chateau while Gisele could have still told her. While in France, Chloe discovers many secrets about her family and the chateau that she did not previously know.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and kept wanting to know what was on the next page, in the next chapter. I also learned some things about WWII. This book is full of suspense, well written and thoroughly researched. Gisele's story is loosely based on the true story of Genevieve Marie Josephe de Saint Pern Menke who lived in France during WWII. I definitely recommend this book. You will not be disappointed.
* I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher for my review in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Review 18 for Chateau Of Secrets
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

An epic historical fiction that comes full circle!

Date:April 29, 2014
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Heart2Heart
Location:Victorville, CA
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Lately it seems I've been coming across a lot of really exceptional novels involving true stories based on the lives of people who lived during World War II in France. It shows that we don't always know everything about what went on, until these stories make their way to the light and we find ourselves completely captivated by their words as we sit back as silent observers as they take us back in time.
In her latest novel, Melanie Dobson, shares the story of one such remarkable woman, Gisèle Duchant, who found herself dealing with the occupation of German soldiers as they invaded her childhood home in France just as World War II was taking place. She had never dreamed that this could happen because of the secrets that lay buried in the tunnels below her home Chateau d'Epines. All she knew is that whatever happened, she would need to do all she could to ensure the survival of her brother Michel who was part of the resistance fighters assembling in France, while Germany continued to claim more land in Europe.
Fearing that Hitler would crush any type of rebellion on France's behalf, Paris willingly gave up instead of resisting his advances. Those Jewish people living among the French were being deported to camps outside the city as Hitler's demands continued to grow. Gisèle soon discovered that even her friends couldn't hide from the soldiers and when she discovered they had left their infant daughter hidden behind, she vowed she would take care of her until they were reunited as her own.
In Chateau of Secrets, the novel alternates chapters between the present day and 1940 as Gisèle fights to keep her secrets hidden despite being surrounded quite literally by German soldiers living in her home. She only prays that each day, the Allies will arrive and set her free. In the present day chapters, Chloe Sauver is asked by her father to go back to France to the family's chateau to aid a reporter, Riley Holtz with his research of Jews that were forced into Hilter's army as a way of protecting those they loved that were Jewish from being sent away to deportation camps. Chloe is in the process of planning her wedding to an upcoming soon to be youngest governor in Virginia, but soon discovers a few secrets of her own that force her to return to France as she uncovers her grandmother Gisèle role in saving lives during the war.
I received Chateau of Secrets by Melanie Dobson compliments of Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own. This is such a phenomenal novel in how well it was woven together, past and present into one captivating story of survival, sacrifice and love. It's what happens to those willing to risk their life to rescue others and what happens to those who betray innocent people in an attempt to save themselves. The Bible says, "There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends." and that is just what you will discover by the conclusion of this novel. Easily worth every bit of 5 out of 5 stars and I can't wait to add this novel to its permanent home in my personal library. Being a huge fan of WWII history, I absolutely fell in love with this one!
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