After invading Lamorlaye, France, Nazi officials don't hesitate to take over the beautiful Meunier manor as their headquarters, hitting two young Frenchwoman, Marie and Elise, who clean and launder to help supplement their families' meager incomes. But the girls begin to grow suspicious when medical equipment arrives, followed by an influx of pregnant women. As the Nazis' plans for the manor become clear, the girls must decide where their loyalties truly lie.
More than fifty years later...
Architect Marshall Becker arrives in Lamorlaye to begin the massive renovations of a Renaissance-era castle. The project was meant to provide an escape for Becker instead becomes a gripping glimpse into the human drama that unfolded during the Nazi occupation and seems to live on in midnight disturbances and bizarre acts of vandalism.
Becker explores the castle's shadowy history as he seeks to cope with the demons from his own past. Only Jade, the feisty nanny of the owner's children, is willing to stand up to him. But Becker soon discovers that every one of the chateau's inhabitants seems to have something to hide and something to protect -- and something worth fighting for.
Published in 2012
My thanks to my public library for providing me with all these excellent Retro Reads
An unexpected treasure of a read with a dual timeline! Present day tangles with 1940s in occupied France and provides a story rife with complicated layers and complex characters. Phoenix does an amazing job of weaving past and present together and the way the two timelines collide towards the end is page-turning perfection!
This is the kind of novel that explores hard topics and poses difficult questions. About life. And faith. Beck, in particular, is a lost soul, dragged down by despair. I didn't like him much at the beginning and he still irked me as the story progressed but I could also understand how he'd gotten to this point in his life as the author peels back some of those layers to reveal pain and hurt and betrayal.
A moving account of people caught up in real life struggles and the God who has the power to bring hope and healing if they are willing accept His offered hand.
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