Also today, I’m delighted to be one of the closing stops on the blog tour for The Secret of the Château by Kathleen McGurl. Read my review below of this wonderful intriguing, mysterious and heartbreaking historical fiction novel…….
Everything is about to change…
1789. Pierre and Catherine Aubert, the Comte and Comtesse de Verais, have fled the palace of Versailles for their château, deep in the French Alps. But as revolution spreads through the country, even hidden away the Auberts will not be safe forever. Soon they must make a terrible decision in order to protect themselves, and their children, from harm.
Present day. When Lu’s mother dies leaving her heartbroken, the chance to move to a château in the south of France with her husband and best friends seems an opportunity for a new beginning. But Lu can’t resist digging into their new home’s history, and when she stumbles across the unexplained disappearance of Catherine Aubert, the château begins to reveal its secrets – and a mystery unsolved for centuries is uncovered…
Where to buy: Amazon UK (below) ~ Amazon US
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In 1789, Pierre and his wife Catherine live in the Palace of Versailles and are part of King Louis XVI’s court. But the revolution kicks off and they’re not safe, so they take refuge in their chateau in the French Alps. But as things worsen, Pierre realises he has to make some decisions to keep him and his family safe…..but will they be able to escape the mobs?
In the present day, Lu and her friends decide that there isn’t much keeping them in England so decide to jointly buy a chateau in France. But when they arrive, locals keep mentioning odd things to the friends about ghosts and a missing aristocrat……Lu decides, as a historian, that it is time she started to look into the mystery. But as strange things happen in the house, and she does more digging, she realises that the chateau holds many mysteries. Will she be able to uncover the secrets of the chateau?
I thoroughly enjoyed this! Told via multiple narratives, the story flits between present day and the late 1700s, as we follow Pierre, his wife & servants and Lu, Phil and her friends (present day). The chateau sounds like an absolute dream; I was so jealous as I would love to move somewhere like this! In the present day we’re getting to know Lu and her friends and what they’ve been through in their lives – they’re are all using their move to France as a fresh start. Then in the late 1700’s we’re getting to know Pierre and his family, as well as experience the French Revolution and it’s outcomes. As Lu is looking into the history, we learn what happened from Pierre’s point of view.
I have to confess, as a history fan, I don’t really know anything about the French Revolution (despite the fact that I”m sure we studied it at school but I literally can’t remember anything!). This novel really bought it to life for me and made me want to look into it more – so I’ll be doing some of my own research!
The story itself had me intrigued and I didn’t want to put it down. I wanted the chateau to reveal its secrets, and I wasn’t disappointed! I was able to picture the story playing out in my mind like I was watching a film which made it even more real for me. The tale is heartbreaking, eye opening, heartwarming in places and so interesting. I was actually quite disappointed when I finished that the story and mystery was over!
I did find that in some places the author seemed to repeat things that I didn’t feel were necessary – especially at the beginning of the book, but this was a minor frustration and I loved the story so much that it didn’t really matter! Despite the fact that it’s told from multiple viewpoints and from different centuries, it’s easy to follow and enjoyable to read. If you’re a fan of historical fiction or want to read a bit of a different mystery, then you should definitely check this out. I’ll most definitely be looking out for more from this author.
About the Author
Kathleen McGurl lives in Bournemouth with her husband. She has two sons who have both now left home. She always wanted to write, and for many years was waiting until she had the time. Eventually she came to the bitter realisation that no one would pay her for a year off work to write a book, so she sat down and started to write one anyway. Since then she has published several novels with HQ and self-published another. She has also sold dozens of short stories to women’s magazines, and written three How To books for writers. After a long career in the IT industry she became a full time writer in 2019. When she’s not writing, she’s often out running, slowly.
tour hosted by
Thanks to Rachel for inviting me on to the tour, and to the author and publisher for providing me with a copy of the book. All views are my own.
If you’ve read this, or are planning to, then I’d love to know what you think!
Have a wonderful day lovelies