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Lovely ! Really what I expected to be having read the background before hand . I could not put it down ! I wanted to carry on and on to the end ! One of the nicest story that I have read for a long , long time !
Love all things France and this was an easy, enjoyable and interesting read from the 2nd world war years to beyond. It's no epic but you want to get to the end to find out the various twists and turns - have passed on to another friend to read and she says she's enjoying it too.
Guy Hibbert is a wonderful writer. The character development is profound, the storyline fascinating and well-developed. Despite the number of disparate threads, they ultimately come together in what is both a heart wrenching and heartwarming story. It’s a multi-generational tale of human frailty, human strength and the true nature of love in all its guises.
This most enjoyable and insightful book follows the fortunes and, as often, the misfortunes of two families, the Picards who built the Château at Lusone and the Duplessis who profited from their bad luck and who are its owners as the novel opens. World War Two has ended the idyllic childhood shared by Thèrese Picard and the two Duplessis boys, François and Roland, and separated the families. François is exiled with his parents in London while Thèrese and Roland, as housekeeper and gardener, look after the Château that is central to their lives, now occupied by the Germans. Despair, anger, exhilaration, fear, grief, generosity and compassion mark the three children’s journeys through the War, the 1960s and the 1980s. The Château is always present and despite the half remembered, half-buried grudge that lies between them, one's hopes for reconciliation and a happy ending are in doubt as the consequences of Therèse, Roland and François’ choices and actions shatter their illusions. The shifts in time and the large cast are deftly handled, the writing is clear and well-paced, the love of France and things French is infectious. I highly recommend it.