The Women in the Castle

The Women in the Castle - Jessica Shattuck

She was aggressive, a doer, a responsible person who felt committed to the task that she accepted years ago, her name was Marianne. I felt that she would have done more but the year was 1938 and as the party was in full swing, the husbands plotting secretly against the government behind closed doors, Marianne finds them and she anxiously wants to do her part. She waits, finally a part is given to her, Marianne has a responsibility, someplace where she can help.


It’s now time for Marianne to fulfill her promise, she must find the women and children of these men, the resistors, who were plotting against the government and care for them. It is not an easy task and I was surprised that Marianne doesn’t find very many of these individuals. Locating Benita and Anita, she brings them back to the castle. These women bring with them such diverse and captivating stories that by the time the novel is finished, I am glad that Marianne only found these two women as I enjoyed what relationship these three shared.


I had to laugh at Anita many times as I thought that she had her head in the clouds or perhaps she just didn’t want to face reality. Then there was Benita, this girl had my emotions all over the place. I loved her one minute and then I was screaming at her a couple chapters later. Sometimes she was fun and loving and other times, she got so serious. Marianne took her responsibilities seriously and she was a strong character. I thought of her like a shepherd keeping everyone and everything together. I loved the setting of this novel, the uninhabitable castle. The large cold rooms giving way to the large kitchen, where finally some heat was felt. As the heat made its way to the room above, the women all gathered upstairs in that one room to rest. From outside, you could see how isolated this landmark was, but again, it also was a special place to be in. I enjoyed reading about these women and their lives, it wasn’t just about the war, it was much more.

I received a copy of this novel from a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway. Thank you Goodreads and William Morrow.