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The Women of Chateau Lafayette is an ambitious historical fiction novel by Stephanie Dray. It is about three generations of women who created Chateau Lafayette, the ancestral home of the Lafayette family in Auvergne, France, their home. The first woman whom Ms. Dray brings to life, chronologically speaking, is Adrienne de Noailles, a young teen who marries Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette. He was not much older than his bride. Theirs is an arranged marriage that grows to become a love match. Ms. Dray tells about young Lafayette’s need to have his life create a difference in the world, and his idealism in leaving France and the Ancien Régime. He chooses to support war for freedom for the American colonies. As the young groom explains early on to his wife, the family motto, “Cur Non,” means simply “Why Not?” Of course, that is a motto of endless possibility. He explains that it is most unlike “Ask Why,” which would demand a justification of one’s actions. Following his own beliefs, Lafayette leaves France without permission of the king. Adrienne is told she must denounce him. She does not do so, because she ardently supports her husband’s ideas, and has already adopted them as her own. “Cur non” is the leitmotif that runs through the novel, as it tutorials the actions of all the women who eventually live in Chateau Lafayette. Even as her husband is fighting in America, Adrienne tutorials American diplomats through the tangle of 18th century French politics. Her work was key in obtaining the French aid that turned the tide of the battle versus the British. Ms. Dray follows the history of the Revolution in America to the turmoil in France which culminates in the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror. Through this horrible time in history we see how Adrienne survives and keeps faith. Ms. Dray skips forward to just before the begin of Globe Battle I with the story of Beatrice Chanler, who had been an American scene actress. Beatrice leaves that life when she marries the wealthy American socialite William Chanler. But Bea is not content to be merely a society wife who attends parties and entertains other socialites. She follows her husband to France just before Globe Battle I, and sees firsthand the devastation of that war. She returns to the US determined to support Americans serving in France, and the French in their war versus tyranny. She co-creates and manages the French Heroes Lafayette Memorial Fund, and returns to France with her husband to [email protected]#$%!s headquarters at Chateau Lafayette. Her story is another engaging one. Along the method she establishes relationships with a lot of individuals. These relationships endure throughout her life, perhaps eking some amazing out of the horror of the war. She creates a school and an orphanage for kids whose fathers died during the War. Later, the institution became a tuberculosis preventorium. The final generation we meet in the book is that of Marthe Simone, an orphan of the First Globe Battle who was raised and educated in the Chateau Lafayette. A gifted artist, poverty prevents her from attending art school; she remains at the chateau as a teacher. But France is once again under siege, this time by the Nazis. France is under German Occupation, and freedom is a thing of the past. A lot of of the schoolmates with whom she was raised leave to fight, and she is left to create sense of malign fresh globe order. When she is called upon to use her abilities to save lives, she too will be tested. Ms. Dray ties these three various eras seamlessly. The reader is not confused as to where and when the action described in the book is occurring. Chapter numbers are labeled with the name of the protagonist, and the put and year of the action is similarly identified. Although this book is touted as a historical fiction novel, it also has elements of thriller, mystery, and romance. There is something in it for nearly all readers. I really enjoyed this book. I especially appreciated the addendum in which Ms. Dray identifies what was history in her narrative, and what was fiction. She also describes how she came to write the book, and her thought processes concerning which happenings to include, and which ones to fictionalize to better fit her narrative. If I were going to give this book stars, I would award it 5 out of 5 stars. It is truly one of the “standout books” that I read this year. I must mention that I read an e-book ARC of this book. I won this copy in an author newsletter contest. I've enjoyed this novel so much that I've already pre-ordered it for when it is available in Spring 2021. #######
Fans of the huge historical saga of linked women will have fun this novel which focuses on the women who lived in one castle in France. The chapters moved between Adrienne Lafayette in the 1770s. Beatrice Chanler during WWI, and Marthe Simone during WWII. While Adrienne's story is perhaps the best known, Dray brings a new look at her, especially her devotion to her husband, Beatrice, a showgirl who married into money, turned the Chateau into a home for sick and orphaned children, one of whom was Marthe. Beatrice struggles with her husband Willie and her desire to support during the war. Who were Marthe's parents? No spoilers from me. By the time Marthe is an adult, France has fallen and the Nazis are conducting retribution versus French patriots. She uses her artistic talent to support save Jewish children. So much happens in this novel but so much happened during the three periods Dray has pinned it to. It's a very long book but you won't realize it because you'll be happily turning the pages. These three women spring to life on the page but so do others, such as Beatrice's nephew Victor. Create sure to read the afterword; I found myself googling for more information on Beatrice and Willie (both true people) as well as others. Thanks to Edelweiss for the ARC. This will sweep you in. A terrific read for fans of historical fiction.
Like others posting early reviews, I received free access (no strings attached) to a pre-release of this novel. I just received my hardback yesterday. Thumbing through it reminds me why I wanted this one on my physical bookshelf, even though I’d already read Stephanie Dray’s earlier books, The Women of Chateau Lafayette explores the lives of semi-famous women to reveal their overlooked impact on history. In this gorgeous novel, three heroines—Lafayette’s wife during the American and French revolutions, a Fresh York socialite turned activist during Globe Battle I, and a reluctant French Resistance warrior during Globe Battle II—show courage when their globe most demands e effect is a compelling, flawless tapestry of three interwoven stories. While you obtain your dose of history, you’ll thrill to the new, heightened sensibility Dray has achieved. These grand women are tempered into steel, but they are also flawed, tragic, and touchingly ers with more interest in story than historical detail will search the novel brims with plot, quirky characters, mysteries, romance, family, and emotion. As it speeds to its highly satisfying ending, the Lafayette family chateau and its fabled American character remain its touchstone, but the novel’s never trapped within those confines.I found it uplifting, informative, and entertaining. Highly ava, Ms. Dray! You have surpassed your own stellar accomplishments.
This novel spans the French Revolution and Globe Battles I and II. Reading the premise, I wasn't quite sure how Dray would be able to pull off weaving the story of three heroines spanning the centuries. She did a attractive job! The cover quote from Kate Quinn calls this novel a masterpiece and it is! If you're fresh to Dray's work, pick it up and give it a read, if you've read her other novels, this is sure to be your favorite.
"I didn't know yet what it meant to be a Lafayette, for none of us had any idea that the redheaded boy I married burned for freedom... I could never have guessed he would change the world...or that I would support him do it."These profound words of Adrienne, the wife of the Marquis de Lafayette, set the tone for the bravery and patriotism of three French women in three eras that would change the e Women of Chateau Lafayette by Stephanie Dray is a brilliant example of how historical fiction can not only entertain and educate but also inspire its readers. Taking put in three various timelines, the American Revolution, WWI and WWII, we are transported to the Chateau owned by Lafayette; yes The Lafayette that helped America victory its independence. The Chateau became a true life landmark for freedom as it housed soldiers, activists, orphans, and displaced Jewish sides Adrienne, there is the resilient Beatrice who goes from being a chorus girl to a influential socialite and then a political activist for France during en there is Marthe, the only fictional protagonist, who during WWII, helps not only France but America to conquer the l three women reside at the Chateau. All three have various and yet related obstacles to overcome during times when women are considered property. Yet without them the globe might not have is author could have written three various novels for each woman but by connecting them to this historical castle she transported me to various monumental moments that influenced all our lives. The bravery, selflessness, and determination of these women left me with a sense of pride for my gender.If you only read one historical fiction novel this year it needs to be this one.I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.
This book was AMAZING. I've read almost everything by this author, even the books she's cowritten, and this is by far her best ever. The info and attention to research are nothing short of incredible. The writing is exquisite and flows like fine wine. The characters, true and imagined, bring you right into the story. I couldn't wait to finish and I didn't wish it to end all at the same time. Well worth the read!!!!!
Wow! The Women of Chateau Lafayette by Stephanie Dray is a long book rich in info and historical facts. Create sure you have time to really dig into this unbelievable piece of Historical Fiction before you crack the cover or begin up your first I was a bit overwhelmed by all the people and locations since I really don’t know much about France during 1774, but after a few chapters Dray’s style of writing allows the reader to quickly grasp the facts and names of the time period. And Dray’s ability to create the history of all three time periods come alive really is astounding. You can tell that Dray really delves into the topic matter that she writes about, as shown time and time again with her previous historical fiction books that have received lots of recognition.If you love historical fiction, you’ve probably already read books by Dray, and have this one on your TBR. But even if you don’t read a lot of this genre I would still highly recommend giving The Women of Chateau Lafayette a test since Dray is a master at her craft.
An interesting biography of Lafayette, the young French nobleman who served with Washington during the American Revolution and then went back to France to support usher in the French Revolution. A long life spent extolling the virtues of liberty, Lafayette is portrayed in the book as a generous man who seeked fame only. When presented with a possibility to actually take action and change the course of history, he would retreat and let others to create the decisive actions of the e author is not particularly kind to the Lafayette and does not hestiate to point out his flaws. However, the writing is well done. The only major issue I have with the book regards referring to a lot of major historical characters without giving us some background before they are introduced. For example, a lot of of the leaders of the French Revolution are referred to without any explanation of their politics. The author assumed a fairly wide understanding of the different personalities. I would have preferred a small more exposition.
Lonnie has a vast wealth of knowledge about our history and especially our Architectural heritage. He brings his excitement and info of these disciplines alive in "Lafayette Square". the writing style is excellent for the genre, its a amazing read, infectious in spirit and invisibly instructive.
I first visited Lafayette Square in 1963 when I visited my uncle whose office overlooked the square. I have been back several times since but I never appreciated its history until I read Mr. Hovey's book. If you love architecture and history this book is a must have for your library. Because it is about the heart of our nation's capital Mr Hovey has created a significant contribution to preserving Washington's architectural history.
I visited Lafayette Square during today's biting January cold and walked around the Park and the surrounding streets. It was my first visit in some time. For nearly 40 years, I had worked in downtown Washington D.C. a few blocks from the White House.. During this time, I visited or passed through Lafayette Park countless times and often spent a lazy lunch hour watching the passers-by. I also visited a lot of of the surrounding buildings for work or fun including the Court of Claims, the Council on Environmental Quality, the Renwick Gallery, and more. Lonnie Hovey, a restoration architect and former director of preservation for the Executive Office of the President has written a fresh photographic history, "Lafayette Square" (2014) which brought back memories of my own experiences. The book created me wish to see a familiar put freshly and to message things I had only seen casually over time.Located across from the White House immediately North of Pennsylvania Avenue, Lafayette Square has a long history. The Park at its center has been visited by innumerable tourists and by demonstrators and advocates for every cause imaginable. Busy locals, such as myself, pass through the Park and take it for granted. The highlight of this small book is the opening chapter which contains a brief history of Lafayette Park and its changes over the years. Hovey's acc focuses on Clark Mills' popular statue of General Andrew Jackson at the Park's center together with the statues of Revolutionary Battle Heroes Lafayette, Steuben, Kosciuszko, and Rochambeau at the corners of the Park. For more than 20 years in the mid-20th Century, a kindly woman everyday fed pigeons in the Park, in a stage which still is repeated today. I was able to see and learn about Lafayette Park anew in reading the book and in my visit the remainder of the book, Hovey discusses the history and development of the locations around the Park and its transition from a residential community of the strong and wealthy in the 19th Century to the historic commercial and governmental zone it is today with the facades of a lot of historic buildings preserved. Hovey tells the reader about buildings past and present, including the "Church of Presidents" -- St John's Episcopal Church, the Decatur House, the Hay-Adams House, the old Arlington Hotel, the Lafayette Square Opera House and much more. Hovey also regales the reader with stories of the locations colourful past. For example, he discusses Daniel Sickles murder of his wife's paramour, the son of Francis Scott Key. Sickles was acquitted of the murder on grounds of temporary insanity and later went on to a controversial career as a Civil Battle general at Gettysburg. Hovey tells the story of two lovers caught in Lafayette Park late at night in the 1860's after the gates which surrounded it at the time had been closed. They were rescued by none other than President Abraham Lincoln who brought them a ladder during a late night walk. A lot of of the pictures of protestors and demonstrations in the book center upon the work of the National Woman's Party from 1916 -- 1919 as the group campaigned diligently for a constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote. The book is organized by sections on each of the sides of Lafayette Park, including Jackson Put to the West, H Road to the North, Vermont Avenue to the Northeast, Madison Put to the East, and Pennsylvania Avenue to the gether with the nearly 200 photographs, Hovey's textual discussion is clear and informative. The book succeeded in bringing this familiar put to life for me and in moving me to visit on a frigid day. The book is part of the "Images of America" series of Arcadia Publishers, an outstanding series of local photographic histories celebrating the nature and diversity of American locations and American life. I have enjoyed a lot of books in the series both about Washington, D.C. and about a lot of other locations in the United bin Friedman
Of all the books I have looked at trying to search images and info about the Lafayette Escadrille, this is by far the most focused and complete. Mr. Ruffin has done a unbelievable service to the memory of the squadron by his in-depth research. It is a thorough image history to which he added his own images of areas in the show day (2014) to capture the sense of time and put that would otherwise be overlooked in an other ance has gone to amazing lengths to preserve the memory and tragedy of the Amazing Battle as anyone who has visited the battlefields and cemeteries there can attest. The respect and honor in preserving the locations and men and women who lived, fought, and died then, is still alive there as a reminder of the sacrifice millions from a lot of countries created to defend their country from Germany's invasion. This book more than does justice to the one squadron immortalized by James Norman Hall and Charles rdhoff that has captured the imagination of generations because of the qualities of courage, dedication, and our own private desires to be part of a amazing heroic action All those immortalizing qualities and more which were exemplified by all those who fought and died in this war. Of course, I have a private interest in that Douglas MacMonagle (pic incl.) was one of my father's cousins, and a private character growing up between the two battles to when he also volunteered to learn to fly and war in the second struggle of Western Europe to remain free from the domination of another country. Mr. Ruffin has done all of us a amazing service in writing and compiling this book. Not only that, it is a attractive publication.
This is the finest book on the topic of Globe Battle one aviation history I've read. It covers every facet of this notable unit's service. The selection of images provided is outstanding, and I particularly enjoyed the modern photos, unmistakably showing the scenes of these century old happenings a s they look todayThe book provides an perfect narrative of the squadron's service. This strikes me as the method aviation history ought to be presented. Highly recommended.
If you are interested in the subject, you won't be disappointed. The author gives a history of the formation and a in depth review of events, flights, locations, air battles, pilots, support, kills, opponent details. At the end a review of each pilot history, birth, location, date of killed or rotated to the US in either civilian or the fresh US air wing. Awesome detail of private reflections that create you feel during the read that you are there! If you are a WW1 history buff with the Aircraft and the men who fly them, then this is a read for you.
This book is a solid historical recollection of the Lafayette Escadrille and the men who belonged to it. It is well researched and the accompanying pictures, taken over 100 years ago, are amazingly clear and poignant. It is a worthwhile reading experience.
I found it hard completing this read. I bought it thinking I would explore some amazing things about the goings on in Hollywood in the early days----indeed, the book had some of this information, but, a lot of rehashing information from one part of book and finding it again in another part. You learned more about the clerks in the hotel, and the owners than you did about the celebrities. I could have found out as much about the hotel by simply reading their check in roster--------no really amazing tidbits were to be found----and with all those celebrities in the building you would think the book would have been more detailed about the goings on. Would not buy this book had I known.
To start with, the Chateau Marmont didn't begin in 1929 as a hotel. The intention was to lease the apartments in it to well monied clientele. It was a grand put and architecturally attractive with fine info that were more reminiscent of Europe. It was castle-like and really quite opulent in its overall appearance. However, there were a couple of problems. The owners were running low on money and when it came to furnishing the Marmont it was substantially less than grand. Also, the Stock Shop crashed and went as flat as a pancake. Additionally, it was positioned on the least desirable section on Sunset Blvd. in a no man's land in an unicorporated zone between Beverly Hills to the west and LA to the east. It languished only partially rented until it was sold to someone who had the money resources and a huge amount of luxe furnishings that could be changed out to whatever the individual occupants fancied. And it went from apartment house to luxury hotel offering privacy and e recollections and research of the authors paint a unbelievable picture of the Chateau Marmont in words that tell the story of the hotel as it went through a series of owners that each left their stamp on the hotel for better or worse. However, it also tells the stories of the people who worked there and functioned as a family that they became and the visitors which included a lot of celebrities. From Jean Harlow and her studio arranged marriage to the hijinks of Desi Arnaz minus Lucy, this is a fun and gossipy book that often reaffirmed that the rich and celebrated were often just like us and just as often absolutely nothing like us. You'll observe Greta Garbo slinking around corners and dodging the press and hear about Marilyn Monroe depending on Paula Strassberg while dodging the fury of her former acting coach Natasha Lytess, And there are unbelievable and surprising tidbits about the largess of celebrities like the surprisingly generous Marlon Brando who must have really appreciated the amazing service and the hotel's amiable and accommodating is is a very readable book that moves very quickly. It is also extremely engaging. Truth be told, I was sorry when I finished it because I wanted more. In this book the hotel is the real star.
What a unbelievable read. WOW, I really enjoyed reading about this unbelievable hotel and all the unbelievable memories that it has within it's walls. It was just unbelievable to hear all the amazing stories on the very beginning and begin of this hotel up to it's show state. All the amazing celebrites that have spent time there and lived there is really something. I mean stars from the 1920's all the method til this show time. Anyone interested in hearing about the Hollywood of the Golden Age would just love reading this book. It is highly recommended.
LIFE AT THE MARMOT:THE INSIDE STORY--IS SUCH A GREAT BOOK--PERHAPS THE QUINTESSENTIAL HOLLYWOOD INSIDER STORY WITHOUT THE BALONY OF ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT--I LOVED THE BOOK SO MUCH THAT I HAVE GIVEN SEVEN AWAY AS CHRISTMAS PRESENTS OVE R THE YEARS TO FRIENDS THAT LIKE THAT MILIEU--ITIS FAST PACED AND FUN READING AS WELL..ENJOY..
Anyone enjoying musty tales of years gone by and/or the fabric of a gone era will wallow in the contagion of us who collapse at the feet of real talent. Here it is personified in the celebrity parade through the years and the dead or alive drama provided by the history of another dusty hotel and its keep. An avid reader will not have to read far before encountering at least a paragraph of names, often. In between are the picturesque personalities, every bit the parade for us whose life in general has taken a path away from stardom's worship, nostalgically offering glimpses into the chateau on the hill above Sunset Strip. jgd
Although I liked the book, I do have three complaints...While there are 8 pages of black and white photos, there is only one picture of the INSIDE of the Marmont, taken in 1930. I was hoping to see a lot of more pictures from the past to the show - especially the interiors of the bungalows, cottages, penthouses, restaurant/bar, pool and lobby areas. Secondly, the authors are vague regarding the people they're talking about. They refer to them as: "an illustrious fiancee", "a famous leading man", "a very huge film star", "the love of his life" etc. The reader is left to surmise and 'fill in the blanks'. Those people are dead - I wish names! Thirdly, the print is little and very light.
This is a fascinating history of one of the most popular apartment turned hotel in Tinseltown that was the home of a lot of celebrities. Currently named as Chateau Marmont is located at the Sunset strip, and it reigned as the hotspot for men and women of present business since Feb 1929. The rents which peaked at $750 a month at that time was regarded as outrageous by some, but most were too satisfied to take up residence. It started very nervously as the nearby Beverly Hills Hotel had closed its door because of losses, and so was the Garden of Allah situated in the same neighborhood, which was near bankruptcy after two years in e setup was excellent because it was very private. Just drive into the garage, obtain in the elevator, go upstairs and nobody would see you. Ladies came in and out at all hours to see the popular male residents, and no questions were asked. Marmont also became a put to stay after spending nights on city at celebrity hangouts on Sunset Strip. Major attractions included nightclubs such as; Trocadero, Mocambo, Ciro's and Preston Sturges's e amazing stars have come and gone, replaced by newer names and faces. A lot of of the giant studios have dwindled and disappeared. Film moguls; Mayer, Cohn, Zanuck, Warner and others no longer rule. The Garden of Allah and the glittering nightclubs and the famed Sunset Strip's Schwab's Pharmacy are a memory but Marmont remains. The years of glamorous highs and lows, storybook romances, quick times and wild parties, overnight success and failures and even tragedies; through them all, Marmont remained as Hollywood's Grand Hotel. It is a proud legacy of times past. The memories of Garbo, Gable, Harlow, Monroe and a lot of others are linked by this magnificent put some called their home. Actress, Sandra Bullock once commented that "it has an incredibly seductive atmosphere, no wonder people come here to have affairs, and it has that air of mystery."1. The Garden of Allah2. West Hollywood (Images of America (Arcadia Publishing))3. Historic Hotels of Los Angeles and Hollywood (Images of America: California)4. King of the Sunset Strip: Hangin' with Mickey Cohen and the Hollywood Mob5. , , and $25 Salads: One Week at the Chateau Marmont
If old stories of Hollywood film stars excites you, you'll have fun this e writing at times jumped quickly from one story to another and it felt like it was just scratching the e lore of the building is still there, but I didn't feel like I got much from this book.
This was a amazing read for really giving the dirt and scandal of Old Hollywood Chateau Marmont, like early 20th Century WWII era dish. Unfortunately I was hungrier for the late 60's early 70's rock stage history of which there was comparatively little, covered in a short chapter without much fresh or particular meat. The focus seemed to be more on the staff and their constant presence to the popular rumored shenanigans. However, it certainly gave a rich and storied serving of a very unique and historical place, and helped the reader appreciate the bygone allure that adds to its current "en vogue" spell.
A run-down chateau was the landholding of titled French Aristocrats and now it’s the home of five mates who are seeking a new begin in retirement. Author McGurl weaves a lovely tapestry that connects the past and the e story takes put in the Alpes-Maritime and it was entertaining to read about a province in France that I do not know too much about. The author writes attractive word pictures of the setting and when I googled to see some photos, it turns out that she did a marvelous job of describing the mountains, rivers and little is European Historical Fiction shares the story of two families, in alternating chapters. Pierre and Catherine Aubert, the Comte and Comtesse de Verais lived as part of the Court in Versailles, until 1789, when the fires of the French Revolution forced them to escape to the family chateau. Who can they trust? Will they be safe?The modern-day British family is composed of two couples, and a single guy, all close mates since college and now looking to begin a fresh life together in retirement. They pool their resources and buy a chateau. A chateau with a ghost. Will the family settle in and will they uncover the secrets of their fresh place?From the charming cover to the end of the story, this book is a lovely read. The history of the French Revolution is well-presented and will keep your interest. The process of setting up home in an old chateau is interesting, because it’s a dream of a lot of ers will guess the secret almost immediately, but that won’t prevent them from getting attached to the characters. What surprised me was how small the modern family involved themselves in village McGurl is a prolific write of historical fiction and her recent book will be another hit. Thanks to NetGalley, Rachel’s Random Resources and HarperCollins for a review copy. This is my honest review.
The Secret of the Chateau is a gripping story that enthralls from beginning to e setting is gorgeous- from Versailles to a chateau in the French Alps. If you are ever going to fall in love with a setting in a book, this is a powerful contender for your affections. I’ve been to Versailles, and a little village in France and this story quickly took me back is two stories in one - a modern-day tale of a group of mates transitioning into retirement together and a historical tale of the Comte and Comtess of Verais during the French Revolution. I found the historical fiction to be the most compelling and poignant of the two stories. That period is fascinating to me. Admittedly it is fascinating in a vehicle wreck kind of method but still engaging. It was a clear case of man’s inhumanity to man. So a lot of people died by Guillotin when their only crimes were being born to a titled family and obliviousness. Most nobles were not malicious or perpetrators of e current day story was not as intriguing, but it was still a charming tale. I would never even think of having a retirement home to live in with my spouse and our three closest friends. Their plight, though, did not keep my attention like the struggles of the chateau’s former e mystery and the paranormal aspects gave the novel a fun, chill-inducing twist. I love a amazing haunting story, and this one did not disappoint. I also enjoyed the plethora of pets, from the kittens – Flip and Flop – to the dog, Felix, and Clarabel the goat. It is a lovely cast of pet characters that are all ank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
I have been a fan of Kathleen MCGurl’s books for a while now, She writes unbelievable dual time stories. I was thrilled when I saw her recent available on Netgalley and doubly satisfied since it is set in France and is a story about the French Revolution, both favorites of e story revolves around 5 mates who decide to retire to France and pool their resources to buy a French chateau. They search one in the region of the Alpes-Maritimes region. This zone has delights for all their hobbies, except for maybe Lu, the main protagonist, but she loves history and the mates have bought a historic chateau, voila a hobby is found, researching the history of the e other part of the story is the story of Pierre and Catherine Aubert, Comte and Comtesse de Verais. They are favorites in the court of Louis XVI, which would be amazing if it was not for that pesky revolution. They flee to their chateau for safety, but is there safety to be found?The story was unbelievable for the history, the setting, the mystery and the writing. If you like a amazing dual time story like I do, this is a amazing pick, and if you have not given Kathleen McGurl books a try. I highly recommend that you do so at the first anks to NetGalley, and the author, Kathleen McGurl for the opportunity to review this book.
I'm only halfway through this book and it's already created me audibly laugh out loud several times. Arin Ha-I mean, Dr. Cecil H. H. Mills is an absolutely unbelievable and creative author. If you're looking for a goofy, fun story, this is a amazing one to pick up.
This book is idiot proof. It survived the amazing Doctor's nephew, Arin Hanson, and his minions at his company. It too can survive you, the reader, because this god-send is not only hard bound it's idiot-proof library hard bound with that y polish and lifetime build quality. The Doc spears no expense.Where is the actual review, you ask? I just reviewed the book and its craftsmanship. If you wish to know what lies inside the book, well, you -sir, ma'am, or attractive human being- will just have to read it yourself. It's a mystery novel that feels familiar and inspired by those that came before it. Each chapter is accompanied by an art piece that reflects the begin of said chapter. Unlike most mainstream books very small time is wasted on building up the story as you can expect to be drawn in by the end of chapter 1 or 2. Dr. H H Mills has no time for idiots; you'll either read his book or not. You would be wise to purchase regardless... you'll save a unicorn's life.
I loved this book and recommend it to fans of Beatriz Williams and The Lost Vintage. Head to France in The Secret of the Chateau by Kathleen McGurl. This story starts out with five mates starting retirement joking about buying a home together in the south of France. It alternates chapters between show day with protagonist Lu and the couple who owned the chateau the mates buy, Pierre and Catherine as well as their servant Claudette, on the cusp of the French Revolution. While her mates set out on their own hobbies Lu begins to uncover the history of the Chateau and what happened to the family who lived there. I enjoyed seeing both storylines play out and converge as Lu learns more and more. Was a charming story with attractive settings and cozy friends. After finishing the book I wish to retire to the south of France with my best friends.
I've been reading Dr. Mills since Ghost Hunter Adventurers Club: The Secret of the Ornate Emerald Staircase. And while his career has had its ups and downs no one can deny that Dr. Cecil H.H. Mills belongs in the same literary pantheon as Joyce, Lovecraft, R.L. Stine or Carolyn Keene.I met Dr. Cecil H.H. Mills at the Orlando Comic Con and he was nice enough to sign my copy of The Ivory Gate of Millbottom Manor. He smelled of liquor and he was crying but I could tell he was listening to what I was saying even if he refused to create eye contact with me.Anyways, this book is a fun read and it's beautiful much what you'd expect if you saw the cover and were familiar with Dr. Cecil H.H. Mills previous novels, it's just a bit more aimed towards a young adult audience than his previous works. But it's clear Dr. Mills knows the young adult experience better than those ingrates who call themselves young adults. Now stop reading this review and buy the book already.
I got my copy today and already finished it. Fast run down of what I like:--Modern dialogue, entertaining and funny--Distinct characters--Cool adventure novel in the style of Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys--Little bits of philosophy here and thereI'm not here to criticize, really. But here are some questions and observations:--If you are a Android game Grumps fan, this book sounds like a certain someone.--As a first novel, it is very concise, with the bulk of the story coming in at 200 pages.--The puzzles were interesting, the outcome of the mystery was obvious to me from very early. That said, I have written myself, and have fun figuring the mystery out while reading, so I know what to look for.--Are we guaranteed more of the series?? I feel like we just got a peek behind the curtain, in a amazing way.Quality work, Dr. Mills.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from “Ghost Hunters Adventure Club”, but so far I’m legitimately enjoying it. I haven’t finished it yet, but definitely will though I don’t expect my review to change in any substantive ’s stylized in a fun and cheeky way. When interpreted as a quasi-surrealistic comedy with a mystery flavor the book works. At its absolute worst, it’s still fun and amusing. If you come into this as like an extended comedy bit from “Dr. Mills” then you’ll have an enjoyable experience. As a mystery, some of the process/physics aspects doesn’t necessarily add up. As for instance, the human ear would be functionally incapable of discerning the temporal sequence of a gunshot and glass breaking with the ranges alluded to with any realistic accuracy (cuz bullets fast, y'all), and it appears police procedure is tossed out the window entirely. That does not impact my rating at all since trying to read this with “gritty realism” in mind would be like getting disappointed over the Raimi Spiderman films not being enough like "The Dark Knight" instead of enjoying them as their own thing.JJ is very much Danny, Valentine is Arin, and (like the show) the pairing functions well as a duet. The Sheriff reminds me of Markiplier though hard telling if that was intended or my own interpretation. Trudi is either someone I’m unfamiliar with or “Dr. Mills’” interpretation of a “strong female character” - but she’s fun as a contrast if not overly burdened by dimension (Snarky Velma).With as annoyed as I was over the “Soviet Jump Game” advertising campaign… I’m quite charmed by Dr. Cecil HH Mills. The author introduction feels like trying to cirvent the effort of having a powerful first line, and I’m uncertain how much I think this works, but it’s funny and amusing even though I'm split on if this is born from insecurity or something more akin to "Dr. Mills" occasional penchant for e reason for 4 instead of 5 stars… There’s some linguistic strangeness in the narration. The dialogue is golden, but the narration can be clunky. Some language choices that fresh writers make, superfluous words, flow-breakers, description wonkiness, etc., that create me think “Dr. Mills” needs a better editor. Or an editor more likely to push back, less enamored with him, higher standards, or simply less agreeable. If “Dr. Mills” wanted, he could absolutely write for an audience outside the Android game Grumps fan base. There’s legitimate gold in here, he’s absolutely got the talent for all the necessary things – hero & dialogue, plotting, “fun”, I'm knocking off a star for his editor because of bits that required tightened up but weren’t for whatever reason. Considering there aren’t any spelling or overt grammatical errors that I’ve found, I’m safely assuming he did have some form of professional editor, but he required a more rigorous one for a book intended toward public consumption to really kick it up that latest couple of notches into perfection.
Look.Kathleen McGurl just gets it. The dual timeline plot narrative can be tricky if not done right, but it can be BRILLIANT when done well. Enter Kathleen.I honestly don't really know how else to explain it other than this author writes books that you WANT TO READ. That you HAVE TO FINISH. Ones that you CANNOT PUT DOWN. I don't tend to wander too far from my favorite historical genres, WWI and WWII, but I figured for McGurl (author of a favorite from latest year, The Forgotten Secret) I would do nturing into revolutionary era France was not exactly fresh to me, but it's not something I would even remotely consider myself learned in. However, that really didn't matter. McGurl does a amazing job with present & tell without ever making the reader feel inadequate or that they're being told something, which is not something that I think comes simple to every historical fiction writer.I really liked both the past and show day stories (um, hi, hello, where are my four mates that wish to go in on buying a chateau in France? Give me a ring, yeah?), and it's fair to say that this book HOOKED me right from the start. (Brilliant prologue. Just. Brilliant.)Also, if you need any more incentive to give her a try? After finishing this book, I went to my ereader and bought up basically all of her backlist. Kathleen McGurl is the true deal, y'ank you to NetGalley and HQ Digital for the opportunity to read and review this book before it's publication date! This in no method affected my review, opinions are my own.
Amazing. I finished it in one sitting. I couldn't stop reading it. It was an absolute fun ride from beginning to e plot was driving, the characters were fun, the dialogue flowed really well.I immediately wanted to read it again.
Pierre and Catherine Aubert, the Comte and Comtesse de Verais, were just married and had moved into the royal palace. Catherine was so excited to be with Queen Marie Antoinette. She was now one of her Ladies in Waiting. The apartment was so beautiful, opulent, and sumptuous. She trusted her husband even though he was older. He was still amazing looking even at fifty. He worshipped her and would do anything for e other half of the book is about Lu and Phil, Manda and Steve, and finally Gray. They decide to sell their houses and move to France. They have been forced into retirement and have nothing keeping them in ere are a lot of twists and turns. So a lot of things happen to all of them. It is heart-rending and heartwarming. You will go through a wide spectrum of emotions. Crying, laughing, and just being happy. The characters are engaging and it keeps our attention. France is described in such attractive prose. The excitement of court and the fear about what comes later is present. You can feel the tensions grow and the mystery is always show for Lu. I also highly recommend it.I received this ARC from Net Galley and voluntarily reviewed it and loved it.
Fun, fast read that was fast-paced and as funny as you’d expect from the mind of Dr. Cecil H.H. Mills! I finished it in about 3 hours and I already wish to read it again! Even though it’s a YA novel there are plenty of jokes and vocabulary for older readers. The breaking of the fourth wall reminded me a lot of other YA greats like Lemony Snicket, but with the Grumps humor I have known and loved for years. A well-crafted adventure that’s amazing for all ages! I really hope they continue this series.
As someone who enjoys a amazing mystery, I definitely enjoyed this book. I think what I liked most was the almost snarky-ism (that’s a word) attitude of the characters, and that nothing ever felt like a lull. The dialogue created me exhale heavily from my nose, so you know is was good. I’m looking forward to another in the series, and I expect it chop-chop because to be honest, I finished the book in four hours and I’d like another (but that’s on me, I should’ve paced myself). I also appreciate the homage to early mystery novels like Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys, the illustrations and yellow book covering really took me back.
This is a assassin amazing time! Do you have fun mysteries?? Do you have fun humor?Tongue in cheek fun is what this is!Quick pacing, fun descriptions, a magnificent marvel of a bucket kicking rip roaring amazing time of a story!Goooooodness me I hope there’s a sequel in the works.
I am a fan of Sarah Vowell's, owning most if not all of her books. She is extremely knowledgeable but I must say her sardonic writing gets tiring after a while. Not everything about the American Revolution, George Washington, and one of his favorite "sons" Lafayette, is funny. It just isn't. And while we do need to lighten up and understand the quirky nature of history in general and American history in particular, Vowell's voice in this book simply gets tiring. I am not impressed with this one, although I do admire Vowell's brilliance and ability as a writer. Just hope she expands her horizons with her next effort. If she focuses on something like the American Civil Battle and tells us about it the same manner she does with this one, I'm going to return the book. Vowell needs to expand the method she tells her stories beyond being cynical or sardonic.
Sarah Cowell has been a favourite of mine since I heard her doing a monologue on "This American Life" several years ago. Her deadpan delivery and special voice immediately caught my attention, as well as her ability to create me laugh on a serious subject, Saddam Hussein and his relationship with his sociopathic sons. Since that time I have read all of her books on American history and society. I never been disappointed....she is irreverent when it is appropriate, as am I, and we share a related political/social point of view despite an age difference of more than a few "Lafayette in the Somwhat United States" Ms Vowell turns to a person who played a role in my life...the Marquis de Lafayette inspired my 5th amazing grandfather to leave France to war in the American Revolution. He may have intended to return home, but fate took a hand, as they say, when he suffered a head wound. He created a complete recovery and stayed in America where he married a Quaker and fathered twelve children. This association with Lafayette has engendered an interest in history that has never left Vowell's usual careful scholarship is in evidence throughout the book. She has obviously studied her topics thoroughly and has given the reader a delightfully told piece of narrative history. Ms Vowell is proof that one can be informative and entertaining at the same time. There is a bibliography for those who want to peruse the topic further. There are no reproductions of art work of the time period, but rather hero sketches of a rather cartoonist nature, keeping in the spirit of the book. I would recommend this book for high school age on up.
I was attracted to the book because I wanted to learn about Lafayette, and the book was praised as being humorous and witty. What I found was to the contrary. The book has no table of contents, no topic index, and no reads as if it never had an outline. Admittedly, I did not read the whole book (I value time). After some 20-plus pages I had learned absolutely nothing more about lafayette than her cartoon characters, sprinkled throughout the book, portrayed. The "wit and humor" came across to me like the smart-alecky remarks of an adolescent on a field trip who thinks she knows more than the tour guides.I found no educational value in this book.
Having latest year become more acquainted and interested in the Marquis de Lafayette, I started looking for books on the subject. After seeing this book by possibility at a local book store, I decided to download it for Kindle. While the author's political inserts sometimes irked me, I enjoyed the book as it was entertaining and the topic matter itself is e book starts off by going over some of America's latest fractious government episodes before pointing out that things have largely always been this way. Yet, there was one thing that America's of all stripes and thoughts agreed on back during the American Revolution and its aftermath. That thing was their collective love for the Marquis de Lafayette, the Frenchman who sailed across the Atlantic to war for the American cause. During a particularly contentious election cycle, Lafayette united the Americans in the method that only a character could. The book recounts the info of Lafayette's contributions, sadly largely forgotten by today's history books, and explains exactly why he was so I said before, this book is written in a light, entertaining matter that makes it simple to read. The author has a amazing sense of humor and it shows in the method she depicts events. The illustrations of the different actors in the grand play of the American Revolution was a nice touch. I also enjoyed the connections and interactions the author jots down as she retraces a lot of of the footsteps of Lafayette, especially the part where she goes to Colonial ever, I could also see some other readers become annoyed by the interruptions to the main story as there are a lot of of them. The broader points are interesting to think about, but they also do distract from the main focus of the book. In addition, it is very clear which direction that this author leans politically. If your political inclinations are the same as hers, this probably won't bother you. If you don't, then you might search yourself being irritated on occasion while you're reading.Overall, I enjoyed this book quite a bit. It was short, entertaining and informative, if a small biased in one direction at some points. I would give it 4.5 stars.
I'd heard about Sarah Vowell, but I was never interested in reading any of her books until I heard her being interviewed about this one. Something about what she said intrigued me, so I got it. It won't be the latest book of hers that I read -- in fact, I've got another one on order already. She reminds me of Bill Bryson, though I've only read one of his books, in that she provides lots of history combined with contemporary wit and humor and a sense of the uncanny connections between historical happenings separated by generations. For example, she discusses a connection between the story of Lafayette and Herman Melville that I found intriguing, but there are quite a few other examples. She also makes some American icons (and their British counterparts) come alive in ways that traditional (i.e., often bland) history does not.I have only one criticism of the book, really: the story of Lafayette recedes in the background (sometimes out of the picture entirely) in favor of her retelling of key episodes in the Revolutionary War; I didn't really expect a history of the Battle and was disappointed that Lafayette vanishes at times. However, she does a very amazing job in describing the weird coincidences and serendipity that resulted in the conquer of the British.I also have a second complaint, but not versus Ms. Vowell (well, not really). There was one instance where she talks about a solider named Stephen in one put and a few pages later he becomes Stephens (or maybe it was Steven and Stevens; I can't recall). As I often ask, where were the editors? If I caught this on a casual read, why didn't someone else catch it? Maybe having to do an index would have helped.
Wish to read about Lafayette and the Revolutionary Battle and have a amazing time doing it? Obtain this book! If you love American history and like to laugh you need to begin reading Sarah Vowell.I am thrilled to have finally found Sarah Vowell and more thrilled to search that she has written so a lot of books about so a lot of interesting subjects. I will surely obtain them all. I decided to begin with “Lafayette in the Somewhat United States” because I just finished David McCullough’s “The Greater Journey” and Lafayette feature prominently in the opening chapters. I thought it would be a lot of fun to have Sarah tell me a story about Lafayette and I was right. Amazing fun, very informative, and I thoroughly enjoyed the minor historical connections and cultural asides. This author really knows how to tell a compelling and humorous story. Obtain this book!
This review is for the audio book CD ver of Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell. I'm a longtime history reader and fan of Vowell's from hearing her bits on NPR from time to time. She certainly has her share of raters as the 1 & 2 star reviews here will attest and perhaps her voice and style is an acquired taste but I like her presentation so much that I only obtain the audio book versions of her works. Agree with others this isn't her best effort but it's still engaging enough. Snarky, sure but that's Ms. Vowell's schtick so if you don't like that type of thing then by all means steer clear. Unlike some who felt the book lacked enough about Lafayette; not sure what they were reading or listening to but the content reflected the title to me. Vowell's take on history may not suit everyone but it's not boring and kind of fun for a change than the dry recitation of facts and dates that some historical tomes present. Looking forward to her next project!
I thought I knew American history, but it turns out that there was a whole lot of items I didn’t know, and this book helped fill in some gaps. Vowell is always funny, but some of the material in here is dense, so you have to love history and nonfiction to have fun this book.Vowell wrote part of this during the 2013 temper tantrum in Washington that shut down all nonessential government services and cost our country $24 BILLION. (So much for fiscal responsibility.) The fact that our country is constantly fractured is a theme throughout the of the things I hadn’t realized was the importance of the French helping secure American independence, specifically Marquis de Lafayette, who was only 19 when he came over to war on the side of the Americans versus the British during the Revolutionary war. I also never realized that George Washington was fighting with an untrained troops of hungry (sometimes to the point of starvation) units who often didn’t have boots for the feet to war in NEW ENGLAND (which, of course, gets a bit nippy in winter).This quote illustrates Vowell’s writing style: “The newly dubbed General Lafayette was only 19 years old. Considering Independence Hall was also where the founders calculated that a slave equals three-fifths a person and cooked up an electoral college that lets Florida and Ohio pick our presidents, making an adolescent who barely spoke English a major general at an age I got hired to run the money register at a Portland pizza joint was not the worst decision ever created there.”The best quote of the book, however, is when she talks about Lafayette Square across from the capitol in DC, where innumerable protests have taken put over the years. In reference to a Klan rally held there she writes, “Freedom of expression truly exists only when a society’s most repugnant nitwits are allowed to spew their nonsense in public.”If only we could obtain rid of the electoral college and preposterous gerrymandering and we might actually obtain something resembling a functional congress.
This is my first Sarah Vowell book, and how have I lived this long without her? If the public schools taught American history like Sarah Vowell writes it, every school kid would grow up to be a knowledgeable citizen. Well researched, well written, tongue-in-cheek look at American historical events. This will not be my latest Sarah Vowell book.
I am a very huge fan of Ms. Vowell's historical books. She has a method of looking at history, and making it fascinating. Once again, she's scored with this book. From the beginning of the book, she delves into stories that our history books have ignored. We've been taught how our Founding Fathers were united in their struggles versus the tyranny of England. Yeah, right. Although I knew that this wasn't true, Ms. Vowell's book helped me understand a lot of facets of the struggle that I had never known. From the bitter diversity of their religious beliefs, to the fact that much of the suffering at Valley Forge was caused by the failure of the young nation to obtain the supplies it had to the men in the camp, I learned a lot. And, although we were taught that French came to our aid, this was never properly explained. In fact, if France hadn't supplied men, their navy and a lot of cash our revolution would have failed. A easy fact that has not been taught to us. I loved this book.
I enjoyed reading this book. It gave the history about an historical figure whom we did not know much about. I would recommend this book for anyone interested in learning about individuals involved in the Revolutionary Battle and what happened to them afterwards.
If you are any sort of a history buff and a patriot, this book and the private heart and bonus that he gave to our struggling colonies to gain their freedom, you will cherish this book. This man gave up everything, even his 'title' for the Fresh America, and his military genius in help of General Washington is astounding as well.
This book has created a large difference in my classroom. Captivating and concise text with helpful supporting visuals!Christine Dugan has the rare aptitude of bringing to life historical subjects in meaningful ways that reach all students. I'll be buying all her books!
Mais dis is a amazing idea yea! Affectionately dubbed "Little Austin" and one of the safest towns in the US to live, Lafayette has something to offer everyone! From the a lot of festivals and events, to our globe popular cuisine that will awaken even the most discriminating taste buds. This application is long overdue and will give you the in's and outs of what the locals already know...there's no put like Lafayette Louisiana!!
This was really good. I have read zillions of books and the ones I love the best are the ones I hate to place down. This was one. Went to read more by this author only to see this is her only one. Obtain busy Lady you have so much talent. Send me an email with your next book I will be the first to buy it.
Things weren't looking to amazing during the battle for Grace and her mom, but they kept giving their all ,treating their slaves like humans and not animals. Involving them in the running of the d read. Wanted to read a part two maybe 5/10 years later to see how everyone came thru reconstruction.
I enjoyed this story of a Northern young woman moving from Boston to a South Carolina plantation to marry a master of slaves. Sara comes from a mother who secretly helps the Underground Railroad, and a father who transports goods to and from the South. Sara learns to love the rhythm of the South, and tempers her husband's life of slaves with kindness and responsibility to the slaves in their care. Lily Grace grows up surrounded by the es on the plantation, and is best mates with Small Bubba Jefferson, who becomes her blood brother. Bubba's mother, Fatima, is a healer and is revered for her abilities to support the injured and sick....and for her sight into the future. The only thing I did not like about this book was that I wished it would have continued telling the stories all through to the end of the battle instead of just having a summary of the latest 3 years and into the future. It could have been a trilogy if the author would have completed each person's stories.'