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Chateau of Secrets

Chateau of Secrets

A Novel

  • reading group guide
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.

But when German soldiers take over the family’s château, Gisèle is forced to host them as well—while harboring the resistance fighters right below their feet. Taking in a Jewish friend’s baby, she convinces the Nazis that it is her child, ultimately risking everything for the future of the child. When the German officers begin to suspect her deception, an unlikely hero rescues both her and the child.

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…

With emotion and intrigue, Melanie Dobson brings World War II France to life in this beautiful novel about war, family, sacrifice, and the secrets of the past.
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  • Howard Books | 
  • 400 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781476746111 | 
  • May 2014
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List Price $14.99
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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Château of Secrets includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Melanie Dobson. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


Introduction

Gisèle is a young noblewoman whose world changes abruptly when German invaders bomb her hometown of Saint-Lô. Her beautiful home, the Château d’Epines, becomes the local headquarters for German officers. What no one else knows but her though, is that underneath it are winding tunnels where her brother and fellow French resistance fighters hide. Secrets abound within her heart, the walls of the château, and the snaking tunnels underneath.

Gisèle’s granddaughter, Chloe, lives a life far removed from the times of war that her grandmother endured. After calling off her engagement to a prominent political candidate, Chloe agrees to participate in a documentary featuring her family history and the château in Normandy. She is surprised to learn that the documentary filmmaker, Riley, is interested in uncovering the story of Jews who served in Hitler’s army. How would that relate to her family? And she is even more shocked to learn that there are tunnels under the Ch see more

More Books from this Author

About the Author

Melanie Dobson
Photograph courtesy of the author

Melanie Dobson

Melanie Dobson is the award-winning author of thirteen historical romance, suspense, and contemporary novels. Two of her novels won Carol Awards in 2011, and Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana won Best Novel of Indiana in 2010. Melanie lives with her husband Jon and two daughters near Portland, Oregon. Visit her online at MelanieDobson.com.

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