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Reader reviews and comments on The Women in the Castle, plus links to write your own review.

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The Women in the Castle

by Jessica Shattuck

The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck X
The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck
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  • First Published:
    Mar 2017, 368 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2018, 368 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Lisa Butts
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Reviews

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There are currently 5 reader reviews for The Women in the Castle
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Helena

The Women in the Castle
This was an excellent book and portrayed the characters in this time era well. I didn’t want to stop reading once I started. The story line made one think about that particular time in history and how it affected the characters lives and the lives of their children later in life.
Roberta

A Moving WWII Story
I loved this book. It is the story of three widows whose lives become intertwined during WWII in Germany. They are brought together as a result of the failed resistance plot to assassinate Hitler in July 1944. Marianne von Lingenfels promises one of the resisters that she will find and protect the other wives. She brings them together and from then on we learn about their joint and individual past and present struggles.

For me this book was deeply personal. My mother was a German war refugee and at so many points in the book I was reminded of her "story". Millions of Germans had similar stories and I was once again reminded of their suffering and the atrocities of war.

I also loved that this story was about and told by women. Their experiences and the ripple effects of war as well as their own actions and decisions makes this narrative even more compelling.

I do have some minor criticisms. The narrative goes back and forth in time and sometimes it is confusing to keep track of what has or has not happened as you read it. (Why are so many authors using this technique these days?) And there is a chapter after the book ends that the author did not include in the main narrative. I think it should have been included.

I highly recommend this book.
Joan

Women in WII
I loved this book. It represented three different viewpoints of this era. I found the characters were not stereotypes. The heroic woman who represented the Resistance in Germany did have some flaws. The one who had been at first a follower of Hitler made us see how ordinary Germans felt at the time and did a little bit to make me understand the "How did people let this happen." The book was well written and I highly recommend it.
Power Reviewer
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

History and Friendship Among Women
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 husband's wishes and found two women including Benita who had married a man Marianne actually had loved at one time and who was a family friend.

These women and their children lived together and endured the hardships after the war as well as sharing their lives before and during the war.

Marianne was an organizer, Benita was a follower, and Ania was a great help to Marianne. All three women had endured a lot and were there for each other in their own way as they recovered after the war.

THE WOMEN IN THE CASTLE gives us insight into how families lived in Europe before, during, and after Hitler's regime. The book ends with the year 1991.

THE WOMEN IN THE CASTLE is well written, well researched, and with authentic characters and descriptions that draw you in...descriptions that allow you to share the experiences every character is dealing with whether good or bad. Some of the experiences are quite grizzly.

It took me a few chapters to get connected and to warm up to the characters, but once I did, I became fully involved with their lives as well as becoming familiar with yet another piece of WWII's history.

Historical fiction fans and women's fiction fans will love THE WOMEN IN THE CASTLE. Be prepared for a heart wrenching, but very thought-provoking read.

The historical aspect and the friendships between the three women draw the reader in and keep the pages turning while you also don't want the book to end. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.?
Nancy

This is not just another WWII story!
'Commander of wives and children" is the title given to Marianne when she makes a promise to her husband and other German conspirators that plan to assassinate Hitler. When their plot fails, the men are executed. Committed to her promise, Marianne finds two other resistance wives, Benita and Ania, and brings them and their children to live in her decaying family castle.

This is not just another WWII story as the perspective is of three very different German women with very different experiences of loss, guilt, survival and recovery before, during and decades after the war.
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