A 2013 Christy Award Finalist!
This is a fascinating story set in France both during World War II and 2001. Marie and Elise are two French teenagers who go to work for the Nazis in Lamorlaye, France, in 1943, where they have taken over the Meunier manor and pregnant women are moving in. The girls aren't sure what is going on at first, but when they find out, it may tear them apart. In 2001, Marshall Becker has been hired to renovate a castle in Lamorlaye, dating back to the Renaissance, but finds more than he bargained for. From strange noises and vandalism to a spunky nanny and the owner's children that get under his skin, he has his hands full trying to finish the renovations by the looming deadline while battling his own inner demons.
This is a well-written story that sucks you into the pages. The story flips back and forth between the time periods as more is revealed of what happened back in 1943 and '44. Becker is a character I had a hard time liking and yet I rooted for and wanted to see get his life together. I loved the nanny; she called him on his attitude and was just what he needed. The children were fun and the other unique secondary characters really added to the feel of the story. I love plots that involve multiple time periods, but I was expecting Becker to be more involved in the mystery and discovery of what happened in Lamorlaye during World War II. It was interesting to see how renovations like these get done and I loved the setting! I was a bit disappointed in the ending and I was hoping for an epilogue or sequel where the ending I was wishing for happens. The book ended up being more serious than I thought because of the issues Becker deals with, though it does feel ultimately hopeful. I love history and found it fascinating that what happened in Lamorlaye in World War II was true and happened in many other houses in other countries. I would recommend this novel, especially if you like history.