The Women in the Castle

The Women in the Castle

by Jessica Shattuck
4.6 26


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The Women in the Castle: A Novel 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very well written and full of Suspense and tears representing the Human nature.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My first Shattuck novel and a good read about a very difficult/bad time in human history. I was impressed with the different takes of this time on 3 different women brought together by a woman trying to do the right and moral thing. I would definately recommend. Thanks to my good friend for recommending to me. I believe it is getting good press at this time. JDL - 5-27-17
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
To get an idea that this book is going to capture you until you finish it. Nightingale, and The Girl Who Came Home are perfect for setting this book up if you enjoy faction. This book will be waiting for me to read again and again
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book, a must read, highly recommend
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Deep and honest in provoking feelings thru out the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was written so well. It made me feel like I was there and I felt the emotions in every moment. I rarely reread a book but this will be one that I do.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought it was well written. I thought the characters were well developed and gave different perspectives of the people who lived in Germany during World War II. Well done
Anonymous 26 days ago
I enjoyed every word of this historical novel. Characters were flawed and compelling. Learning the author's personal connections to Germany in WWII only enhanced the pleasure. I highly recommend this book.
Anonymous 6 months ago
Wonderfully told story of the strength of woman in the hardest of times.
kaosrules 15 days ago
Pros: Wow - another great WWII book - up there with The Lilac Girls, All the Light We Cannot See and The Nightingale. Great job of contrasting the choices people took, whether to ignore (or "not notice") the current political affairs or to do something and stand up for a belief to change it. A hero vs villain story of normal people. The story lines moved along quickly and there were great descriptions of the horribleness and glimpses of hope interwoven. Great twist at the end with Ania. Benita's ending was well done. Wonderful supporting cast of children, too. Love that this was based on 3 strong and very different women. The main message can be updated to change the historical figures to current political figures with the same idea of intolerance, hate and lack of human compassion. Cons: Wish there was more info on Marianne's life growing up. Felt like got more background on Ania and Benita during there youth and motivations. Thought the ending could have wrapped up a bit sooner, felt it dragged a little and didn't need as much detail at the end. Cover Art: 4 out of 5; Gets the message across without being Gothic-y or scary. Reasonable yet a bit dark. The lighter sky is perfect, as well as the almost invisible airplane.
Delphimo 16 days ago
Too many books covering WWII, but so many perspectives on that event. This story presents the story of three German women before, during, and after WWII. The reader meets Marianne, Benita, and Ania, and their children as Marianne attempts to hold this group together and survive the devastation during and after the war. This story reminds me of Motherland by Maria Hummel, which shows the hardships suffered by Germany after the war. Both expose that when the war ends, the suffering does not stop immediately. Jessica Shattuck creates Marianne, a woman enduring all to help everyone recover dignity.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Anonymous 12 months ago
GratefulGrandma More than 1 year ago
This is not the story of WWII nor is it the story of the holocaust, although those events are responsible for this story. This is the story of survival and friendship in the aftermath of a terrible time in history. Jessica Shattuck tells the story of three German women whose husbands were resistors and were killed for planning the assassination of Hitler. When we meet Marianne von Lingenfels it is at her husband's aunt's annual party at the Castle, on the night that will become known as Kristallnacht. She happens upon a meeting of her husband and several other resistors plotting against Hitler. "Connie" Martin Constantine Fledermann, her childhood friend jokingly appoints her Commander of wives and children. She is annoyed, but this title and promise is what brings these three women together. After the war ends, Marianne finds Martin, Connie's son and Benita his wife, both in unsavory locations/situations and takes them with her to live in The Castle. Shortly after, she receives a call from an American Officer that they have located another wife and children of one of the names she gave them. She moves Ania and her two boys to The Castle from a Displaced Person's Camp. The story tells about the trials and tribulations these women and children had to deal with during this period. The dangers from roving Russian soldiers, the lack of food and water as well as other creature comforts, yet they were better off than many others. As the story unfolds we learn about their past and how it brought them to where they were and what will become of them in this "New Germany". This story is one that needed to be told. I had not heard about what the citizens went through after the war. The scars that they had and the animosity between the resistors and the Nazis. Marianne was a strong woman who took a stand and helped others to the best of her ability. She was not perfect, but she was human. The plot had some slow spots but overall, kept me engaged and I enjoyed this story. A good one for historical fiction lovers. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
Well I was disappointed. Based on the rear cover's premise of what the novel, The Women in the Castle was promised to deliver and also based on the accolades from others on this novel I wanted so much more than it delivered. The first half of the novel was great, highlighting the stories of Marianne Von Lingenfels and Benita Fledermann, the wife of a childhood friend she promises to look after if anything should happen to her husband Connie. The stage is just before World War II when a group of resistors to Hitler's plan to take over Germany and eliminate those who stand against him. Her husband along with most of her friends have all been hanged for their crimes against Hitler and now she has lived up to her vow to protect their wives, fellow resistors like herself along with their children. The novel showcases both of the women's lives in a toggling between chapters of their past and present lives while living in a Bavarian castle of her husbands ancestors even though it doesn't have much of the creature comforts it once did. They eventually take on another woman Ania and her two sons who are now refugees with no place to go. They all band together to try and make it to their futures despite the odds against them in a makeshift family of sorts. It is an interesting perspective on what life would have been life trying to survive against the odds in the midst of a world war and one I had anticipated I would have enjoyed until midway through the book where it seems to take on a darker worldly side of not only language but also subject matter you didn't experience until this far into the novel. For me, it wasn't needed to get into the particulars of such events and sexual encounters because up to this point the novel was moving along and conveying such events were possible without describing them and adding profanity to both the characters dialogue, which in my opinion, cheapened the story line even if such things were probably said in real life. I received The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers. It is for this very reason that reviews are needed. It prevents the reader from having to endure things they don't wish to read in novels while hoping for an enjoyable historical novel. That being said, most people will rave over the novel as other reviews will undoubtedly praise it for the historical details of what women might have had to endure when their husbands were killed for their beliefs against Hitler and even those who didn't know if their husbands were alive when they were shipped off to imprisonment camps of the SS Nazi's. I give this novel a 3 out of 5 stars.
Deb-Krenzer More than 1 year ago
Oh what a touching story. I felt so much for these women. This was such a touching story. One woman had an idea of what her of what her husband was doing but she she kept it in the back of her mind. She said "no way, this was not happening in my world". Another wife was so innocent and young, that she had no idea that she had no idea that this was even going on. The final wife was aware, shocked, and appalled and for that reason she took her two boys and left. Such was the life that these three women were together after their husbands were gone, either through death or because they left them. Their stories are sorted and the lady of the castle (Marianne) took them in. Either through the knowing of their husband such as the case of Benita, the wife of her childhood friend, Martin. And Ania, the wife of another resistor who Marianne does not recall the name but still admits her to the castle. These three ladies bond and become friends while the war goes on around them. Together they raise their children and become a family as such. The bond that they form lasts a lifetime for all of them and the book is the story of these three women. While they are together and their lives before they come together. It is a very touching and moving story that I thoroughly enjoyed. It was entertaining, moving, mesmerizing, haunting, chilling and I really grew to like these characters immensely. Huge thanks to Bonnier Zaffre for approving my request and to Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest unbiased review.
Buecherwurm161 More than 1 year ago
A Must Read. I entered the contest to win this book, though its not the usual books I like to read, and I was lucky enough to have won a copy. Having grown up in Germany and being required to watch the movies in school about the concentrations camps, which left a horrifying impression on me, I typically avoided books of this nature, but somehow I was drawn to this book. It brought back many memories of stories my parents told me and I had a really hard time putting it down, I connected with the characters and could feel their struggles and burden. I know this book will stay with me for a long time and I feel it is also relevant for today, because we are heading into a new and scary future and I hope that history will not repeat itself.
Anonymous 19 days ago
Name duh age 20 moons looks jet black with sparkling green eyes family moonshade/star anything else ask
Anonymous 21 days ago
remjasta More than 1 year ago
Is it translated into Lithuanian language? Sincerely, Remjasta
grandmareads102 More than 1 year ago
Jessica Shattuck offers the reader a riveting prospective on how three women from different walks of life and their children deal with the years before and after World War ll. Germany is the primary setting where each unique story is revealed. Marianne Von Lingenfels is a well born, confident woman. Her husband worked in the Foreign Office. He along with like minded individuals plotted to assassinate Hitler. When it failed, they paid with their lives. Connie Fledermann was her close friend and one of the conspirators. He married Benita, a dreamer who wanted to escape her rural existence. She desired a life of beauty and luxury, but that was taken away. Marianne had promised Connie to protect his wife and child. She rescued her and brought her to the castle. The third woman is Ania. She is a stoic who joined the Nazi Party. She and her husband ran a youth lager. She believed in Hitler's rhetoric until the party's inhumanity was inescapable. She takes her boys and flees. Marianne takes her in. At the Castle their lives intertwine. They support each other as they move forward and build a new future out of destruction. The characters are multilayered and compelling. The story pulled me in and held my attention. The author took her time revealing each of their stories. It increased the emotional impact. The Women in the Castle is beautifully told and allowed me to see how our position in society influences how we act and what we believe in. I won a copy of this book which I voluntarily read. My comments are my honest opinions.
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars She was aggressive, a doer, a responsible person who felt committed to the task that she accepted years ago, her name was Marianne. I felt that she would have done more but the year was 1938 and as the party was in full swing, the husbands plotting secretly against the government behind closed doors, Marianne finds them and she anxiously wants to do her part. She waits, finally a part is given to her, Marianne has a responsibility, someplace where she can help. It’s now time for Marianne to fulfill her promise, she must find the women and children of these men, the resistors, who were plotting against the government and care for them. It is not an easy task and I was surprised that Marianne doesn’t find very many of these individuals. Locating Benita and Anita, she brings them back to the castle. These women bring with them such diverse and captivating stories that by the time the novel is finished, I am glad that Marianne only found these two women as I enjoyed what relationship these three shared. I had to laugh at Anita many times as I thought that she had her head in the clouds or perhaps she just didn’t want to face reality. Then there was Benita, this girl had my emotions all over the place. I loved her one minute and then I was screaming at her a couple chapters later. Sometimes she was fun and loving and other times, she got so serious. Marianne took her responsibilities seriously and she was a strong character. I thought of her like a shepherd keeping everyone and everything together. I loved the setting of this novel, the uninhabitable castle. The large cold rooms giving way to the large kitchen, where finally some heat was felt. As the heat made its way to the room above, the women all gathered upstairs in that one room to rest. From outside, you could see how isolated this landmark was, but again, it also was a special place to be in. I enjoyed reading about these women and their lives, it wasn’t just about the war, it was much more. I received a copy of this novel from a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway. Thank you Goodreads and William Morrow.
FrancescaFB More than 1 year ago
I was given an advanced courtesy copy of THE WOMEN IN THE CASTLE for review. I wish to thank Katherine Turro at William Morrow for giving me the opportunity to read one of the most heartbreaking novels I have read in the recent past. This novel was written as historical fiction. Its specific characters may be fictitious, but we can only imagine by her eloquent but candid verse how many people who lived through the horror of WWII Germany are actually represented. We feel their pain, their anguish, and their courage for survival. It draws readers using effortless plotting from the first page of this well-crafted novel. It is a heartbreaking, beautiful story of unconditional love, hope, faith, forgiveness, deception, loss, and resiliency. Family and friends support us through everything that life presents us, and provides us with the inner strength to move forward throughout our lives. It is a brilliantly written tale by Jessica Shattuck, who is a truly gifted writer. With simple, easy symphonic prose, it keeps you enthralled throughout the story, wanting more and more till the very end. I adore her writing style.
bookchickdi More than 1 year ago
Two of the biggest publishing sensations of the past few years are Kristin Hannah's The Nightingale and the Pulitzer Prize-winning All The Light You Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Both dealt with people trapped by the horrors of WWII in France and Germany. Jessica Shattuck's new novel, The Women In The Castle, tackles that same era and will definitely appeal to readers who were so moved by those two books. The story opens in November of 1938 at Burg Lingenfels, a castle in Bavaria, where the Countess' annual harvest party is about to begin. We meet Marianne von Lingelfels, the Countess' niece-in-law, who will act as hostess to the party. She is married to Albrecht von Lingelfels who fears that the Nazi regime and Adolf Hitler have become too powerful. Albrecht is disgusted by the actions of Hitler, and actively participates in the resistance movement along with others, including Connie Fledermann, a man who is always the charming life-of-the-party and Marianne's dear friend. Connie is married to the beautiful, young Benita, and if Marianne admits it, she is a little jealous. The action moves back and forth in time, and a few years later we find Marianne and her young children living in the castle, a shadow of its former grand self. Marianne has promised Connie that she take care of Benita and their young son, and along the way also picks up Ania, a refugee with her three children. The three women and their children band together to survive the horrors and deprevations of war. We learn where Benita and Ania were before they came to Burg Lingenfels, and what they had to do to survive. We see the horrors of war through their eyes, and some of the scenes are so jarring, such as the one of Ania and her friend seeing what they believe to be sacks of food piled high on open air wagons. As it gets closer they realize that the sacks are actually people. There are more than a few heartbreaking scenes in this searing novel. The story moves along, following the war's end and what happens to those who survive. Some do their best to move on, forget the past, while others are haunted too much. Marianne does her best to live up to her high principles, even if that hurts those she loves, while others do whatever it takes to survive. Which way is right? That is the big question to be answered. The women face many moral dilemmas, and the reader is left to wonder what she may have done in their situations. Shattuck does an admirable job of putting the reader in their shoes, making us identify with these women, creating empathy. The Women In The Castle is a haunting story, one that you cannot rush through, but must read and contemplate. These characters' stories will stay with you for a very long time. Fans of Chris Bohjalian's The Sandcastle Girls and David Gillam's City of Women should put this one on your TBR list as well.