Posted in BOOKS

The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck


Set at the end of World War II, in a crumbling Bavarian castle that once played host to all of German high society, a powerful and propulsive story of three widows whose lives and fates become intertwined—an affecting, shocking, and ultimately redemptive novel from the author of the New York Times Notable Book The Hazards of Good Breeding

Amid the ashes of Nazi Germany’s defeat, Marianne von Lingenfels returns to the once grand castle of her husband’s ancestors, an imposing stone fortress now fallen into ruin following years of war. The widow of a resistor murdered in the failed July, 20, 1944, plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, Marianne plans to uphold the promise she made to her husband’s brave conspirators: to find and protect their wives, her fellow resistance widows.

First, Marianne rescues six-year-old Martin, the son of her dearest childhood friend, from a Nazi reeducation home. Together, they make their way across the smoldering wreckage of their homeland to Berlin, where Martin’s mother, the beautiful and naïve Benita, has fallen into the hands of occupying Red Army soldiers. 

Then she locates Ania, another resistor’s wife, and her two boys, now refugees languishing in one of the many camps that house the millions displaced by the war.

As Marianne assembles this makeshift family from the ruins of her husband’s resistance movement, she is certain their shared pain and circumstances will hold them together. 

But she quickly discovers that the black-and-white, highly principled world of her privileged past has become infinitely more complicated, filled with secrets and dark passions that threaten to tear them apart. Eventually, all three women must come to terms with the choices that have defined their lives before, during, and after the war—each with their own unique share of challenges.

Written with the devastating emotional power of The Nightingale, Sarah’s Key, and The Light Between Oceans, Jessica Shattuck’s evocative and utterly enthralling novel offers a fresh perspective on one of the most tumultuous periods in history.

Combining piercing social insight and vivid historical atmosphere, The Women in the Castle is a dramatic yet nuanced portrait of war and its repercussions that explores what it means to survive, love, and, ultimately, to forgive in the wake of unimaginable hardship.

https://www.amazon.com/Women-Castle-Novel-Jessica-Shattuck/dp/0062563661

Posted in POEM OF THE WEEK

POEM OF THE WEEK



The Bedroom by Doug Draime

There is no point of

reflection here.

It wavers

at the angle the bed

used to be. Where

it was once was, at that

angle, I watched

the stars and moon.

Now the moon is where

the apple tree

was. The radio has

completely disappeared.

A Mexican vase is there

instead. The walls have

been painted a color

I don’t know: between

blue and

avocado. The shadows

don’t dance anymore, they

float, moaning bitterly

over the place

where you once slept

beside me. The twinkling

chandelier is gone, and I

can’t find the ceiling

#########

Doug Draime’s most recent books include Los Angeles Terminal: Poems 1971-1980 (Covert Press) and Rock ‘n Roll Jizz (Propaganda Press). Forthcoming full-length collection from Interior Press, More Than The Alley in 2012. Awarded PEN grants in 1987, 1991 and 1992. Nominated for several Pushcart Prizes in last few years. He lives with his wife and family in the foothills of Oregon.