The Women of Chateau Lafayette
Through the French Revolution and two world wars, Château de Chavaniac has stood firm. Though it is the house of one of the most famous Frenchmen known to American history, the Marquis de Lafayette, during those three wars, it was protected not by men but by women.
The Women of Chateau Lafayette</em,>, a richly detailed and lovingly written novel, tells the story of three such women: Marthe Simone, a schoolteacher trying to survive the Nazi occupation; Beatrice Chanler, a New York socialite who travels abroad to help French soldiers and children during World War I; and Adrienne Lafayette, the marquise herself, facing danger at home even as her husband fights in America. All three women are powerful figures in their own way, with strength far beyond what any of the men expect of them. What blew me away was not their strength — I’ve read more than enough novels and seen enough of the world to know how strong women are — but how distinct they are. They aren’t just any three women; Stephanie Dray has breathed life into her protagonists, making them far more than just flat figures on flat pages. I loved sinking into this book, and anyone who enjoys historical fiction will as well.
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