About the Book:
The year is 1938, and as Hitler’s troops sweep into Vienna, Austrian Max Dornbach promises to help his Jewish friends hide their most valuable possessions from the Nazis, smuggling them to his family’s summer estate near the picturesque village of Hallstatt. He enlists the help of Annika Knopf, his childhood friend and the caretaker’s daughter, who is eager to help the man she’s loved her entire life. But when Max also brings Luzia Weiss, a young Jewish woman, to hide at the castle, it complicates Annika’s feelings and puts their entire plan—even their very lives—in jeopardy. Especially when the Nazis come to scour the estate and find both Luzia and the treasure gone.
Eighty years later, Callie Randall is mostly content with her quiet life, running a bookstore with her sister and reaching out into the world through her blog. Then she finds a cryptic list in an old edition of Bambi that connects her to Annika’s story . . . and maybe to the long-buried story of a dear friend. As she digs into the past, Callie must risk venturing outside the safe world she’s built for a chance at answers, adventure, and maybe even new love.
Wow, this book! I cried buckets at the ending to this story! So many unexpected turns filled with both sorrow and joy! This multi-layered story of lost love and found treasure unites families over generations and reveals some of the harsh tragedies that occurred to those who experienced World War II. This beautiful novel brings honor to those who sacrificed their lives or who were abused by the Nazis and shines a light on how devastating and personal war is. Callie's plot line served as the vehicle that tied past events from Annika, Max, and Luzia's story together pushing the reader on to dig deeper into the mystery of what happened after the war to both the people and the treasure. One of the most compelling scenes to me was the decisions Annika and Hermann made one fateful night in Max's family's castle that affected them all. Annika's choice was one of utmost selflessness, while Hermann made the ultimate selfish decision when you realize what Annika, Max, and Luzia truly lost because of his decision. Bottom line, this novel is a must read that will leave you pondering the events and asking yourself what you would have done in the same situation these characters faced.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. A review was not required but was voluntary and contains my own thoughts and opinions regarding this literary work.
Melanie Dobson is the award-winning author of sixteen historical romance, suspense, and time-slip novels including Catching the Wind, Beneath a Golden Veil, and The Silent Order. Chateau of Secrets received a Carol Award for historical fiction, Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana won Best Novel of Indiana, and The Black Cloister was ForeWord's Book of the Year for Religious Fiction. Melanie and her husband, Jon, have two daughters. After moving numerous times with Jon's work, the Dobson family has finally settled near Portland, Oregon, and they love to travel and hike in both the mountains and the cliffs above the Pacific. When Melanie isn't writing, she enjoys exploring ghost towns and dusty back roads, dancing, and reading stories with her girls. More information about Melanie and her books is available at www.melaniedobson.com or www.facebook.com/MelanieDobsonFiction/.
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