My Recommendation: Chateau of Secrets by Melanie Dobson

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.

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…

It’s been quite a while since I read a book I couldn’t put down, but Chateau of Secrets was one of those! I love books with past and present story lines, and in this one, I enjoyed both time periods equally. The WWII history was super fascinating. I never knew there were Jewish soldiers serving in the German army. And the French countryside sounded so lovely and was easy to picture – the author made me want to visit there! I liked the main characters, especially Gisèle, and of course, the underlying romance in both their stories. This was a great historical read that I highly recommend.

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