Hot Best Seller

The Women of Chateau Lafayette

Availability: Ready to download

Named one of 2021's Most Anticipated Historical Novels by Oprah Magazine ∙ Cosmo ∙ PopSugar ∙ SheReads ∙ Parade ∙ and more! An epic saga from New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Dray based on the true story of an extraordinary castle in the heart of France and the remarkable women bound by its legacy. Most castles are protected by men. This one by women. A founding m Named one of 2021's Most Anticipated Historical Novels by Oprah Magazine ∙ Cosmo ∙ PopSugar ∙ SheReads ∙ Parade ∙ and more! An epic saga from New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Dray based on the true story of an extraordinary castle in the heart of France and the remarkable women bound by its legacy. Most castles are protected by men. This one by women. A founding mother... 1774. Gently-bred noblewoman Adrienne Lafayette becomes her husband, the Marquis de Lafayette's political partner in the fight for American independence. But when their idealism sparks revolution in France and the guillotine threatens everything she holds dear, Adrienne must renounce the complicated man she loves, or risk her life for a legacy that will inspire generations to come. A daring visionary... 1914. Glittering New York socialite Beatrice Chanler is a force of nature, daunted by nothing--not her humble beginnings, her crumbling marriage, or the outbreak of war. But after witnessing the devastation in France firsthand, Beatrice takes on the challenge of a lifetime: convincing America to fight for what's right. A reluctant resistor... 1940. French school-teacher and aspiring artist Marthe Simone has an orphan's self-reliance and wants nothing to do with war. But as the realities of Nazi occupation transform her life in the isolated castle where she came of age, she makes a discovery that calls into question who she is, and more importantly, who she is willing to become. Intricately woven and powerfully told, The Women of Chateau Lafayette is a sweeping novel about duty and hope, love and courage, and the strength we take from those who came before us.


Compare

Named one of 2021's Most Anticipated Historical Novels by Oprah Magazine ∙ Cosmo ∙ PopSugar ∙ SheReads ∙ Parade ∙ and more! An epic saga from New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Dray based on the true story of an extraordinary castle in the heart of France and the remarkable women bound by its legacy. Most castles are protected by men. This one by women. A founding m Named one of 2021's Most Anticipated Historical Novels by Oprah Magazine ∙ Cosmo ∙ PopSugar ∙ SheReads ∙ Parade ∙ and more! An epic saga from New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Dray based on the true story of an extraordinary castle in the heart of France and the remarkable women bound by its legacy. Most castles are protected by men. This one by women. A founding mother... 1774. Gently-bred noblewoman Adrienne Lafayette becomes her husband, the Marquis de Lafayette's political partner in the fight for American independence. But when their idealism sparks revolution in France and the guillotine threatens everything she holds dear, Adrienne must renounce the complicated man she loves, or risk her life for a legacy that will inspire generations to come. A daring visionary... 1914. Glittering New York socialite Beatrice Chanler is a force of nature, daunted by nothing--not her humble beginnings, her crumbling marriage, or the outbreak of war. But after witnessing the devastation in France firsthand, Beatrice takes on the challenge of a lifetime: convincing America to fight for what's right. A reluctant resistor... 1940. French school-teacher and aspiring artist Marthe Simone has an orphan's self-reliance and wants nothing to do with war. But as the realities of Nazi occupation transform her life in the isolated castle where she came of age, she makes a discovery that calls into question who she is, and more importantly, who she is willing to become. Intricately woven and powerfully told, The Women of Chateau Lafayette is a sweeping novel about duty and hope, love and courage, and the strength we take from those who came before us.

30 review for The Women of Chateau Lafayette

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kerrin P

    The Women of Chateau Lafayette by Stephanie Dray is a sweeping story about three women who guarded the Chavaniac castle where Gilbert du Motier, better known as the Marquis de Lafayette, was born on September 6, 1757. While the stories about each woman could have easily been the subject of its own novel, Dray expertly weaves them together to show the reader how the “spirit of Lafayette” inspired each of them. Adrienne de Noailles was only 14 years old when she wed the 17-year-old Lafayette in 177 The Women of Chateau Lafayette by Stephanie Dray is a sweeping story about three women who guarded the Chavaniac castle where Gilbert du Motier, better known as the Marquis de Lafayette, was born on September 6, 1757. While the stories about each woman could have easily been the subject of its own novel, Dray expertly weaves them together to show the reader how the “spirit of Lafayette” inspired each of them. Adrienne de Noailles was only 14 years old when she wed the 17-year-old Lafayette in 1774. While it was an arranged marriage, Adrienne was deeply devoted to Lafayette. She supported his fighting in both America and the French Revolution. She was known as a kind, gentle woman with the courage of a lion. Beatrice Chanler, a former comedic stage actress who married the wealthy adventurer William Astor Chanler, was a real-life war relief worker. Along with Mr. J.C. Moffat, she formed the French Heroes Lafayette Memorial Fund to purchase Chateau Lafayette. The Lafayette Preventorium hired physicians, nurses, and teachers to care for and educate underprivileged and sick children. Author Dray was able to learn a great deal about this beautiful and fascinating woman when one of Beatrice’s grandsons shared family letters with her. Chanler was the only person to make seven war-time sea crossings to aid in relief efforts. She earned numerous awards for her philanthropic work including being decorated as a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor. The third woman of Chateau Lafayette and the only fictional character is Marthe Simone, an orphan who was brought to the Preventorium by Beatrice as a child. While she longs to be an artist, Marthe is a teacher at the castle during World War II. Marthe is a tough character who reluctantly becomes part of the French resistance. She is constantly inspired by the strength of the women who have gone before her. 5-Stars. Book club recommended. While I have never been one to really enjoy LONG books, I loved this one. I listened to the Audible which is 23 hours and 55 minutes. The hardcover is 576 pages.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Susan Meissner

    Brilliantly executed and unforgettable. I loved it!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Renee Rosen

    This one deserves 6 stars or more. Seriously!! This is a masterpiece of historical fiction. And I don't say that lightly. Stephanie Dray has created an all-encompassing saga spanning three wars with three unforgettable women at its core. The immense scope of research, so seamlessly infused into Dray’s stunning prose, is mind-blowing. I simply can’t say enough good things about this brilliant novel. This one deserves 6 stars or more. Seriously!! This is a masterpiece of historical fiction. And I don't say that lightly. Stephanie Dray has created an all-encompassing saga spanning three wars with three unforgettable women at its core. The immense scope of research, so seamlessly infused into Dray’s stunning prose, is mind-blowing. I simply can’t say enough good things about this brilliant novel.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)

    Behind Every good man is a good woman, they say. However, what the saying should often say is next to every good man is often a good woman and, in Stephanie Dray's book, The Women of Chateau Lafayette, we met three of the most diligent, faithful, and courageous women one would care to meet. Brilliantly written with exhaustive research this book will make you keenly aware of the lengths and depths women went to work for freedom, deliverance, and a world where salvation and the right to life is on Behind Every good man is a good woman, they say. However, what the saying should often say is next to every good man is often a good woman and, in Stephanie Dray's book, The Women of Chateau Lafayette, we met three of the most diligent, faithful, and courageous women one would care to meet. Brilliantly written with exhaustive research this book will make you keenly aware of the lengths and depths women went to work for freedom, deliverance, and a world where salvation and the right to life is one granted to all. How Ms Dray connects these women to the chateau forms the basis of the story which scans many generations. it was masterfully done and a tribute not only to the author but also to these gallant women who never gave up, never succumbed to the evil around them, but kept on pushing through to establish what was good and right. There was Adrienne Lafayette, a quiet noble woman soon to become the bride of Marquis de Lafayette, who faces so many hardships and tragedies in her life. She sees her beloved husband go off to the soon to be new country that would become America, to fight for this burgeoning nation's freedom from an oftentimes cruel oppressor. She supports him fully as well as the principles she witnesses emerging from this new nation and waits patiently for his return knowing each day he might be killed. She witnesses the emerging hatred for the nobility in Paris, ready to explode in the soon to come bloody and heartless French revolution and once again shows not only her compassion and love, holding her family together, helping those in need, and worrying about her husband who has been thrown into prison. Coming so close to the guillotine herself, she learns that her grandmother, mother, and sister have been put to death and decided to follow her husband to prison. Begging for this to happen she brings her daughters with her and when permission is granted, she finally is able to be with the man she loves. Her beautiful spirit and nature make her beloved by the people of the countryside near the chateau, as she steps forward to counsel, give aid, and cherish all people. What a truly remarkable woman who started out being meek and mild but became a voice of reason and love! There is Beatrice Chandler, a woman of the 1900's who despite coming from very humble beginnings, becomes the wife of wealthy and handsome, William A. Chandler, (the A standing for Astor). Beatrice was a modern woman, a showgirl for a time already being once married and divorced at a very young age, definitely scandalous in that age. Yet she was bright, bold, and daring, standing up for what she thought to be just, a fighter, a woman who let nothing stand in her way. Left adrift by her husband, who often took himself off to various place around the globe, she made her own way sometimes leaving her sons at home. When Beatrice had to face up to the war, she takes power in herself and turns the chateau into a children's hospital where she is also able to hide Jewish children. She meets and falls in love with a dashing French soldier, but even their love for each other, can't stop the powerful forces that move within Beatrice. There is Marthe Simone, an orphan raised in the Chateau, reluctant to fight the winds of war, but finds herself, her strength, courage and resilience so needed in the times she faces. She becomes the young woman she was destined to be. This powerful story, is long and detailed with precision and grace. It will bring these three women's lives together within the walls of the Chateau that they loved. If you love reading about forceful, tenacious, and strong women, set upon a difficult course in the times they lived, I heartily recommend this book to you.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Natasha Lester

    Just dazzling! Three women, three wars, one French chateau and a whole lot of heroism: The Women of Chateau Lafayette is quite simply breathtaking in its scope and accomplishment. Prepare to be swept away to France and beyond by a master storyteller.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

    To be perfectly honest if I hadn't recieved this book as an ARC I'm not sure I would have finished it. And it is a really great historical fiction/ biography of a couple of women from history. Unfortunately more often than not the historical stories that people are intrigued by and want to read about involve scandal. Two of the three storylines involve infidelity and the third story (the only one that was true fiction and could have been anything the author wanted) was the worst: an engaged woma To be perfectly honest if I hadn't recieved this book as an ARC I'm not sure I would have finished it. And it is a really great historical fiction/ biography of a couple of women from history. Unfortunately more often than not the historical stories that people are intrigued by and want to read about involve scandal. Two of the three storylines involve infidelity and the third story (the only one that was true fiction and could have been anything the author wanted) was the worst: an engaged woman has "feelings" for a married woman. If that kind of thing will bother you this isn't the book for you. On to the actual story. It was truly well written and a fascinating look into history. I didn't know much about Lafayette before reading this book and nothing about his wife. I also thought it was amazing that someone who fought so hard for liberty would have his ancestral home someday used as an orphanage and a place to help rescue Jewish children during WWII. I think he would have been proud. Adrienne was truly a woman of great faith and principle. To go through all that she went through and still stick by her husband's side to the very end! Amazing! Beatrice was a very colorful woman. Full of life and courage. She was probably my favorite storyline to read of the three. I've also read Stephanie Dray's novel America's First Daughter. I liked it better than this one and would recommend it if you like historical biography fiction. This one was good too if you don't mind reading about the above mentioned scandals. Some swearing, infidelity, and violence.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Literary Redhead

    Stephanie Dray writes thrilling historical fiction, and The Women of Chateau Lafayette is no exception. Readers get a look at life in what Dray calls Lafayette’s “fortress of freedom” during three gripping eras: the French Revolution, WWI and WWII, focusing on courageous women from each period and their stirring legacies. HF lovers, don’t miss this! Pub Date 30 Mar 2021 Thanks to the author, Berkley Publishing Group, and for the review copy. Opinions are mine. #TheWomenofChateauLafayette #NetGalle Stephanie Dray writes thrilling historical fiction, and The Women of Chateau Lafayette is no exception. Readers get a look at life in what Dray calls Lafayette’s “fortress of freedom” during three gripping eras: the French Revolution, WWI and WWII, focusing on courageous women from each period and their stirring legacies. HF lovers, don’t miss this! Pub Date 30 Mar 2021 Thanks to the author, Berkley Publishing Group, and for the review copy. Opinions are mine. #TheWomenofChateauLafayette #NetGalley

  8. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Hupe

    Thank you to Berkley Books, Stephanie Dray, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book! Adrienne Lafayette: 1774 Beatrice Chanler: 1914 Marthe Simone: 1940 Extraordinary women in extraordinary times. The Women of Chateau Lafayette by Stephanie Dray intertwines the stories of Adrienne, Beatrice, and Marthe and their connection to one place. Everyone knows of the Marquis de Lafayette…dare I say it… “The Lancelot of the Revolutionary set!” I can’t promise that will be my only Hamilton referenc Thank you to Berkley Books, Stephanie Dray, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book! Adrienne Lafayette: 1774 Beatrice Chanler: 1914 Marthe Simone: 1940 Extraordinary women in extraordinary times. The Women of Chateau Lafayette by Stephanie Dray intertwines the stories of Adrienne, Beatrice, and Marthe and their connection to one place. Everyone knows of the Marquis de Lafayette…dare I say it… “The Lancelot of the Revolutionary set!” I can’t promise that will be my only Hamilton reference, but I will try to control myself. Anyway. Everyone knows the man who helped America win the Revolutionary War and who was determined to bring the same freedom to his country. But what do you know about his wife? It turns out that there would be no Marquis de Lafayette without Adrienne. The name of Lafayette has a legacy, even in the year 1914 after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and the beginning of The Great War. America isn’t in the war yet, but that doesn’t stop Beatrice from doing her part. War then comes again to France in 1940 when a young artist watches as Nazi Germany takes over France. These women are all connected by the great fortress of Lafayette. A fortress that stands for freedom. History comes alive in this multi-layered epic. I love that we get to see women and their impacts on history. Adrienne and Beatrice did exist in history. But unfortunately, Marthe was not real, but she is inspiring and a representative of the woman who did all they could to stand up to humanity. Adrienne often gets lost in history with her husband’s reputation. When Lafayette is fighting for America, Adrienne is working hard for his dream at home. Their work will trigger The French Revolution. I love reading about The French Revolution. Stephanie Dray really focuses her history on the utter chaos during The Reign of Terror. But I can’t help but see all the parallels that we can see to present-day issues. Now, can I get a novel about her children??? Anastasie was MAGNIFICENT and we only get a glimpse of her. This book was originally supposed to focus on just Adrienne but the author’s research led her to expand the book. While I LOVED Beatrice and Marthe, I kind of wish this was a series. This way we could have the full focus on Adrienne. There were moments where I felt her get lost, just like in history. BUT goodness. Beatrice dazzles. I could have done without all the back and forth with her husband and her captain. But I could see myself being her best friend! This book definitely inspired me to look more into her. Then Marthe. I love how her history is just as unknown as her future in a Nazi-occupied France. But sorry Marthe, you don’t deserve Travert. His development made me completely love him!—At first, I was not sure. Anyway, this book is long and some moments may seem drawn out, but stay the course. This book is emotional and inspirational! I rate this book of 4 out of 5 stars!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Literary Redhead

    Stephanie Dray writes thrilling historical fiction, and The Women of Chateau Lafayette is no exception. Readers get a look at life in what Dray calls Lafayette’s “fortress of freedom” during three gripping eras: the French Revolution, WWI and WWII, focusing on courageous women from each period and their stirring legacies. HF lovers, don’t miss this! Pub Date 30 Mar 2021 Thanks to the author, Berkley Publishing Group, and for the review copy. Opinions are mine. #TheWomenofChateauLafayette #NetGalle Stephanie Dray writes thrilling historical fiction, and The Women of Chateau Lafayette is no exception. Readers get a look at life in what Dray calls Lafayette’s “fortress of freedom” during three gripping eras: the French Revolution, WWI and WWII, focusing on courageous women from each period and their stirring legacies. HF lovers, don’t miss this! Pub Date 30 Mar 2021 Thanks to the author, Berkley Publishing Group, and for the review copy. Opinions are mine. #TheWomenofChateauLafayette #NetGalley

  10. 5 out of 5

    Bridget O'Toole

    *work perk*

  11. 4 out of 5

    Laura Kamoie

    I was thrilled to get to read this early and to provide this quote for my friend and co-author's wonderful solo novel: Stephanie Dray sparkles and astounds with this compelling and seamlessly woven multigenerational epic about the women who resisted, fought, and sacrificed to protect Lafayette's legacy and our most cherished ideals and institutions. A monumental achievement and truly historical fiction at its finest! I was thrilled to get to read this early and to provide this quote for my friend and co-author's wonderful solo novel: Stephanie Dray sparkles and astounds with this compelling and seamlessly woven multigenerational epic about the women who resisted, fought, and sacrificed to protect Lafayette's legacy and our most cherished ideals and institutions. A monumental achievement and truly historical fiction at its finest!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kristina McMorris

    So honored to provide a cover quote for this incredible book: Captivating, moving, and utterly unforgettable, The Women of Chateau Lafayette is extraordinary in every aspect. Dray’s astounding depth of research and richly drawn characters combine to brilliant effect in this epically breathtaking tale that held me in its grips from the very first page. I didn’t just read the interwoven journeys of three remarkable women, I lived and fought and endured alongside them. An absolute must-read!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Emma Zucati

    Adrienne and Gilbert were definitely my favorite. I just loved Adrienne so much. The humanity and life Lin-Manuel Miranda brought to Hamilton came through here too. There's something about the 1700s that requires a special touch to invigorate the story, and Day definitely got it right. Adrienne had to be so self aware without being unfeeling and her strength was raw and full of emotion. I was not a big fan of Beatrice, for whatever reason her voice just didn't come through for me. Her superiority Adrienne and Gilbert were definitely my favorite. I just loved Adrienne so much. The humanity and life Lin-Manuel Miranda brought to Hamilton came through here too. There's something about the 1700s that requires a special touch to invigorate the story, and Day definitely got it right. Adrienne had to be so self aware without being unfeeling and her strength was raw and full of emotion. I was not a big fan of Beatrice, for whatever reason her voice just didn't come through for me. Her superiority got to me and I felt like her story was the least supported. Her good work was only mentioned in terms of numbers so I never felt the actual impact of her work. Logically, I know she helped war efforts, but her relationship issues far overshadowed her progress in a way the other two women were able to avoid. Especially with her superiority complex and need to prove she rose above. When her actions turned selfish at times, I cared less about how much they helped the soldiers. Marthe's story I found to be the most exciting and developed. She had such a journey and I was happy to ride it out with her. I also want to bring attention to this being a story about a Frenchwoman in WWII. There's a WWII genre subset of American and English female spies, even going so far as to have British/American women that grew up with a French grandmother so they have the accent. Not so much actual Frenchwomen getting the starring role in the novel. I loved this perspective and hope to find more of it, now that I know to look. My biggest gripe is her origin story, and the inevitable connection to Beatrice (this was my main sticking point with Beatrice's story too). It was weak and then only mentioned when convenient such that it was a disservice to Marthe's character. I also loved the variety of men in these stories. They complimented the individual women well and held their own, all in admirable ways. Shout out to my main man Yves. Unfortunately, the novel was a bit dull. The arcs were interesting and the character development was thoughtful, but there were entire chapters of frivolous conversation. I enjoyed Beatrice's friendship and Adrienne's interactions with royalty, but I don't think we needed quite as much as was there for the story. It brought the characters down a bit and made them feel more flippant than I felt warranted. It provided a good arc to the intricacies of the lives the women led, there just might be shorter ways to show it as opposed to telling it. Overall, I really enjoyed it. It was 3 stars during most of it, solely because it really slowed down in the middle, but the endings wrapped up well and that got me to 3.5. What pushed it to a 4 for me was the short bit at the end where Dray talked about where fact met fiction. It showed such a depth and attention to detail that I appreciated the whole book so much more for it. I would definitely recommend it with a disclaimer that it might take a bit to get through, but these women are definitely worth it in the end.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Carrie Mataraza

    Stephanie Dray has provided me and so many other lovers of historical fiction hours and hours of pleasure and learning. This, her newest work, is due out next March and I highly recommend you place it on your to-read list. You could win and advanced copy: https://bit.ly/SDCoverSweeps Here is a detailed description of what we have to look forward to: Q&A WITH STEPHANIE DRAY What made you fall in love with Adrienne Lafayette and why do you think readers will fall for her as you did? Thanks to a popu Stephanie Dray has provided me and so many other lovers of historical fiction hours and hours of pleasure and learning. This, her newest work, is due out next March and I highly recommend you place it on your to-read list. You could win and advanced copy: https://bit.ly/SDCoverSweeps Here is a detailed description of what we have to look forward to: Q&A WITH STEPHANIE DRAY What made you fall in love with Adrienne Lafayette and why do you think readers will fall for her as you did? Thanks to a popular musical, the Marquis de Lafayette is known to a new generation as "America's Favorite Fighting Frenchman"--and there's good reason for that. He's easily the most lovable of our Founding Fathers, and his wife, whom he called his dear heart, is just as lovable if not more so. Adrienne was our French Founding Mother, so right up my alley as a heroine, but at first I worried she was too sweet, devoted, and forgiving. In short, too gentle for a novel. Little did I realize that more than any other historical heroine I've ever written, Adrienne fought and sacrificed for her principles, courageously threw herself into danger, confronted tyrants, and endured trials that would have broken lesser mortals. She truly humbles me, and when I talk about the Lafayette legacy, I think of it as every bit as much hers as it is his. How long did it take you to write this book? Did the story evolve as you researched, or did you always know you wanted to take on the lives of these particular women? I was always interested in Lafayette--an interest that grew as Laura Kamoie and I co-authored America's First Daughter and My Dear Hamilton. I think I had the germ of the idea for a Lafayette novel at least seven years ago, but I had other projects in the way. And I was always in search of an angle that would be fresh and unique. That came to me when I discovered that Lafayette's castle in Auvergne, which had been purchased and renovated by Americans, served to shelter Jewish children from the Nazis. Knowing how deeply the Lafayettes both felt about religious freedom, I knew this would have pleased them, and it touched me. I was then determined to know which Americans had purchased the chateau, and when I found out, yet another glorious chapter in the Lafayette legacy was born. That's when the story took shape for me about one special place on this earth where, generation after generation, faith has been kept with principles of liberty and humanity. I find that very inspirational, now more than ever. The book is centered around Lafayette’s castle, the Château de Chavaniac, and the pivotal role it played during three of history’s darkest hours—the French Revolution and both World Wars. If you could have dinner with any three people (dead or alive) at Chavaniac, who would you choose and why? Believe it or not, this is actually a difficult choice because so many incredible men and women passed through those doors. I'd have to start with the Lafayettes--though I hope they would not serve me pigeons, which were a favorite at their wedding banquet. To join us for dinner, I'd choose the colorful stage-star of the Belle Epoque, Beatrice Chanler, because she was a force of nature without whom Chavaniac might not still be standing. Actress, artist, philanthropist, decorated war-relief worker and so-called Queen of the Social Register, she was as mysterious as she was wonderful, and even after all the startling discoveries I made researching her larger-than-life existence, I have a million questions about the early life she tried so hard to hide. I can't wait for readers to meet her! ABOUT THE BOOK An epic saga from New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Dray based on the true story of an extraordinary castle in the heart of France and the remarkable women bound by its legacy in three of humanity's darkest hours. Most castles are protected by powerful men. This one by women... A founding mother... 1774. Gently-bred noblewoman Adrienne Lafayette becomes her husband's political partner in the fight for American independence. But when their idealism sparks revolution in France and the guillotine threatens everything she holds dear, Adrienne must choose to renounce the complicated man she loves, or risk her life for a legacy that will inspire generations to come. A daring visionary... 1914. Glittering New York socialite Beatrice Astor Chanler is a force of nature, daunted by nothing--not her humble beginnings, her crumbling marriage, or the outbreak of war. But after witnessing the devastation in France and delivering war-relief over dangerous seas, Beatrice takes on the challenge of a lifetime: convincing America to fight for what's right. A reluctant resistor... 1940. French school-teacher and aspiring artist Marthe Simone has an orphan's self-reliance and wants nothing to do with war. But as the realities of Nazi occupation transform her life in the isolated castle where she came of age, she makes a discovery that calls into question who she is, and more importantly, who she is willing to become. Intricately woven and beautifully told, The Women of Chateau Lafayette is a sweeping novel about duty and hope, love and courage, and the strength we find from standing together in honor of those who came before us.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The setting: "an epic saga." Historical fiction about Chateau Chavaniac-Lafayette. Billed as: "Intricately woven and beautifully told, The Women of Chateau Lafayette is a sweeping novel about duty and hope, love and courage, and the strength we find from standing together in honor of those who came before us" Three MAIN story lines involving the castle and the efforts of three women to support the fronts. Adrienne Lafayette, a " I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The setting: "an epic saga." Historical fiction about Chateau Chavaniac-Lafayette. Billed as: "Intricately woven and beautifully told, The Women of Chateau Lafayette is a sweeping novel about duty and hope, love and courage, and the strength we find from standing together in honor of those who came before us" Three MAIN story lines involving the castle and the efforts of three women to support the fronts. Adrienne Lafayette, a "gently-bred noblewoman," 1774. [the French--and American revolutions]. Wife of Gilbert, the Marquis de Lafayette [hence, his castle]. Beatrice Astor Chanler, a New York socialite, 1914. [WWI]. Married into Astor wealth; she uses her position and connections to bolster American-French relations and help the cause. Marthe Simone, an orphan [who grew up in the castle], and is now a teacher at the school and an aspiring artist, 1940. [WWII] [in the note, she is revealed as a fictional. device] And many other characters involved with these three women who figure prominently in this non-linnear novel. Lots of back and forth in this story [which meant for some confusion]. Many, many sidelines/things happening. The French Revolution--Lafayette goes to America, meets George Washington. Benjamin Franklin in France. Slavery, ideals, etc.! WWII and anti-Semitism. The French culture and infidelity. Well-written, but I honestly thought it could have been condensed a bit. Extremely detailed and well researched. And, IMHO, the Author's Note was epic. A looong, slow read. I'm in the distinct minority of readers who showed lots of love for this novel.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    When life for the entire universe and planet turns on its end and like everyone else you "have nothing to do" while your place of work is closed and you are continuing to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation, superspeed readers like me can read 250+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. And it is way too hot to go outside, so why not sit in from of the blasting a/c and read and review books?? BTW - stay home and save lives!!!!!!!! No tan is worth dying for. I requested and re When life for the entire universe and planet turns on its end and like everyone else you "have nothing to do" while your place of work is closed and you are continuing to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation, superspeed readers like me can read 250+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. And it is way too hot to go outside, so why not sit in from of the blasting a/c and read and review books?? BTW - stay home and save lives!!!!!!!! No tan is worth dying for. I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. An epic saga from New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Dray based on the true story of an extraordinary castle in the heart of France and the remarkable women bound by its legacy in three of humanity's darkest hours. Most castles are protected by powerful men. This one by women... A founding mother... 1774. Gently-bred noblewoman Adrienne Lafayette becomes her husband's political partner in the fight for American independence. But when their idealism sparks revolution in France and the guillotine threatens everything she holds dear, Adrienne must choose to renounce the complicated man she loves, or risk her life for a legacy that will inspire generations to come. A daring visionary... 1914. Glittering New York socialite Beatrice Astor Chanler is a force of nature, daunted by nothing--not her humble beginnings, her crumbling marriage, or the outbreak of war. But after witnessing the devastation in France and delivering war-relief over dangerous seas, Beatrice takes on the challenge of a lifetime: convincing America to fight for what's right. A reluctant resistor... 1940. French school-teacher and aspiring artist Marthe Simone has an orphan's self-reliance and wants nothing to do with war. But as the realities of Nazi occupation transform her life in the isolated castle where she came of age, she makes a discovery that calls into question who she is, and more importantly, who she is willing to become. Intricately woven and beautifully told, The Women of Chateau Lafayette is a sweeping novel about duty and hope, love and courage, and the strength we find from standing together on the shoulders of those who came before us. WHAT A BOOK!!!! Wow, I was blown away - it was expertly written and utterly enjoyable. The characters are formidable women but utterly enjoyable as was the plot. (Of course, Lafayette in the musical "Hamilton" and the sublime Daveed Diggs kept going through my head while I was reading this book but that is because I have watched "Hamilton" about 30 times in the past 3 weeks!) This is a perfect book club pick and I can see if flying off the shelves as it would appeal to lovers of fiction, world wide. As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis (outside of their incessant use by "🙏-ed Social Influencer Millennials/#BachelorNation survivors/Tik-Tok and YouTube Millionaires/etc. " on Instagram and Twitter... Get a real job, people!) so let's give it 🏰 🏰🏰🏰🏰

  17. 5 out of 5

    Claudia

    In the author's note she stated that she wanted to tell the story of Adrienne Lafayette. In her research she learned interesting information about Lafayette's house and how it was later used as a children's hospital / orphanage, so the author added two more storylines to this novel. In my opinion, she should have focused only on Lafayette. I enjoyed Adrienne's story which unfortunately became muddled by the other extraneous plots. I did not like either of the other two storylines, one of which t In the author's note she stated that she wanted to tell the story of Adrienne Lafayette. In her research she learned interesting information about Lafayette's house and how it was later used as a children's hospital / orphanage, so the author added two more storylines to this novel. In my opinion, she should have focused only on Lafayette. I enjoyed Adrienne's story which unfortunately became muddled by the other extraneous plots. I did not like either of the other two storylines, one of which took place during World War I and the other during World War II. The author tried to pack too much into one novel and it became ponderous. I read this book on my phone and it amounted to a whopping 1500 + pages. I am not opposed to long reads if they are good. However this set of three stories was not good enough to fill that many pages. The level of detail was excruciating, at least in the WWI and WWII plots, as they were not intriguing enough to support it. I could not help but skim what seemed like filler. Some people may enjoy this level of detail, but I did not find any of it compelling. I honestly did not care about the other two characters. Had the author stuck to her original plan and written a historical fiction novel about Adrienne Lafayette, she probably would have had a winner. I could have happily skipped the chapters about the other characters and just read about Adrienne. Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for an advance reading copy in exchange for my honest review.

  18. 5 out of 5

    SueK

    This felt like a really, really long book. It was interesting, but for some reason, very difficult to keep straight the three women of the three time periods. I almost wish I’d read the authors notes at the end before I read the book, as it outlined each woman separately, giving some chronology to their experiences, rather than flipping back and forth between women and time periods constantly. I was most interested in Adrienne LaFayette., and, as mentioned, the author’s notes really filled her i This felt like a really, really long book. It was interesting, but for some reason, very difficult to keep straight the three women of the three time periods. I almost wish I’d read the authors notes at the end before I read the book, as it outlined each woman separately, giving some chronology to their experiences, rather than flipping back and forth between women and time periods constantly. I was most interested in Adrienne LaFayette., and, as mentioned, the author’s notes really filled her in nicely. I’m not sure if it was my frame of mind at the time of reading, or if this truly is a rather slow moving book. I may pick it up again in the future and see how it feels. Actual rating 3.5; since I can only give whole stars, unfortunately I’m going to round down to three - can’t quite push it to four. Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    I jumped at the chance to read this book! Any historical fiction set in France interests me, and my recent obsession with Hamilton made anything tied to Lafayette automatically on my list as well. Sadly, I knew very little about Lafayette before watching Hamilton, and I was excited to learn more, especially since this novel focused on the women and their roles in history. I read Dray's My Dear Hamilton (co written with Lauren Kamoie) earlier this year and absolutely loved it--so I definitely had I jumped at the chance to read this book! Any historical fiction set in France interests me, and my recent obsession with Hamilton made anything tied to Lafayette automatically on my list as well. Sadly, I knew very little about Lafayette before watching Hamilton, and I was excited to learn more, especially since this novel focused on the women and their roles in history. I read Dray's My Dear Hamilton (co written with Lauren Kamoie) earlier this year and absolutely loved it--so I definitely had high expectations for this book. I am happy to say that this book was everything I hoped it would be and more!! This book was beautifully written, spanning centuries and continents. It centered around Lafayette's wife Adrienne (late 1700's) Beatrice (during WW1) and Marthe (WW2). Initially I was most interested in Adrienne's story--but as the book went on I loved each one of these women and their stories. Dray expertly wove these stories together and I alternated between wanting to finish the book to know how everything wrapped up, and never wanting the book to end because it was THAT GOOD. I had this both on my kindle and on audio. The narration was fantastic. Can we also take a moment to appreciate the immense amount of research Stephanie Dray did for this book? Any one of these three time periods requires a lot of research, but all three? Dray is amazing at what she does and I will automatically read any and all of her future books. Make sure to read her author's note at the end of this one--it outlines her research and any choices she made that were different from history. If you love historical fiction, this is an absolute must read!! It will absolutely be one of my favorites of 2021. Thank you to the publisher via NetGalley for my copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I also used an audio credit (of my own purchase) and listened to this one as well.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Candace

    I was so excited to be approved to review this novel, and was disappointed with the opening. "The Women of Chateau Lafayette" gets off to an awkward start, stay the course! It develops into an suspenseful and compelling tale that is hard to put down. There are three narratives--the most modern involves Marthe, a teacher at a school for children with respiratory problems in rural France. She was raised at the institution, which is sponsored by an American organization that supports the home of the I was so excited to be approved to review this novel, and was disappointed with the opening. "The Women of Chateau Lafayette" gets off to an awkward start, stay the course! It develops into an suspenseful and compelling tale that is hard to put down. There are three narratives--the most modern involves Marthe, a teacher at a school for children with respiratory problems in rural France. She was raised at the institution, which is sponsored by an American organization that supports the home of the Marquis de Lafayette, the Frenchman who fought with Washington in the American Revolutionary War. It's 1939. In 1774, 14-year-old Adrienne is married to 16-year-old Gilbert de Mortier, the last of the Lafayette line. Her family is rich, and even though he is a rube from a backwater, so is he. Adrienne suspects there may be more to this redheaded kid than anyone thinks. In 1915, former chorus girl Beatrice Chanler decides to use her husband's wealth to help the scores of refugees she sees flooding Paris. As well as being beautiful and charming, Beatrice is a born organizer and shaker-upper. Her work will save thousands of refugees, and grow the legacy of the Marquis de Lafayette, whom she greatly admires. The novel starts out with Marthe's story, which is the weakest for the first quarter of the book. Ultimately, all the stories are completely riveting and Stephanie Dray handles the last quarter of the narrative like a skilled film director. The result is dynamic reading and a book that's hard to put down, filled with lots of well delivered history and characters you care about. What a treat! Greatest thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for this reading treat! ~~Candace Siegle, Greedy Reader

  21. 4 out of 5

    Susanne

    I will be taking my time to write a thorough review of this book, which I loved from beginning to end.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I had been looking forward to this book for a long time, possibly longer than I even knew that the incomparable Stephanie Dray was writing it. When I first read the scene in My Dear Hamilton, where the older and wiser Marquis de Lafayette confides in Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton about his fears regarding whether or not his wife, the by-then-deceased Adrienne, knew just how much he loved her, I have been much intrigued about the identity and personality of this woman that so clearly held Lafay I had been looking forward to this book for a long time, possibly longer than I even knew that the incomparable Stephanie Dray was writing it. When I first read the scene in My Dear Hamilton, where the older and wiser Marquis de Lafayette confides in Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton about his fears regarding whether or not his wife, the by-then-deceased Adrienne, knew just how much he loved her, I have been much intrigued about the identity and personality of this woman that so clearly held Lafayette’s heart even so many years after her death. So when I heard that Stephanie was writing a book that would include the story of Adrienne, I’m pretty sure my neighbors heard my delighted shrieks. I then made sure to place a reserve on a copy of the book at my library once it was available in the online catalog, and also to pre-order a copy from my local bookstore. The library copy reached me first, but the purchased copy was only a day behind, which allowed me to return the library copy so that it could go to another eager reader in the holds queue. Chateau de Chavaniac, birthplace of the Marquis de Lafayette. Pretty swanky in a medieval sort of way, yes? ;) As always, Stephanie Dray has hit a home run in this book (any guesses as to what her batting average is in my book lol?). I came this book for Adrienne’s story, but instead found two other fascinating heroines in Beatrice Chanler and Marthe Simon. Three women. Three wars. One castle. One nation. There is so much at this story’s heart that it seems impossible to put it all into words. There is Adrienne de Noailles, the wife of the Marquis de Lafayette and, as Stephanie so lovingly calls her, “America’s French Founding Mother.” There is Beatrice Chanler, a wealthy philanthropist who spent years attempting to support French troops and convince the United States to come to France’s aid during the First World War. There is Martha Simon, the fictional or composite character created for the story based upon the heroic actions taken by a variety of women in the area around the Chateau de Chavaniac during the occupation of France by the Nazis in World War Two. There is the Chateau de Chavaniac itself, which is a character all on its own. Then there’s this guy: Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, a.k.a. He-Who-Has-More-Names-Than-Albus-Freaking-Dumbledore. Lafayette is also an enormously significant character in the book. First, as Adrienne’s husband and partner in the drive for reform and Revolution in France. Second, as the rallying call for Beatrice to utilize to urge the U.S. to stand with France. Third, as the inspiration to all those who sought ways to resist the Nazi Occupation. A complex man, and yet portrayed just as wonderfully as every other character in the book. I could list a million reasons as to why I love this book, but I think the best way to describe it is that it all comes down to the courage of these three women. I was reduced to sobbing my heart out as Adrienne endured blow after blow during the Terror. Reading about her enduring the years-long separation from her husband, the deaths of her grandmother, mother, and beloved sister from the Guillotine, living in constant fear that her children would also suffer the same fate, battling all of the demons that come with living under such terrible conditions was so heart wrenching. And yet, even with all of that weighing her down, Adrienne did not break. She persevered, and then when she was saved by the machinations of people like James and Elizabeth Monroe and Gouverneur Morris, Adrienne gathered her strength to go forth to save Lafayette, staring down an Emperor and shaming him before all the world until at least he broke down and released them from prison. Adrienne’s time in prison with Lafayette was her battlefield, and she took no prisoners, allowing the Emperor no mercy and it was epic. Adrienne de Noailles de Lafayette, every bit as much of a badass as Lafayette. I would have loved to have seen more of their time together under Napoleon, seen in more detail Adrienne’s heroic efforts to restore liberty and property to the people so cruelly mistreated by the Jacobins, but I also understand that the book is over 500 pages as it is. Doing more of that in detail probably would have added another 100 pages or so. I’d have loved it, but it might have been a bit much for many other readers. Another thing that I very much enjoyed was all of the little Easter eggs sprinkled throughout Adrienne’s chapteres, cameos from Dray’s previous works – a young Patsy Jefferson (America’s First Daughter), John Laurens, mentions of Alexander Hamilton, James Monroe (My Dear Hamilton), as well as the Condorcets (Ribbons of Scarlet). The only one that was missing was Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton herself, but alas, she and Adrienne never had the chance to meet. Oh, and one last thing – I was tickled pink over Dray’s admission that her writing of Adrienne’s father was inspired in part by Charles Dance’s portrayal of Tywin Lannister in Game of Thrones. Holy crap, if someone ever does a film or series about these people, I will demand that Charles Dance play Adrienne’s dad. I will accept no one else in that role! Charles Dance portraying the Duc d'Ayen after Lafayette both causes a scandal with his affair and drives Adrienne to tears. Your choice as to which part upsets the duc the most. Beatrice’s efforts amid World War One too were nothing short of heroic. While in some quarters philanthropy often gets dismissed as being just for rich society ladies with too much time on their hands, the deeds and actions of women like Beatrice were every bit as vital as that of the soldiers who fought on the battlefields. And it was Beatrice who laid out the Chateau de Chavaniac’s mission for the 20th century – a shrine to the Lafayettes and their ideals, but more importantly, a home for children who had been so cruelly displaced by the war. Beatrice Chanler has no time for bullshit. She’s got babies to save and French officers to dazzle. Then there is Marthe. In some ways, I found her the most relatable of the three primary characters of the novel. An ordinary girl dealing with extraordinary and terrifying times. I very much enjoyed her sass and spunk, and also her journey from the outlook of “I’m looking out for number one” to an ardent resistor against both the pro-German Vichy government and the Nazis, working to hide and protect both Jewish children and also the fighters who sought to fight their enemies any way they could. Simone Segouin, a heroine of the French Resistance. Marthe Simon has no image because she is fictional, but Simone was one the many women who stood up against tyranny any way she could. I think she works as a great stand-in here for Marthe. Dray chose her time periods well in this book. Three of the world’s darkest hours, the French Revolution and the two World Wars. And yet, in those dark times, there were people who rose to meet those challenges, to beat back the darkness. I was absolutely enthralled from the story from start to finish. Each character has a story that could stand as its own novel, but Dray did an outstanding job weaving their stories together, telling what needed to be told and leaving off what was unnecessary (even if I definitely would have loved to have seen Diane de Simiane make an appearance, but I understand Dray’s reasons for cutting her out, which is explained in the author’s note at the end). An utterly amazing book. One of my new favorites!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Heather Starr

    Such a good book. Based on Lafayette’s castle (yes, THAT Lafayette) and told through the stories of three women during three wars. Adrienne, The Marquis de Lafayette’s wife; Beatrice, who helped establish the castle into a home for orphans; and Marthe, who grew up in the castle as an orphan herself. Together these three women are representative of the Lafayette’s legacy. This book is a perfect example of why I love historical fiction.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Joy Matteson

    Stephanie Dray is known for her deep dives into historical fiction, specifically tied to women of history that only get about 2 lines' worth in a Wikipedia entry. Lovers of her excellent previous book on Hamilton's wife "My Dear Hamilton" that she co-wrote with Laura Kamoie will also enjoy this title about the estate of Lafayette, American (and French...sorta!) war hero. However, Lafayette is clearly a secondary character in this novel--the center stage are the 3 women who guard the Chateau de C Stephanie Dray is known for her deep dives into historical fiction, specifically tied to women of history that only get about 2 lines' worth in a Wikipedia entry. Lovers of her excellent previous book on Hamilton's wife "My Dear Hamilton" that she co-wrote with Laura Kamoie will also enjoy this title about the estate of Lafayette, American (and French...sorta!) war hero. However, Lafayette is clearly a secondary character in this novel--the center stage are the 3 women who guard the Chateau de Chavaniac over the centuries. I was most captivated by Adrienne Lafayette's story, who sacrificed her life for the sake of freedom and her husband's cause. Although this is a long book, clocking in at almost 500 pages, Dray's characters are human, flawed, and fascinating to read about. This could have been an extremely bleak novel, spanning the Revolutionary War, the French Revolution, World War I AND World War II, but the women's courage in the face of death and adversity is the running theme that ties them to both the Chateau and themselves. Highly recommended.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Bonnye Reed

    I received a free electronic ARC of this historical novel from Netgalley, Stephanie Dray, and Berkley Press. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read this novel of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work. Stephanie Dray breathes life and heart into these characters, many modeled on historical figures from this place, this time. We visit Chateau LaFayette in Chavaniac, France in three different time periods, and watch as it is transformed from I received a free electronic ARC of this historical novel from Netgalley, Stephanie Dray, and Berkley Press. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read this novel of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work. Stephanie Dray breathes life and heart into these characters, many modeled on historical figures from this place, this time. We visit Chateau LaFayette in Chavaniac, France in three different time periods, and watch as it is transformed from a pastoral feudal retreat, large but not grand, into a self-sufficient preventorium and school housing many many children, many of them orphans, away from the death and destruction of war-torn Europe. In 1774 gently-bred noblewoman Adrienne Lafayette and her husband, the Marquis de Lafayette, are actively supporting the French government's support and backing in the fight for American independence. With Europe embroiled in The Great War in 1914, we follow New York socialite Beatrice Chanler who, after witnessing the devastation in France firsthand, takes on a reluctant President Wilson and faces the burden of convincing America to repay the French who backed our own independence by coming to their aid as the Nazis strip France of its resources, it's laws, it's pride, and it's people. In 1940 French artist Marthe Simone, an orphan raised at the school in Chavaniac and now teaching there has an orphan's self-reliance and wants nothing to do with war. But as the realities of the Nazi occupation transform her life even in the isolated castle where she came of age, she understands that France under any other form of government would never again be home. Only with the heart and grit of every Frenchman left can France survive and recover. pub date March 30, 2021 Berkley Press Reviewed on March 12, 2021, at Goodreads. Reviewed March 21, 2021, at Netgalley. Also reviewed at AmazonSmile, Barnes&Noble, BookBub, Kobo, and GooglePlay.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Margaret Rodenberg

    Like others posting early reviews, I received free access (no strings attached) to a pre-release of this novel through Netgalley. Not only do I give it five stars, I placed a paid order for the hardback coming out next March. I want this one on my physical bookshelf. Like Stephanie Dray’s earlier books, The Women of Chateau Lafayette explores the lives of semi-famous women to reveal their overlooked impact on history. In this gorgeous novel, three heroines—Lafayette’s wife during the American and Like others posting early reviews, I received free access (no strings attached) to a pre-release of this novel through Netgalley. Not only do I give it five stars, I placed a paid order for the hardback coming out next March. I want this one on my physical bookshelf. Like Stephanie Dray’s earlier books, The Women of Chateau Lafayette explores the lives of semi-famous women to reveal their overlooked impact on history. In this gorgeous novel, three heroines—Lafayette’s wife during the American and French revolutions, a New York socialite turned activist during World War I, and a reluctant French Resistance fighter during World War II—show courage when their world most demands it. The result is a compelling, flawless tapestry of three interwoven stories. While you get your dose of history, you’ll thrill to the new, heightened sensibility Dray has achieved. These grand women are tempered into steel, but they are also flawed, tragic and touchingly human. Readers with more interest in story than historical detail will find the novel brims with plot, quirky characters, mysteries, romance, family, and emotion. As it speeds to its highly satisfying ending, the Lafayette family chateau and its fabled American hero remain its touchstone, but the novel’s never trapped within those confines. I found it uplifting, informative, and entertaining. Highly recommended. Brava, Ms. Dray! You have surpassed your own stellar accomplishments.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Carol (Reading Ladies)

    4.5 stars rounded up Thanks #NetGalley @BerkleyPub #BerkleyWritesStrongWomen #BerkleyBuddyReads for my complimentary e ARC of #TheWomenOfChateauLafayette for review. All opinions are my own. A real castle in France, Chateau Lafayette, connects three women: noblewoman Adrienne Lafayette (wife of Gilbert Lafayette); New York socialite and actress Beatrice Astor Chanler; and French school teacher, aspiring artist, and orphan Marthe Simone. After having been the home of the Lafayette’s, the castle bec 4.5 stars rounded up Thanks #NetGalley @BerkleyPub #BerkleyWritesStrongWomen #BerkleyBuddyReads for my complimentary e ARC of #TheWomenOfChateauLafayette for review. All opinions are my own. A real castle in France, Chateau Lafayette, connects three women: noblewoman Adrienne Lafayette (wife of Gilbert Lafayette); New York socialite and actress Beatrice Astor Chanler; and French school teacher, aspiring artist, and orphan Marthe Simone. After having been the home of the Lafayette’s, the castle became a refuge for orphan children during two world wars. Stephanie Dray is a dependable and popular historical fiction author who puts the history in histfic. Readers expect her ambitious work to be well-researched, thoughtful, and engaging. The Women of Chateau Lafayette does not disappoint! It helped me to take notes in the beginning because the substantial and complex story could have been three separate books, jumping between three very different characters (two based on real people and one fictional), a great deal of historical detail, and three very different time periods. If you’re looking for rich and dense historical fiction, you will be pleased with this story! Although I need to admit that at times my eyes glazed over trying to comprehend the details and political intrigue of the French Revolution! If you find the first half of the book slow going as you become familiar with the characters and settings, you will be pleased that the second half of the book picks up the pace and intensity. There were a few times that I had to roll my eyes by some modern thinking that was tossed in (one of my pet peeves in historical fiction). One quote: “She made a good argument, though no one ever told a brave husband and father that he must not risk his life. Men like my husband were allowed–may, encouraged–to do great deeds. No one ever asked Willie. But who’s looking after the children when you’re gone?” This seems like modern thinking and a bit anachronistic for a woman in the early years of the 1900s. Does it appear that way to you? Stephanie Dray brings us the untold and inspiring stories of three women. Each is well drawn and admirable for her own reasons. Adrienne is a loyal and devoted wife and becomes a true partner with her husband, Lafayette, in every way. She shares his ideals, hosts huge gatherings to support the cause, is clever and brave, and makes incredible sacrifices. Beatrice is brave (making several ocean crossings during WW1…although I wondered about leaving her children for so long when the father wasn’t in the picture), uses her wealth and social standing to further her work with the orphanage, and loves her hats! Marthe is the fictional character (based on a historical composite) in the story. As a young child, she was placed in the orphanage and grew up there. Now (during WW11) she teaches there and is an aspiring artist in her spare time. Her bravery and actions to protect the orphans is remarkable. In addition, her marriage will surprise you! (***spoiler: it is my favorite relationship in the story!) Chateau Lafayette needs to be considered a character also as it connects and holds the entire story together. Don’t miss the author’s notes. Thoughtful themes throughout the story include marriage relationships, bravery, family life, independence, and sacrifice. The Women of Chateau Lafayette is an ambitious and substantial read and highly recommended for historical fiction fans who like their reads heavy on the history, for readers who love untold stories of brave, independent women, and for book clubs. For more reviews visit my blog at www.readingladies.com where this review was first published.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Scarlett

    Thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing for an ARC of this book! Release date - March 30, 2021 I was invited by the publisher to read this book, and boy am I glad they reached out to me because I wholeheartedly adored this book. I have read two books with Stephanie Dray as the co-author before this, and enjoyed them very much, but I definitely feel like this is her best book so far. As soon as I started reading it I said to myself, wow, I am going to love this book. I was hooked right away! I Thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing for an ARC of this book! Release date - March 30, 2021 I was invited by the publisher to read this book, and boy am I glad they reached out to me because I wholeheartedly adored this book. I have read two books with Stephanie Dray as the co-author before this, and enjoyed them very much, but I definitely feel like this is her best book so far. As soon as I started reading it I said to myself, wow, I am going to love this book. I was hooked right away! I love love love historical fiction like this. Adrienne Lafayette and Beatrice Chanler were both real people but I have never read a book about them, in fact before this book I'd never even heard of Beatrice and of course was only familiar with Adrienne's extremely famous husband thanks to Hamilton and middle school American Revolution classes. So the historical fiction here was top notch really expanding on the known facts of these historical women and bringing them to life! I learned so much because it was SO well-researched, and at the same time I truly feel like they're my friends. Then there's Marthe, who was not a real person but who very well could have been. All of the historical events are real surrounding her, and as Stephanie Dray says in the Author's Note, when doing research about Chavaniac during WW2 there was a "Marthe-sized hole" in the story, where real people did incredible things but whose names have been lost. Those people became Marthe in this story. I was so so invested in every perspective. I'd be so disappointed every time the perspective changed at the end of a chapter because I wanted to know what was happening to that character! But then by the end of that chapter I'd be disappointed to go back because I was invested in that character now. I truly can't pick a favorite because I adored these characters so much. I think it's incredibly genius to tie these three seemingly unrelated stories together in SUCH a seamless way that had the reader so addicted to each character and each storyline. The fact that Chavaniac was involved in the French Revolution, WW1, and WW2 and that it was a refuge for people throughout history, it should be more well known, and I applaud Stephanie Dray for discovering this incredible story that's been here all along and then putting forth so much effort tot bring it to life. I was sometimes at the edge of my seat wanting to know what would happen and how the stories intertwined. Yes, this is historical fiction, but I felt like there was also some mystery to it, action, romance, and it all was done so well. This is a long book, but I never felt like it dragged. In fact, I could have kept reading it, I loved these characters so much. All in all I truly loved this book. The writing was excellent, I was sucked into the world of France in all these different time periods. The characters were really brought to life and their incredible historical actions are really honored by this story. These women and this place deserve to be remembered! I am so so happy that I read this book and I can't wait to see what Stephanie Dray comes out with next.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Candy

    Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book in return for an honest review. This book chronicles the lives of three women of Chateau Lafayette, or the Chavaniac-Lafayette estate in Auvergne, France. I haven’t seen the musical Hamilton, and my knowledge of Lafayette is limited to what I can remember from history classes 50+ years ago, which is that Lafayette was a French royal who had something to do with the American Revolution and the French Revolution. So, here is Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book in return for an honest review. This book chronicles the lives of three women of Chateau Lafayette, or the Chavaniac-Lafayette estate in Auvergne, France. I haven’t seen the musical Hamilton, and my knowledge of Lafayette is limited to what I can remember from history classes 50+ years ago, which is that Lafayette was a French royal who had something to do with the American Revolution and the French Revolution. So, here is a quick refresher of Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de La Fayette (also Lafayette, which I will use here). Born into a distinguished family in Auvergne, Lafayette’s ancestors included a member of Joan of Arc's army, one that acquired the relic of Jesus’ crown of thorns during the Sixth Crusade and a great grandfather who was one of the King’s Musketeers. Lafayette was also groomed to be a Musketeer. After his father died in battle, Lafayette’s mother moved to Paris, leaving an aunt to raise him at the Chavaniac-Lafayette estate. Upon his mother’s death he became one of the most wealthy royals, making him a most eligible bachelor. Jean-Paul-François de Noailles, Duc d'Ayen, soon arranged the marriage between Lafayette and his daughter, Marie Adrienne Françoise, the first woman in the story of Chavaniac. The marriage between the 16-year-old groom and 14-year-old bride was a marriage of convenience which soon turned to love, and the two worked side by side for the remainder of their marriage. Lafayette was drawn to the American pursuit for independence and liberty, taking up the cause and fighting in the American Revolution. Adrienne believed in the American’s idealsl also, and did her best to help the cause from France. After Lafayette’s return to France, the two made their home at Chavaniac and soon took up the cause of the French Revolution and constitutionality. The book chronicles Adrienne’s life, supporting Lafayette both behind the scenes as well as openly, risking her life to do what the Lafayettes envision as the future of France. The second woman of Chavaniac is New York socialite Beatrice Astor Chanler. Beatrice was not part of polite society in 1903 as she was a stage actress and divorced. Nevertheless, she married William Astor Chanler, of the Astor family. While they were in love when they married, and loved each other in some way for their remaining days, their marriage is unhappy and the two live separate lives. During World War I, Beatrice turned her attention to philanthropy and co-founded and managed the Lafayette Memorial Fund at Chavaniac. The chateau was turned into a museum as well as a school, orphanage and medical facility caring for pre-tubercular, frail and malnourished children. The third woman of Chavaniac is Marthe Simone, a fictional character. Marthe is one of the first children Beatrice places at Chavaniac. Marthe grows up at the chateau and becomes a teacher during World War II, hiding Jewish children and forging papers to keep them safe. Dray is an excellent storyteller, and her work was done with extraordinary skill, intricately weaving the stories of the three women. This is historical fiction with a touch of romance, but not the mushy romance that so turns me off. Themes of duty, hope, love, courage, honor and strength are beautifully told. Absolutely captivating! https://candysplanet.wordpress.com/

  30. 5 out of 5

    Michelle "Champ"

    This book is one of those rarities that takes place over three time periods and it was brilliantly done. I can tell you a little of the connection that makes it all work....all three time periods take place in war, feature the Chateau Lafayette as a location, and spotlight women that are so very brave. First of all, we have Adrienne Lafayette, the patient, devoted wife of Gilbert (the famous Marquis de Lafayette). She starts her married life with her husband leaving to fight for America's freedo This book is one of those rarities that takes place over three time periods and it was brilliantly done. I can tell you a little of the connection that makes it all work....all three time periods take place in war, feature the Chateau Lafayette as a location, and spotlight women that are so very brave. First of all, we have Adrienne Lafayette, the patient, devoted wife of Gilbert (the famous Marquis de Lafayette). She starts her married life with her husband leaving to fight for America's freedom only to find when he comes home he is fighting for the freedom of all the people in France. You will soon see just how deep Adrienne gets into the war effort and exactly what she would give for her husband. Our next timeline is World War I, where we meet Beatrice. She determined to change her past, she will marry for love but the love soon turns into something else. Now she has two boys, but she must be more than just a mother, she feels she must leave her mark, to rise above that sordid past. You have to read to find out her connection to the Chateau. Our third timeline is set in World War II where we meet Marthe. Marthe is an orphan, raised in the Chateau Lafayette, who wants little of life except to find out where she came from and if her parents could be alive. Engaged to Henri, and dedicated to keeping children safe, especially after she finds what could be a forged document with a link to her birth. This one document and a couple of photographs change everything for Marthe including her focus on how to keep the children safe from the Nazi government. I would not change one single thing about this book, I found myself interested in every single woman. They were all strong, resilient, brave, and dedicated to their country. Stephanie has completely blown me away with this one. I received an advanced reader's copy in exchange for my honest review.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.