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“It’s been a long time since I’ve been so thoroughly engrossed in a novel . . . The Lost Castle kept me spellbound!” —Tamera Alexander, USA TODAY bestselling author of To Whisper Her Name and Christmas at Carnton
Broken-down walls and crumbling stones seemed to possess a secret language all their own.
What stories would they tell, if she finally listened?
Ellie Carver arrives at her grandmother’s bedside expecting to find her silently slipping away. Instead, the beloved woman begins speaking. Of a secret past and castle ruins forgotten by time. Of a hidden chapel that served as a rendezvous for the French Resistance in World War II. Of lost love and deep regret . . .
Each piece that unlocks the story seems to unlock part of Ellie too—where she came from and who she is becoming. But her grandmother is quickly disappearing into the shadows of Alzheimer’s and Ellie must act fast if she wants to uncover the truth of her family’s history. Drawn by the mystery surrounding The Sleeping Beauty—a castle so named for Charles Perrault’s beloved fairy tale—Ellie embarks on a journey to France’s Loire Valley in hopes that she can unearth its secrets before time silences them forever.
Bridging the past to the present in three time periods—the French Revolution, World War II, and present day—The Lost Castle is a story of loves won and lost, of battles waged in the hearts of men, and of an enchanted castle that stood witness to it all, inspiring a legacy of faith through the generations.
|Publisher:||Nelson, Thomas, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
Kristy Cambron is an award-winning author of Christian fiction, including her bestselling debut The Butterfly and the Violin, and an author of Bible studies, including the Verse Mapping Series. She is a passionate storyteller who travels to speak at ministry events across the country, encouraging women to experience a deeper life in the Word through verse mapping. Her work has been named to Publishers Weekly Religion & Spirituality TOP 10, Library Journal’s Best Books, RT Reviewers' Choice Awards, and received 2015 & 2017 INSPY Award nominations.
Kristy holds a degree in Art History/Research Writing, and lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons, and can probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good read.
To stay connected, visit www.kristycambron.com.
Read an Excerpt
July 14, 1789 Les Trois-Moutiers Loire Valley, France
The letter recounted devastating news: Baron le Roux had been shot dead.
He'd been discovered facedown in the cobblestone street outside Saint-Lazare, his grown son, too, laid out beside him as wheat barns burned in the background.
Aveline Sainte-Moreau abandoned her mother's instruction on the strict propriety of a lady's posture for the first time in her life, sagging her ball gown in a mass of satin and panniers crumpled against the stair rail. She fused her gloved palm in a white-knuckled grip around a scrolled iron spindle, holding fast, tears rolling free from her lashes, her breaths hollow and shaky as the full weight of her sister's letter washed over her.
Reports out of Paris were far worse than anyone had imagined. Closer too, when names put to the dead were among those of their family's most intimate acquaintance since childhood. How could it be that a noble rank of chevalier, the legacy of a baron, and his only son — Gérard, Aveline's own brother-in-law — was thriving one day and simply wiped from existence in the next?
"What of Faubourg Saint-Honoré?"
She scanned Félicité's letter, searching for mention of the section of Paris in which her own family held residence. Her heart thumped, turning flip-flops beneath the bodice of her gown.
No matter the contents or consequences, even if her world would come crashing down in the span of a single missive, Aveline could not deny herself the penned words. Were her father and sister out of danger? And what of their home? And the friends whose lives were in possible jeopardy but streets away from the Le Roux estate?
Baron Le Roux's manor has been felled by fire, the family routed with nothing but the clothes on their backs. An assemblage of armed men gathered at the gate bordering the clergy land at Saint-Lazare. Rumor had circulated that they hoarded wheat, salt, and other food supplies, and the people set out to plunder. I know you do not wish to hear of these grievous circumstances, given your sympathies for the rabble — but you must. Father was most aghast when he learned what you'd done. The story of the mysterious lady with the violets is all over court, and he had much to cover on your behalf. Though your name was saved from discovery, thus is the evidence that your sympathies were most ill placed.
We hear tell the baroness and her daughters have been detained in the city. Where and for what purpose we do not yet know. I write these words now only because I stayed with Father and we saw the flames illuminate the night sky. The rabble took torches to the baron's house and wheat barns, burning them to the foundation. All that remains now are blankets of ash and earth mounded over for fresh graves.
I'd hoped to rendezvous with my dear Gérard for your impending nuptials, but now, all is lost. He left to defend his father's home and did not return. Rest assured, dear sister — Father and I have not been assailed.
We are safe ... but hopelessly broken.
Aveline stopped, running her gloved fingertip over a misshapen circle that blotted the last letters inked on the line. One of her sister's tears?
She squeezed her eyes shut on a sharp intake of breath, daring to imagine the horror and almost immediately wishing that she hadn't when the image of lifeless bodies and burning estates flashed through her mind. "God save their souls."
Desperate for a reprieve from the brutality on the page — and her sister's none-too-gentle reproach of the ill-placement of her sympathies — Aveline turned her gaze to the view looking out from one of the second-story windows of the Château des Doux-Rêves.
The last of evening's light toyed with the twilight sky, sifting shadows through the great canopy of trees that hemmed them in on all sides. A swan danced through the circular moat below, disturbing the water in a rippled kiss along the castle's outer walls. Horses nickered from the nearby carriage house, jovial and quite unaware that anything was amiss in their part of the world. Their innocent melody of clip-clops and neighs drifted through the air as carriages descended upon the road to the front gate.
The castle-turned-château was to be her new home in a fortnight, once she married Philippe, the Duc et Vivay's son. But all thoughts of an elegant white muslin gown, calligraphy-tipped invitations, and a country chapel teeming with high-ranking guests had darkened under a cloud. Was Aveline to suppose they'd move forward without a pause, now that Paris was in upheaval and her own brother-in-law had been killed? Given the rising state of bloodshed in France, everything in their world was poised to change. Marriages. Alliances. Even love ... How could such luxuries of the heart survive when death remained such a cruel provocateur?
Candelabras stood guard at marked positions down a hall of leaded glass. The windows lay bare to the night sky, all having been left unlatched along the terrace. A breath of wind caught an edge of curtains, dusting the thick brocade with movement. The solidarity drew Aveline, inviting her to a safe haven while she fought to restore her shredded composure. She'd need all once she descended the stairs. And it wouldn't be long now. A chorus of chattering party guests and tinkling crystal had begun to drift up the stairs, signaling that the engagement fête had already begun.
Aveline leaned against the wall of glass, one slippered foot in the hall and the other mingling with the world just outside on the stone terrace.
Guests of the beau monde emerged from the carriage doors: high-coiffed ladies bedecked in ivory and gold, their male escorts brandishing powdered wigs and equally elegant simpers. They shared oblivious gaiety, from their smiles down to the tips of their buckled shoes. How was it possible that the atrocity of bloodshed could coexist with the luxury of peace, just half a country away? Charred estates had already begun to dot the skyline in Paris. And now that the populace had a taste of vengeance, she couldn't help but fear which estate — and who — might be next to satiate their hunger.
Aveline jumped at the intrusion, jerking her hand upon the stair rail.
Félicité's letter drifted from her fingertips. Aveline watched, helpless, as the folds of paper fluttered down to disappear in the shadows of the grand first-floor entry. She hastily wiped her gloved palm under her eyes, drying any evidence of tears lest someone question their existence on such a night.
She turned to find Fanetta, the maid who'd been assigned to her upon arrival at the castle, a composed statue waiting just behind.
"Je suis désolée." The young woman began her apology, her auburn-tipped crown in a modest bow, even as her gaze drifted over the stair rail. "I am sorry to disturb you, milady."
Aveline stole a glance to where the letter had fallen. She'd have to wait and retrieve it when she ventured downstairs. Until then? Smoothing her composure was all she could do. She straightened her carriage with a notch of the chin, the strict demands of her station so second nature, they owned her even without the benefit of her mother's presence. "Yes. What is it?"
"Pardon, but Lady Sainte-Moreau had wished to attend your toilette this eve. She bid me to fetch you and ask after the time to arrive." Fanetta shifted her attention to Aveline's ball gown. Ivory and blush satin fanned out in lithe folds at the sides and back — graceful and lavish, but clearly not the cut of an afternoon tea gown. "But it appears your ladyship has already dressed for the evening ..."
She was weary of the fashion in Paris for women of her station to engage in a grand ceremony of the toilette time. Who needed a gaggle of attendants to flit over a lady's every whim? For the future Duchess of the House of Vivay, it would be a near ironclad expectation. But they weren't in Paris. Aveline was to be ushered into the highest ranks of the French peerage while hidden away at a château in the Loire Valley, and she hadn't the stomach to continue the fluff of court a single day longer.
Not even on the night of her own engagement ball.
"I hadn't the inclination to delay in preparation for the ball merely so as to garner an audience before it. The toilette was simply impossible this eve."
"Of course, mademoiselle."
Awkwardness befell the air between them, Fanetta's station understood but clearly in conflict with a decree from Aveline's mother. The maid waited for Aveline to voice her bidding, keeping her eyes downturned until she received it.
"What I mean is, I'm afraid I haven't anyone to observe the delicacies of your coiffeur this eve, Fanetta. My mother is the only lady in residence who would care to keep up the practice of Paris. But just between our ears, might we help my mother to quietly forget the impropriety as long as she is here visiting with us — and then we may abolish the practice thereafter?"
A spark of amusement flashed in Fanetta's eyes. She inclined her head, working diligently at cloaking a smile. "Very well, mademoiselle. I daresay her ladyship may have already gone downstairs. She left in haste, as she did not wish to risk also missing your debut."
"And she will not. I've been assured the announcement will not come until midevening." Aveline tugged at the tiny creases of her gloves, a task employed to hide the slight tremble of her hands. "She will have ample time to find her honored place in the dining hall when the duke calls the party to attention."
"Of course, mademoiselle. Then I shall give you this." Fanetta outstretched her hands on a curtsy and presented a gold filigree trinket box glittering from the center of a silver letter tray. "I was told to take it to your chamber for presentation during your toilette, but you had already gone."
"What is it?"
"A gift — for mademoiselle."
"For me? But who ... ?"
"The Duc et Vivay's son. Just as your family has commissioned an engagement portrait of your ladyship to gift your betrothed, you are offered a gift in return. I'm told to relay that when you accept this token you are now a part of the House of Vivay, and wear it this eve so the Duke et Vivay's son knows the bride-to-be the moment she enters the ballroom."
A gift so her betrothed would know her on sight? It read as thoughtful, but perhaps still the hallmark of a matrimonial arrangement brokered between two fathers.
Young women of her station were seldom given the compliment of knowledge beyond the art of fan waving or how to breathe in a corset, let alone the freedom to decide whether a man's temperament made him a worthy candidate for marriage. After not even seeing her betrothed's face, Aveline would enter the ballroom with every disadvantage imaginable — especially after her sister's missive had so weighted her heart. Philippe, on the other hand, could enjoy anonymity for as long as he wished.
All she could do now was breathe deep and pray the gesture was a forecast of some tenderness to come.
Aveline took the trinket box in hand, adding a polite, "Merci," before gently lifting the delicate clasp. The hinge gave without a sound, revealing the treasure inside: a gold fox brooch edged in diamonds, citrine, and tiny pearls. The precious stones winked back at her, the soft lines of the fox tail glittering in the candlelight.
"A fox." Fanetta nodded approval. "That is a gift befitting a queen of this house, as the symbol of the Vivay family."
"It is a curious creature for a family crest."
"Fox roam free in the vineyards in all directions, mademoiselle.
Feeding on the grapes, hunting for bird nests in the arbors ... generally causing disruption for the workers here. But they've long been associated with the House of Vivay. Why, the deep wood beyond this hall of windows is so named Bosquet du Renard because of them."
Fox Grove. Aveline hooked her gloved fingertip around the edge of the drape, looking to the twilight world beyond the glass. An obsidian sky dotted the mass of shadows with stars, pinpricks of light piercing the bower of trees.
A place for hiding, it seemed.
"I knew the family managed more than one estate. It is quite favorable to hear that the winemaking enterprises are thriving, if not inhabited by a mischief maker or two."
"Thriving they are!" Fanetta bit her bottom lip to temper her enthusiasm, then tossed a look over her shoulder, as if attentive ears should not be privy to a tidbit of gossip she simply couldn't contain.
"The House of Vivay is thus known to boast a very renowned label of wine, named after the fox. It's said the king himself even keeps the Renard Reserve stocked in his royal wine cellar. And the wine is produced right here, in the heart of the valley. The Duc et Vivay and your husband-to-be own it all."
"I knew the duke was engaged in provincial enterprises, but I'd not been made privy to them — at least not until now. I look forward to learning more as long as I'm here."
A wall clock betrayed the brief respite with deep-chested chimes echoing down the hall. Fanetta took heed of the warning that time had bled thin, and turned to look back toward the wing of ladies' rooms.
"Do you desire powder for your hair? Violet, I think, would best bring out the tones in your ladyship's eyes and the gold of your hair, of course. We still have time if you'd like to go back."
"No, s'il vous plaît." Aveline closed her eyes and pinched the bridge of her nose, sorting her thoughts for the remaining desperate moments before she'd be presented.
She'd swept powder over her face and dotted the tiniest bit of rouge to her cheeks, knowing her mother would comment had she worn none at all. But just thinking on it caused the whalebone corset to strangle the breath from her lungs — even more than usual. It was ambitious to breathe in one on a good day, let alone on thus. She could stand no more plucking or primping for court ... not when her world had been cast into such dizzying array.
"No more powder. I think I'd prefer to just be me tonight."
"Certainly. If you'd wish not." Fanetta paused, still gripping the tray out in front of her. "And what of the brooch? Would you like to wear it?"
"My betrothed has asked me to." Aveline had held tight to the brooch, having enclosed it in her fist like a lifeline. She exhaled, letting go, and extended her hand, palm to the ceiling. "So we should comply with the request."
Fanetta set the tray on a sideboard, waiting as Aveline joined her at the oversized gilt mirror dominating the wall. She took the brooch and went to work, affixing the trinket to the elegant embroidery of the square-bodice ball gown.
Instead of reveling in her reflection, Aveline saw a powdered and primped lady who would descend the stairs with all eyes watching, one who wore a rehearsed smile and a golden brooch, but who was fairly trembling beneath yards of satin. She was poised to step into the coveted role of mistress of a grand château and multiple estates, and become a social princess in the top ranks of the beau monde: France's most elite nobility.
The nobility from which she'd secretly wished to escape.
The same nobility that was hated — and, with proof now, hunted — with hastening fervency.
"There." Fanetta retreated a step to admire her handiwork. "You are perfect. Surely an engagement ball is just the beginning to your happiness."
"Out, I'm sure it is."
Aveline looked at the brooch dominating her reflection, the fox standing out against the blush satin. It glittered at the row of embroidery edging the top of her bodice, the citrine turning a deep, blazing amber in the candlelight.
Fanetta met her gaze. The partygoers' revelry teemed in the background, reminding them both that the party wouldn't wait for its guest of honor.
"Will there be anything else, mademoiselle?"
"No. Merci, Fanetta."
"Then I will take the trinket box back to your chamber and leave you with this — a note from the Duc et Vivay's son." The maid pulled an ivory note card from the pocket of her apron with Aveline written on the front in a lovely, looping script. "And bid you have the evening of your dreams." She offered a faint smile and with hastened steps disappeared into the shadows of the glass-walled corridor.
Aveline stood, feet frozen. Heart battling against the expectations of her position and the ever-present weight to perform them.
She'd been jarred by penned words again, but this time, it appeared they were from Philippe — her fiancé.
Excerpted from "The Lost Castle"
Copyright © 2018 Kristy Cambron.
Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
opinions are more aligned with the “rabble” than the wealthy aristocracy to which she will belong. But when the Duke’s castle is burned by angry serfs, and Adeline as well, on the night of her engagement party, she must hide and find a new identity until her fiance returns. Viola was witness to a bombing at her office in London during WWII and has also decided to also subvert conventionalities and the expectations for women and join with Allied forces in France to stop the Germans from taking over. She is a linguist who will summon her deepest courage, and meet the most unfathomable man, and carry a story with her to the brink of Alzheimer’s for her granddaughter to find. Ellie has no one left but her Grandmother, Lady Vi, and is shocked to discover she knows little about the most dominant and enchanting period of her life. Ellie flies to a French chateau beside a winery, where she meets a delightfully obstinate old man, his amazing cook of a wife, and their Irish grandson, who will, often reluctantly, help her unravel the secrets of the Sleeping Beauty Castle, and the brazen women who brought it back to life. The Lost Castle is part historical drama, part women’s empowerment, part love story, surrounding a fairy-tale castle where “the stories were written in generations of weathered stone." For discussion questions, similar books, or a themed recipe of Pear and Walnut Mini Pie Bites, visit hub pages.
Beautiful and elegant twist on a time travel concept. I loved the woven stories and beautiful backdrop.
For Ellie, her quest for her Grandma Vi would bring her to the place where one life took a different path and her life would begin. Staying at the estate house on the grounds of the Sleeping Beauty Castle in France, Ellie is blocked from any entrance to the ruins. Titus Vivay is the only one who could get permission for her to go beyond the gate. His grandson Quinn is not supportive, yet Ellie is determined to uncover the truth before her Grandma Vi can no longer recognize her. In 1789, Aveline receives news that would change her engagement party into a horrifying path of death and destruction. Once Aveline awakens, Robert the master winemaker for the Duc et Vivay estate will oversee her recovery. He must keep her hidden, there is too much unrest from the revolt and she was still being sought. In 1944, SS guards were searching for any enemy. Bombings, ruins, scarcity of food and deep distrust would lead Viola into the forest of Loire Valley, France. Julien discovers Viola in the ruins of the chapel, where ever he leads her only prayer and faith can ensure her safety. Anywhere will be safer than where the SS patrols. As charming as a Fairy Tale. As intriguing as an espionage novel. As lovely as a French landscape. This story entwines the lives of three generations of women as they love, survive, and journey beyond their era into your imaginings. MrsK
** “God’s story for us doesn’t end with a good-bye or the crumbling of stone walls on this earth. His faithfulness lasts through the generations, lavishing hope on a fallen world and love on the most broken of hearts. … It is my hope that … God would become the Repairer of Broken Walls as we walk our own story roads.” — Author’s Note ** Kristy Cambron delivers a beautiful story centered around a French castle and three women whose lives intertwine over centuries as they are each deeply impacted by the structure in “The Lost Castle.” In present day, Ellie Carver is facing a daunting reality — she’s losing her grandmother, Lady Vi, to Alzheimer’s. In a brief moment of clarity, Vi hints at a story and photo of her at a French castle in the 1940s. Never having heard this story, and knowing it has deep meaning, Ellie leaves for the Loire Valley in France to seek answers to Vi’s past. While on her journey, she meets Quinn Foley and his delightful grandfather, Titus Vivay, at the neighboring vineyard. Seeking out their help, Ellie and Quinn learn more about each of their histories — growing closer and closer. “The Lost Castle” also reaches back to the 1940s, 1944 in particular, telling Vi’s story as a young woman and her involvement in World War II — and what her connection is to Titus’ vineyard. We also learn the story of Aveline, a noblewoman set to marry a duke whose family owns the castle when a catastrophic event occurs during the French Revolution. Cambron does a brilliant job of telling the stories of three extremely strong women, weaving together each woman’s story, bringing together their journeys as each searches for true love, success after sacrifice, and real happiness. She writes in a deliciously descriptive manner — for example: “Ghostly ruins took shape before her eyes, cutting through the mist and rising against the backdrop of trees. A shiver commanded attention as the chill of a night breeze swept along Ellie’s skin, dancing wavy locks of ebony against her cheek.” “The Lost Castle” is a wonderful split-time novel, filled with not only romance but intrigue and suspense. Violet — both the color and flower — is an important piece of imagery throughout the story. And Cambron does a great job of subtly sharing reminders of important life lessons. This story reminds us that we can be safe, yet still feel hopelessly broken, and deals with ideas like staring down loss, overcoming despair, not abandoning hope, and choosing between what’s easy and what’s right. Survival is a huge theme throughout “The Lost Castle,” whether on a small scale or in life’s major moments. And the story gives us an important reminder — the constancy of God. This is another delightful story by Kristy Cambron, and I look forward to the next — the story of Laine, Ellie’s friend who works at the care facility where Vi resides. Fans of Kate Morton and other similar authors will love this book. Five stars out of five. Thomas Nelson provided this complimentary copy for my honest, unbiased review.
This was a very interesting novel set in France with three different time periods. 1789 during the French Revolution, 1944 during WWII, and present day. Each chapter relayed the particular time period to keep you informed. The going between time periods wasn't a problem for me but what did occasionally confuse me was that a time period might be represented at a certain time and then the next time it was picked up might go back in time itself. I found myself referring back to previous chapters to make sure I wasn't missing anything. The story itself was a good one. Previous castle owners, and family ancestors were connected to the present day characters. Ellie Carver went to France in search of lost history of her grandmother, who is fading slowly away with Alzheimer's. She feels that the castle ruins hold a history important to learn about her grandmother Vi before it's too late. The two war periods held danger for those in the story as well as a strong faith in God to hold on to during those difficult times. Love was a strong component that triumphed over prearranged matches. And a true historical portrayal added to knowledge that I previously had not realized, a bonus for me. Avaline (from the first time period) showed a great love for violets. It made me want to go out and plant a bunch in my own yard! My favorite quote from The Lost Castle: "The story we're writing in this life, day by day, it's a gift from God and we can't afford to waste a moment of it." I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to write a review.
Between 3 1/2 and 4. The first third of the book was hard to read through with the three POVs and three storylines. I put it aside and read other books, and came back to it with plans to not finish. But I got engrossed and did finish and liked it. The last third gets a lot more interesting and I'm glad I gave it another chance. The history of the castle was intriguing and the relation the three women had to it grabbed my interest more and more. If you've read this author before, and liked her, and you're having a hard time with the beginning of this book, then stick with it. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
This historical romance was a real page-turner that kept me on my emotional toes. Cambron deftly braids together the love stories of three couples who each fall in love at the same vineyard/castle over the space of several hundred years. It takes a bit of concentration to keep the personalities separate at first, but it is well worth the effort. I think my favorite couple is Lady and Julien from 1944. Their friendship was forged during WWII, working together in the French Resistance movement. Somehow their suffering and deprivations made their romance all the dearer to me. But all three couples share a passion for truth and righteousness in their own generation. The present-day Ellie discusses this with Titus, the blind vineyard owner. Ellie says she has come to the fertile Loire Valley to find truth. "But if the truth you find isn't the one you were seeking?" "I suppose I'll have to accept it, whatever it is...I guess the question is now, what am I willing to risk in order to find out?" That is the core of this book- three young pairs of lovers who decided to risk all they knew for love and truth. What a wonderful read! I received a copy of this book from the publisher via The Fiction Guild, and was under no obligation to post a review.
“Broken-down walls and crumbled stones seemed to possess a secret language all their own. What stories would they tell, if she finally listened?” A castle lost to time, a family mystery, a grandmother ravaged by the disease of Alzheimer’s, a girl seeking to discover her family’s history and a journey that bridges past and present to change her forever. All of these elements combine to form a beautiful story of love, loss, and war that inspires a legacy of faith that extends to now and all future generations. This story follows Ellie Carver a young girl caring for her grandmother who is suffering from the ravages of Alzheimer’s. As she visits her grandmothers bedside one day, she expects her to be silently lost in the world of her mind, but instead her grandmother begins speaking of a secret past, a lost love, a enchanted castle and a hidden chapel that played a special role in the French resistance during WWII. As Ellie is drawn in by her grandmothers words, and the mystery surrounding the castle she embarks on a journey that will take her to the Loire valley of France and lead her to discover who she truly is. Bridging the past and present, this story is told between three time periods, the French Revolution, WWII, and present day. Cambron is a masterful story teller whose sense of environment and place really sets the scene for the reader. Her descriptive prose and attention to even the smallest detail, really brings each historical period to life. The character development of Ellie and her journey of self-discovery was one of the best parts of this book and the way in which she weaves the historical time periods together comes together nicely in the end to deliver a satisfying conclusion. The one main complaint I have, was also one of the things, that as far as the development of the story goes, was the most successful. The waffling between three time periods often made me loose track of where in the story I was. It also felt like every time I got interested in one plot it would switch to another. Two different plots are hard to handle, three may have just been one to many to keep track of. Overall this story was descriptively gorgeous, and though it isn’t without its mistakes, I loved the story as a whole and thought it came together nicely in the end. I give this book a solid 4 stars. Thank you to #netgalley and Thomas Nelson publishers for a ARC in exchange for an honest review.
The Lost Castle by Kristy Cambron was not what I had expected when I started it, but it was wonderful. I had not looked into what the story was about, or even read the back of the cover, so I did not realize that it was a split-time story. Now, if you've followed me for a little while you may know that I am NOT a fan of multiple time periods in one book. I think they're confusing and jump around too much, not giving you adequate time to get to know the characters in each time period. So I groaned aloud when I caught on that this book didn't just have two different time periods to keep up with, it had three. I thought to myself, "This is going to be too much to juggle!" But I kept reading anyway, determined to give it a fair shot because I like Kristy Cambron's writings. I'm pleased to tell you that it paid off! The book weaves together the stories of a girl during the French revolution, one during World War II, and present day, all centering around the setting of a, you guessed it, "lost castle" in France. (Within these three time periods, there are flashbacks, making it more like five or six different ones to keep up with.) Being a big fan of the book and TV series "Poldark" and having just finished the book Code Name Verity, I was familiar with both the French revolution time period as well as the SOE operatives during WWII. Despite my lack of fondness for split-time stories, this book was excellent. It is significantly easier to keep up with the time and characters if you read it over a short period of time. The characters draw you in and I found myself reading several chapters of one character and then going back and reading through the next character's chapters instead of reading the book in the order it was written. The story does a really good job of weaving itself together though and making sense, despite the jumping around. I would recommend this to historical fiction fans, as the historical aspects were fascinating. I did really enjoy this read once I got over my prejudice of the time-jumping. :) Thank you to Thomas Nelson for providing me with a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own and were not required to be positive. *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*
This was a great story, with great characters, but it would have been much better if the French had been properly checked... I was SO disappointed in that. And, yes, I did let the publisher know about the mistakes, and yes, I do speak French. Hopefully the next editions will be corrected!! One other small thing that was a bit frustrating is the going back and forth in time, as it wasn't all really in order, and therefore, a bit more difficult to keep up with. However, the 3 love stories were neat! Other than that, it was really a good book. Most people would not notice the French, I am sure. If you don't know French, you'll probably love the story!
4.5 stars- “The Lost Castle” is a story that takes you on a time hopping journey, from the French Revolution to WWII France to today. It tells the story of 3 brave women longing to find their place in this crazy world and make it a better place. I have enjoyed all of Kristy’s books. She has such an amazing way with words and of weaving together a beautiful story. This story was no exception and I must say is my new favorite Kristy Cambron novel. The castle itself was such an integral part of the story, regardless of the time period, and it was intriguing to see what role it played in the 3 stories. Aveline, Vi and Ellie were all amazing women striving to be the best women they could be, even when the odds were against them. As I read this story I smiled, I cried and I thought about the importance of family and trusting that God is always with us. Now I want to hop a plane to France just like Ellie and find the real “lost castle”! I can’t wait to see where we travel to in the rest of the series. I received a copy of this book for free. I was not required to post a positive review and the views and opinions expressed are my own.
When you think of three storylines in one book you automatically think overwhelming, but with a master storyteller you can’t go wrong. It is intriguing from the get go, as a granddaughter tries to understand her grandma Vi’s story, as she has Alzheimer’s. This sends her on a trek to France to uncover the story of the Lost Castle and how WWII and The French Revolution all play a part in a tale that leaves you gasping and shedding tears. The characters are so believable and have you wishing you could step back in time. The words so descriptive you can see the Lost Castle, hear the gunshots, and taste the fear. I highly recommend this read, especially if you like something different and that keeps you on your toes. I received a complimentary copy from Thomas Nelson & Zondervan Fiction Guild. The honest review and opinions are my own and were not required.
OK. A great story. Just be aware you are reading about 3 different women in 3 different times periods. It does jump around - so you have to be aware of who you are reading about. Finally at the end they all connect through their histories. Read about Aveline back in the 1700's, will she marry the Duke Vivay? or will the revolution interrupt their lives? Will they survive this time? Then the story of Viola during the 1940's and the war. Will she survive the war? and what is her part in it? Ellie arrives in France to research a castle that has some connection to her Grandmother Vi who is suffering from dementia. Will she be able to find the owner of the castle and find out it's history? Will she make it back home before her grandmother's illness worsens? Time is limited and she must find answers.
I have such mixed feelings about this story! It was a little confusing at first to jump around between so many different time periods, and I really had to pay attention to the date at the beginning of each chapter. I was also extremely curious to see how Kristy would wind together the stories of Aveline, Viola, and Ellie. Their stories were spread out over more than 225 years, and all of them ended up in the same place in France, the Loire Valley, for different reasons. Ellie went in search of her grandmother's past during World War II, despite receiving very little information from her grandmother, whose health was ailing. Aveline traveled there for her engagement party on the eve of the French Revolution. Viola, Ellie's grandmother, wound up there in the time leading up to D-Day. As usual, I enjoyed the history lesson as it played out in Aveline's and Viola's lives. I found Aveline's story to be more complex and compelling than Viola's, and I really related more to her character's awakening of France's political climate and a desire to examine and change her values. Ellie and Quinn, the two modern-day main characters, drove me a little crazy. When Ellie arrived in France in search of her grandmother's history, I feel like she went about it in all of the wrong ways. I'm sure that that was due to her own personal past, but as I am a lover of genealogy and history, I was so impatient for Ellie to come right out and ask the pertinent questions and really start her research! That's just my own silly pet peeve, though. Quinn is quite unlikeable at first, but isn't that how a lot of great love stories start? Just like all of Kristy's other books, the romances in the story build subtly and slowly, and it's so satisfying when they finally come together! ***I received a copy of this book from NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
I give this book 5 stars! Another great book by this author! I highly recommend this book! The author captured my attention from the first few pages. She has a talent for weaving three different stories all together each from a different time period. This book was full of rich and interesting historical details! You won't want to put this book down! I was so sad when the book was over. This is a book that will stay with you long after you have read it! *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. No review was required. My opinion is my own and is honest!
Kristy Cambron is brilliant in The Lost Castle! Three amazing women, whose lives span the French revolution, WWII and today, are impacted forever by The Sleeping Beauty (Chateau des Dous-Reves, the castle of sweet dreams) in the Loire Valley in France. It is a tale of courage, family, love, and loss. Kristy Cambron's historical details are well researched, her settings exquisite, and her characters will remain in your mind and heart after you have finished the book. Ellie's grandmother has Alzheimers. Ellie arrives at the nursing home expecting to find her grandmother slipping away but instead she is speaking, revealing a secret past that she wants Ellie to understand. A trip to France reveals almost unbelievable stories of women associated with The Sleeping Beauty castle. A breathtaking book!
I had never heard of this author before finding her on netgalley. I was first drawn in by the beautiful cover and then by the description. I am so glad I was chosen to read Lost Castle. I really enjoyed the story. I loved the mix of three time periods and thought each had its own stand-alone story and characters. The way the author mixed the storylines and connected the characters made the book even better. I got lost in the story and wished I was exploring castles in France with the smell of Lavender wafting by in the background. And of course eating a pain au chocolat as well! I enjoyed the history, the characters, the romance of the setting, and the love stories from each time period. I was so pleased to find that it was a clean read that I could easily recommend to my family and friends, which I've already done! I look forward to reading more by Kristy Cambron and so glad to have found her books.
Wow! Just wow! It's been awhile since I've read a book by Kristy Cambron. And I do believe this is her best yet. I loved the "mystery" of the lost castle. Learning about the French Resistance. And WWII. This story is somewhat like a puzzle as Ellie Carver's dying grandmother slowly but surely unlocks the pieces of the past and of her family's history. The lost castle, The Sleeping Beauty, named for Charles Perrault's fairy tale holds the secrets. Ellie embarks on a quest to uncover the secrets of love lost and won. What does the trip hold for Ellie and her future? Such an interesting take on three time periods. *This book was provided for review by the Fiction Guild*
The Lost Castle, what a wonderful premise - you have such a great storyline and an intense one at that. It takes you through so many situations in so many Generations in one book.. The characters made by this author are so precious and unique you feel so much for them - your heart feels so connected to them. You not only feel for them and things are intense in this book - you are brought through so many situations and you say whaaaaaa? The author is very specific in their words because they want to build a world that you and I could live in - and we do when we are reading it - you are a part of this world - we are invested in this world and that is how the author made it - that is how you know this is one fantastical author. This is one story you truly will enjoy if you take the time to read it. I received a copy of this book from the Publisher and Netgalley; all the opinions expressed in this review are all my own. If you would like to read more of my Christian book reviews go to christianlybookreviewers.blogspot.com
Modern-day Ellie Carver, WW2’s Lady Vi, and the French Revolution’s Aveline each have compelling storylines which are powerful enough to stand on their own yet the way these three lives are interwoven with The Sleeping Beauty castle across the centuries elevates this book to extraordinary literary heights! Engaging, authentic, and enchanting, this story nestled deep within my reader heart and graced my spirit with the gentle reminder of God’s grace and its restorative power to resurrect beauty from ashes. This book completely knocked my socks off with rich, vivid storytelling and I highly recommend it. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a review. The opinions expressed are my own.
I adore castles. Every year I have a castle calendar and I have several books about castles, both occupied and abandoned. So I was very intrigued in author Cambron’s newest story, The Lost Castle. I was amazed at the detail and writing of this novel. We get not one, not two, but three storylines in three different time periods. I was equally drawn into all three and wondered how all three would tie in together. The oldest timeline was set toward the beginning of the French Revolution. We meet Aveline a young noble woman on the eve of her betrothal at the beautiful castle owned by her intended and the horrors of the revolution meet her there. The second timeline takes us to World War 2. The Resistance of France is waiting for news of the Allies arrival, and during this time young British agent Vi has escaped into occupied France and comes across part of the resistance at The Sleeping Beauty castle. The third timeline takes place in our present time with Ellie Carver desperately trying to unfold the story her grandmother in her Alzheimer’s confused mind is trying to tell her. Ellie takes a daring trip to France, to the same area of the castle to learn of its hidden history. I am unable to convey words that would sufficiently tell how beautiful this story was. With world matters that have drastically change each of these women’s lives, true love becomes hard won, heritage and family history becomes most dear. I am not ashamed to say that I shed a few tears reading this: missing my grandparents and all their stories, and my father and his. Author Cambron has some really heartfelt author notes that make this story more real. If you have not yet read a Kristy Cambron book yet, you are in for a real treat picking this one up. I received a complimentary copy of this novel. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
I love this author's evocative writing style, making it easy to get lost in a different era. The three different stories all focus on a strong female- Aveline, an aristocrat in hiding during the French Revolution, Vi, who is on a mission and also in hiding in Nazi-occupied France, and Ellie, our modern-day heroine who is searching for answers and connecting the secrets of the past. I have to admit that I really struggled with the triple timeline that gave each story equal attention, I generally prefer when one story is central and the other(s) are used to enhance it. I was fascinated by each character's journey, but felt drawn out of it too quickly with each shift. But I wouldn't let my personal hangup prevent you from reading this book- so many of my reader friends are raving about it, and it really is beautifully written! (I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)
Moving I received a copy of this book from the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. This was a wonderful story. It brought together such a wonderful story of different periods of time into a beautiful story of love, overcoming bad & starting a new. I loved how Ellie cared so much for a grandmother who raised her and now was suffering from Alzheimer's so find that she was even stronger than she believed growing up and to give her a final piece of a long lived life. But it also shows how strong women had to be through the centuries. I look so forward to reading more in this series. Thank Kristy, you write such wonderful stories.
I will read anything Kristy Cambron writes. I’ve loved every book of hers for its own special reasons. The Lost Castle is no exception. It surprised me and swept me away in ways I didn’t see coming. It consumed my full attention and captured my heart, making it hard to move on afterward. The heartbeat of this story will stick with you. It’s absolutely beautiful, inside and out. The three timelines carry remarkable grit and emotion. Each character left such an impression on me. The historical details and beautiful prose added wonderful layers. The castle itself – with its fairy-tale mysteries and secrts – played a fascinating role. I will admit I got lost, occasionally, in the various timelines and had to flip back to remember where the separate story had left off. But don’t let that scare you away. The story is well worth the journey and you won’t want to miss a single page. I didn’t want to put the book down and stayed up way too late one night to finish. I sat there in tears, amazed at the story’s beauty and power and the way the author painted the love of Christ throughout. I closed the book, heart too full to speak. I find myself days later still thinking about it. I’m not quite able to move on to another book just yet. I’m not quite ready to let go, if that makes sense. The Lost Castle is special and poignant, with a message you won’t easily forget. There’s grief and loss, but the light and hope far outweigh the heartache. I highly recommend this book. Like I said, I’ll read anything Kristy Cambron writes. I received a copy from the publisher. No review, positive or otherwise, was required—all opinions are my own.
I sometimes get lost when the author goes from one time period to another. That was not the case with Kristi's “The Lost Castle”. There are three different characters from three different time periods. During the French Revolution, we have the story of Avaline. During World War II French Resistance we meet Grandma Vi. And in present day we meet the Granddaughter Ellie. I have a hard time reviewing Kristi's novels. Why, because I want to say the same things for each of them. This is one of the best books I have read. She has a way of grabbing me from the start and when I turn the last page, I am disappoint because I want it to go on and on. This one I found I was shedding more tears than normal, her books always make me cry, at least a little. My mom and dad have recently been placed in a facility, she is suffering from Alzheimer's. So the part that told Viola's present day situation and her fading health, was difficult. But it wasn't long and I was taken away to France's picturesque Loire Valley. The story about the castle The Sleeping Beauty was incredible. I love the way Kristi weaves true facts with Fairy tale. Her descriptions are so explicit. I could almost taste the French pastries she sampled at the market. I may have said this before but I truly feel this is the best book I have read of Kristi's. I highly recommend it. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson though NetGalley, Opinions express in this review are completely my own.