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The Women of Chateau Lafayette

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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.


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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. 4 out of 5

    Kate Quinn

    This is bold, exciting historical fiction: not a steady biographical march along a timeline in the past, but an imaginative splicing of three historical time periods linked by place (a French castle) and theme (the centuries-long fight for democratic ideals). Our heroines are a WWII schoolteacher turned resistance fighter, a WWI socialite turned diplomatic powerhouse, and a French revolutionary turned American Founding Mother, all linked by the home and legacy of America's favorite fighting Fren This is bold, exciting historical fiction: not a steady biographical march along a timeline in the past, but an imaginative splicing of three historical time periods linked by place (a French castle) and theme (the centuries-long fight for democratic ideals). Our heroines are a WWII schoolteacher turned resistance fighter, a WWI socialite turned diplomatic powerhouse, and a French revolutionary turned American Founding Mother, all linked by the home and legacy of America's favorite fighting Frenchman, Lafayette. A sensationally ambitious novel by Stephanie Dray, who pulls out every trick in her quiver to paint on a canvas this large, and makes it work, too. I had a chance to read this in draft form and ARC form for a cover quote, and I'd have loved this book whether I was friends with the author or not. Don't miss it!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Thomas

    4 solid stars for an absorbing historical fiction book. This is a fairly long book, at 564 pages. It is set in 3 time periods in France: 1776-1807, 1914-1918 and 1939-1945. Most of the book takes place at the Chateau Lafayette in France. There are 3 women portrayed: Adrienne, wife of Lafayette Beatrice, whose wealthy husband purchases the decrepit Chateau for her Marthe, a fictional composite character based on orphans housed at the Chateau by Beatrice which she turns into an orphanage/school/medical 4 solid stars for an absorbing historical fiction book. This is a fairly long book, at 564 pages. It is set in 3 time periods in France: 1776-1807, 1914-1918 and 1939-1945. Most of the book takes place at the Chateau Lafayette in France. There are 3 women portrayed: Adrienne, wife of Lafayette Beatrice, whose wealthy husband purchases the decrepit Chateau for her Marthe, a fictional composite character based on orphans housed at the Chateau by Beatrice which she turns into an orphanage/school/medical facility. Beatrice calls it "the preventorium " Each of these women is a strong character. Each of them overcomes incredible barriers to accomplish great things. I enjoyed this book but had to read it slowly to balance the 3 time periods and the characters in each period. It took me 12 days to read it. Lafayette is still revered in the US today for his instrumental role in the Revolutionary war. Less well known are the hardships his wife endured--being imprisoned 2 separate times trying to protect her family and the Chateau. Lafayette visited Niagara Falls, NY in 1825 and dined at the Red Coach Inn. The restaurant is still there and has a mural on the wall, showing Lafayette dining with friends. Two quotes: Lafayette's 1774 wedding feast: "At the feast, the groom and I sat together in tall gilded chairs upon a festooned dais in the banquet hall whilst liveried servants brought gleaming platters with food in endless variety. Sugar -dusted pastries, steaming turtle soup, pureed asparagus, lettuces, snails, pates. Heaps of mussels, baked fish, sauced chicken. Sizzling beef, mint -laced mutton, a fat pheasant decorated with its tail feathers, medallions of veal on a bed of greens, and a roasted boar with an apple in its mouth. Then came the parade of pigeon eggs, pigeon bisque, pigeon pie, pigeon au gratin, pigeons in wine, and pigeon stuffed with songbird." Beatrice, with Maxime, her lover: "But if you go back to the front now, you'll miss my birthday." "I shouldn't have said it; after all, the last thing I wanted was for this man to think of me as a creature who aged. I wanted him to think of me like Paris--a timeless beauty dressing for romance with an evening visitor, her lights enveloped in a mantle or shade." I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. Thank You Penguin Random House/ Berkley Publishing Group and Stephanie Dray.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kerrin

    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. I think it would have been even better if it had been a trilogy so the reader could enjoy even more about each of the three women.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Madison Warner Fairbanks

    The Women of Chateau Lafayette by Stephanie Dray Historical women’s fiction. Fictionalized but based on historical facts. This story follows three separate timelines, around three different wars, and the women connected to the Chateau. It’s dramatic. It’s heartbreaking. It’s tragic. It’s history. A touch of hope and independence with the strength of several determined women. The interwoven and similar stories make it difficult at times to remember where we are as each progresses. War. Why is ther The Women of Chateau Lafayette by Stephanie Dray Historical women’s fiction. Fictionalized but based on historical facts. This story follows three separate timelines, around three different wars, and the women connected to the Chateau. It’s dramatic. It’s heartbreaking. It’s tragic. It’s history. A touch of hope and independence with the strength of several determined women. The interwoven and similar stories make it difficult at times to remember where we are as each progresses. War. Why is there hate? The stories are distinctive enough to clear up any confusion as it moves forward and the chapters are clearly labeled. Oh, I admire the brave. They are empowering in their lives and losses. I listened to the audio version narrated by Tavia Gilbert, Emma Bering, and Rachel Jacobs. There were clear differences between the voices which made the timeline switches a little easier to follow. The stress and hard times were clearly felt and heard.

  5. 4 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.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Susan Meissner

    Brilliantly executed and unforgettable. I loved it!

  7. 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.

  8. 5 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.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Pam Jenoff

    This remarkable book connects the lives of three women across centuries, from the American Revolution to The Great War to World War II, through an elegant and historic French castle. The latest by epic historical fiction writer Stephanie Dray is out Tuesday -- do not miss it!

  10. 4 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.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kate Baxter

    This was an exhilarating and compelling piece of historical fiction by tremendously gifted writer, Stephanie Dray. She deftly weaves the narratives of three women, (of whom two are actual historical figures), through three world-changing time periods: the American/French Revolutions, World War I and World War II - all connected to the French mountain fortress of the Lafayettes while pursuing democratic ideals. The tremendous amount of research Dray invested in the project is herculean. Many of t This was an exhilarating and compelling piece of historical fiction by tremendously gifted writer, Stephanie Dray. She deftly weaves the narratives of three women, (of whom two are actual historical figures), through three world-changing time periods: the American/French Revolutions, World War I and World War II - all connected to the French mountain fortress of the Lafayettes while pursuing democratic ideals. The tremendous amount of research Dray invested in the project is herculean. Many of the astounding and oft humorous moments are drawn straight from the historic record. This work is historical fiction at its finest! Among the women celebrated in this book is Marie Adrienne Françoise de Noailles, Marquise de La Fayette - wife of Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette - you know, the one who served alongside General George Washington during the American Revolution. She's knowledgeable of all courtly etiquette yet shares strong passion for democratic ideals with her husband. She is strong, resourceful, clever, devout and loyal. Juxtaposed against that narrative is the story of Beatrice Minerva Ashley Chanler, also known as Minnie Ashley - a former stage actress, writer and sculptress married to William Astor Chanler which brought her fortune and fortuitous connections. Like Adrienne, she too is passionate to serve and rescue unfortunate ones. In her case, those in World War I France, placing herself in considerable danger - much to her husband's chagrin. The third narrative is that of Marthe, serving as a teacher at Chateau Lafayette - a school/orphanage for unfortunate children of World War II. She herself had been rescued by Beatrice during World War I and placed in the school's care. Ms. Dray does a spectacular job of weaving the historic record through the lives and loves of these women. One learns so much more about the historic periods through their eyes and hearts. They are passionate, fierce, clever and brave. I am grateful to have been introduced to them and eager to learn more about Adrienne and Beatrice. Well done, Ms. Dray!

  12. 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.

  13. 4 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!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Marci Colyer

    Book 9 of 2021:It was very intriguing at times, but difficult for me to plow through. Might have just been me. Sometimes I’m in the mood, sometimes not so much. It is about an orphanage run during the war in France and three different generations surrounding this facility. It’s a historical fiction novel and I’m always interested in war, history, and orphanages. Well, relationships too. This one hit on the ups and downs of multi generation relationships, too. It took me all month. I’m behind now Book 9 of 2021:It was very intriguing at times, but difficult for me to plow through. Might have just been me. Sometimes I’m in the mood, sometimes not so much. It is about an orphanage run during the war in France and three different generations surrounding this facility. It’s a historical fiction novel and I’m always interested in war, history, and orphanages. Well, relationships too. This one hit on the ups and downs of multi generation relationships, too. It took me all month. I’m behind now. Lol. Good thing it’s patio reading season.

  15. 4 out of 5

    RoseMary Achey

    Dual and tripple time-line books are my favorite read however The Women of Chateau Lafayette was a bit difficult for me to get through. This triple time piece could have easily been three separate novels. I felt separating the three story lines would have produced a more enjoyable, less confusing read. Certainly a shorter more cohesive novel.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Laurie • The Baking Bookworm

    The Women of Château Lafayette is a sweeping saga that showcases the strength and tenacity of three women who each have a connection to the Château de Chavaniac, an imposing castle in France with a compelling history of its own. The story spans three different eras -- the French Revolution, WWI and WWII and is told by three women. The first is Adrienne, the wife of the Marquis de Lafayette (you may remember Gilbert Lafayette from the Broadway hit Hamilton) whose story line takes place in the 177 The Women of Château Lafayette is a sweeping saga that showcases the strength and tenacity of three women who each have a connection to the Château de Chavaniac, an imposing castle in France with a compelling history of its own. The story spans three different eras -- the French Revolution, WWI and WWII and is told by three women. The first is Adrienne, the wife of the Marquis de Lafayette (you may remember Gilbert Lafayette from the Broadway hit Hamilton) whose story line takes place in the 1770's leading up to the French Revolution. The second is Beatrice Chanler, a chorus girl turned socialite turned social activist in WWI, and the third is Marthe, a fictional character in the 1940's who grew up at the Château de Chavaniac as an orphan and later became a teacher at a preventorium housed at the Château. Each of these women captured my attention in different ways - from Beatrice’s humour and strength to Adrienne's devotion and fight for American and French independence, to Marthe's experiences living under Nazi control and the mystery of her parentage. This is an impressive trio. This is a big book (I'm not gonna lie) and there's a lot going on. The story spans 200 years, two world wars and one revolution and, at times, following three POVs in three eras was a bit confusing. The story had its ups and downs and even though I'm a fast reader, I found this was a deceptively long read with the story occasionally dragging due to excessive details and dialogue, particularly in the middle of the book. But I loved that I learned a lot from this book, namely the characters of Adrienne and Beatrice and I particularly liked how Dray addresses why the US delayed their entry into both world wars. As a granddaughter of a Canadian veteran of WWII, I appreciated getting a better understanding of why the US waited so long to join the Allied forces in the wars. Overall, this is an impressive story that showcases the varied and important roles women played in the fight for freedom that are not often detailed in historical texts. This is a compelling story filled with intrigue, danger and history told by a tenacious trio of women who showed bravery and perseverance despite the adversity and danger they faced. Disclaimer: My sincere thanks to Berkley Publishing Group for my complimentary advanced copy via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    This historical novel set in three different timelines French Revolution, world war one & world war 2 introduced me to many fascinating historical and fictional characters and held me in its grip for the last three days. Coming in at nearly 600 pages, I was hooked from the very first page until the end of the acknowledgments. Goodreads review published 26/07/21

  18. 4 out of 5

    MicheleReader

    If your knowledge of the Marquis de Lafayette starts and ends with the musical phenomenon Hamilton, you’re going to be thoroughly enlightened and engaged. The Women of Chateau Lafayette spans three time periods and three wars. It focuses on three powerful women who demonstrated independence, bravery and love – Adrienne de Noailles, wife of the Marquis de Lafayette, Beatrice Astor Chanler and Marthe Simone. The main setting for this sweeping story is Chateau de Chavaniac, the ancestral home of Gil If your knowledge of the Marquis de Lafayette starts and ends with the musical phenomenon Hamilton, you’re going to be thoroughly enlightened and engaged. The Women of Chateau Lafayette spans three time periods and three wars. It focuses on three powerful women who demonstrated independence, bravery and love – Adrienne de Noailles, wife of the Marquis de Lafayette, Beatrice Astor Chanler and Marthe Simone. The main setting for this sweeping story is Chateau de Chavaniac, the ancestral home of Gilbert du Motier (the Marquis) – later called Chateau Lafayette. While in their teens, Gilbert and Adrienne marry. Several years later, Gilbert travels to America, aids in the American Revolution, is befriended by George Washington and returns to France a hero. Adrienne’s strength is tested as the French Revolution progresses and their lives are threatened. She seeks refuge at the Chateau. Beatrice Astor Chanler, a woman of mysterious beginnings, decides not to live the life of a pampered New York socialite as her wealthy husband lives a life of adventure. While visiting France at the start of WWI and being moved by the plight of the soldiers, she returns to America and starts preparing care packages and raising funds for the men at war. She eventually relocates to France to convert Chavaniac into a hospital (preventorium) for children and a home for war orphans. Marthe Simone is one of the children raised at the castle. Now a grown woman and living at Chavaniac as a teacher, she uses her artist skills to falsify documents and hide Jewish children from the Nazis during WWII. As an orphan, she is searching for her true identity. This is a long book (close to 600 pages) and with so many characters and time periods, a slower than normal read. But don’t let that keep you from this wonderful book. It is truly an epic saga. Adrienne and Beatrice are historical figures and Marthe is fictional, although the heroism that took place at the Chateau during WWII did occur. Lafayette would have been proud. Author Stephanie Dray weaves together a well-researched, exceptional story that historical fiction fans should love. Many thanks to Berkley Publishing Group, the Berkley Buddy Reads program and NetGalley for the opportunity to read The Women of Chateau Lafayette in advance of its publication. Rated 4.5 stars. Review posted on MicheleReader.com.

  19. 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.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Burrows

    Reads like a movie. Very well written. Best book I have read all year.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Tracy

    This is a wonderful story surrounding Gilbert Lafayette, who helped America during the American Revolution. There are 3 stories set in the American Revolution, World War 1 and World War 2. Each one tells of the women working out of Lafayette's chateau to forward his cause. It's a great story rich with history I never would have known. There are 2 scenes with a bit of brutal Nazi evil in them. Normally I'm very sensitive to those things and try to avoid them. Somehow this was written in such a way This is a wonderful story surrounding Gilbert Lafayette, who helped America during the American Revolution. There are 3 stories set in the American Revolution, World War 1 and World War 2. Each one tells of the women working out of Lafayette's chateau to forward his cause. It's a great story rich with history I never would have known. There are 2 scenes with a bit of brutal Nazi evil in them. Normally I'm very sensitive to those things and try to avoid them. Somehow this was written in such a way that it didn't overwhelm me and when the Nazi got what he deserved I was all good again....

  22. 5 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!

  23. 4 out of 5

    warhawke

    Genre: Historical Fiction Type: Standalone POV: First Person – Multiple (Females) Rating: Castle Lafayette had become a symbol of freedom and hope for centuries. The stone walls had seen three different wars and behind it and the extraordinary lives of three women from different eras bound by a common thread. I love the idea behind this book - women rising to make a difference while when everything seemed to be against them. However, the book is very long and it was a chore in the first 70% of the Genre: Historical Fiction Type: Standalone POV: First Person – Multiple (Females) Rating: Castle Lafayette had become a symbol of freedom and hope for centuries. The stone walls had seen three different wars and behind it and the extraordinary lives of three women from different eras bound by a common thread. I love the idea behind this book - women rising to make a difference while when everything seemed to be against them. However, the book is very long and it was a chore in the first 70% of the book, especially in Adrianne Lafayette's timeline. It felt like a tedious history lesson and lacked humanity factor that made it feel detached. “Madame Travert, do you think a girl could ever become a pilot?” She’s asked this very seriously, and just as seriously, I say, “I think a girl can become anything she wants.” Fortunately, I love Beatrice Chanler’s and Marthe Simone’s timelines. Their stories evoked more emotions with their personal and professional struggles. I love stories amid war and personally prefer it to have more grit but I understand why the author chose a tamer side. The Women of Chateau Lafayette is a story of courage and perseverance. It would appeal to readers who enjoy semi-biographical historical fiction. 🌹🏰🌹 . . . (F)BR With Twinsie CC . . . 🌹🏰🌹 For more reviews/interviews/promo visit:

  24. 4 out of 5

    Darlene Karalash

    Three historical fiction novels for the price of one! It took me a long time to read this triple-timelines narrative! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Because each story is set during a tumultuous era (French Revolution, WWI, WWII), and the main characters are always in the thick of the chaos, I found it challenging to sustain this emotional intensity, and I required many intermissions from the fervency. In the end, I learned so much about these Three historical fiction novels for the price of one! It took me a long time to read this triple-timelines narrative! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Because each story is set during a tumultuous era (French Revolution, WWI, WWII), and the main characters are always in the thick of the chaos, I found it challenging to sustain this emotional intensity, and I required many intermissions from the fervency. In the end, I learned so much about these mostly-real people and events, that I felt as though I had successfully passed three university-level history courses! But, it was time well-spent—the stories are brilliantly told and I’m so glad I made the effort.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie DeMoss

    This fascinating multi-timeline saga follows three women in three different war periods in France - Adrienne Lafayette in the French Revolution, Beatrice Chanler during World War I, and Marthe during World War II. All three storylines are connected to the Chateau Lafayette in France. All three stories are fascinating, but I am particularly interested in the French Revolution right now, and Adrienne's Lafayette's story was captivating. This is a rich saga about three strong women embroiled in th This fascinating multi-timeline saga follows three women in three different war periods in France - Adrienne Lafayette in the French Revolution, Beatrice Chanler during World War I, and Marthe during World War II. All three storylines are connected to the Chateau Lafayette in France. All three stories are fascinating, but I am particularly interested in the French Revolution right now, and Adrienne's Lafayette's story was captivating. This is a rich saga about three strong women embroiled in three different wars and the Chateau that connects them all. Recommend for all fans of historical fiction and strong female characters. I received a free copy of this book from Berkley Publishing. My review is voluntary.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Thornton

    Impeccably researched and masterfully told, Stephanie Dray has expertly woven together the lives of three courageous women who survive devastating revolutions and harrowing world wars. This ode to the strength of women throughout the ages is a tour de force!

  27. 5 out of 5

    CC

    4★ In this book, the narrative is divided between three female protagonists during pivotal times in French and American history. Though Adrienne Lafayette, Beatrice Astor Chanler and Marthe Simone are from different eras and classes, the shared commonality is duty to the greater good. What each face are the perils of war yet still fight in the despite how futile it seems. With Adrienne’s vision for Chateau Lafayette, a home for orphans and the ill, it sets a foundation that is strengthened in ge 4★ In this book, the narrative is divided between three female protagonists during pivotal times in French and American history. Though Adrienne Lafayette, Beatrice Astor Chanler and Marthe Simone are from different eras and classes, the shared commonality is duty to the greater good. What each face are the perils of war yet still fight in the despite how futile it seems. With Adrienne’s vision for Chateau Lafayette, a home for orphans and the ill, it sets a foundation that is strengthened in generations to come. “Our cause is just, and righteousness must prevail. If we must perish to see that it does, it will be to our everlasting glory, even if no one remembers our names.” Though the sacrifices made by Adrienne were significant, her POV often fell short in that there was often more telling than action making it harder for me to connect with her. Beatrice is definitely a dynamo of a character. Because of her past, she wasn’t about to settle in the many roles she assumed. Plus, her relationship with William is incendiary due to their formidable personalities. As for Marthe, she has so much heart despite her sense of loss. There were times when I was zipping through the pages to see what decision she was going to make next. “Maybe you fall in love with me some day. Or maybe you leave me for someone else. That’s life. But we have to survive it to live it.” With the plot focusing on the lasting mark of these memorable women, the male characters provide a counterbalance showing the restrictions of the eras but also how they recognize their unstoppable drive. The last quarter of the story was action packed and full of emotional impact. Certainly, this was a long read but covers much historical material in an adept narrative offering parallels in the lives of these characters. *An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.* *This was a (F)BR with Twinsie Hawkey!* For more reviews/reveals/giveaways visit:

  28. 4 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!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Laura • lauralovestoread

    I loved that this book included three women from three different parts of history to tell this epic story. Historical Fiction is such a beautiful genre, and the writing truly was every Historical Fiction lovers dream. For me, I just got lost in so many details, and the three time periods and characters got confusing. I probably should’ve opted to listen to the audiobook, considering the size. Only later (because I always want to avoid spoilers), did I read the authors note where it detailed the I loved that this book included three women from three different parts of history to tell this epic story. Historical Fiction is such a beautiful genre, and the writing truly was every Historical Fiction lovers dream. For me, I just got lost in so many details, and the three time periods and characters got confusing. I probably should’ve opted to listen to the audiobook, considering the size. Only later (because I always want to avoid spoilers), did I read the authors note where it detailed the women separately and this may have cleared up any confusion I had. *many thanks to Berkley for the gifted copy for review

  30. 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

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