The Women In The Castle: A Novel by Jessica ShattuckThe Women In The Castle: A Novel by Jessica Shattuck

The Women In The Castle: A Novel

byJessica Shattuck

Hardcover | March 28, 2017

Pricing and Purchase Info

$27.10 online 
$33.50 list price save 19%
Earn 136 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores



GoodReads Choice Awards Semifinalist 

"Moving . . . a plot that surprises and devastates."—New York Times Book Review

"A masterful epic."—People magazine

"Mesmerizing . . . The Women in the Castle stands tall among the literature that reveals new truths about one of history’s most tragic eras."—USA Today

Three women, haunted by the past and the secrets they hold

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 resister 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 naive Benita, has fallen into the hands of occupying Red Army soldiers. Then she locates Ania, another resister’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.

Title:The Women In The Castle: A NovelFormat:HardcoverDimensions:368 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.17 inPublished:March 28, 2017Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062563661

ISBN - 13:9780062563668

Look for similar items by category:


Rated 2 out of 5 by from So So As much as I enjoy the subject matter of the book and the theme of the plot, I had a hard time with this book. I think that is because of the writing style of the author I found confusing and had difficulties following.
Date published: 2018-11-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great A very interesting book. I've read a lot of novels that took place during the war, and I enjoyed that this one gave some new perspectives.
Date published: 2018-02-12
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Okay I guess Very boring, didn't really like it. Some parts were engaging, but then it just became kind of bland.
Date published: 2018-01-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! Once I started, I could not put this book down. An absolutely engaging story with such real characters. Although bleak at times (hard for a book set during and right after WWII not to be), it is such a powerful read.
Date published: 2017-12-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from good It was a good read but definitely not great.
Date published: 2017-11-24
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Dissatisfied The write up I read on this book and the author was very good, but the book was a let down. I couldn't get into the story, couldn't attach to any of the characters. Had the story moved more quickly, perhaps I would have stuck it out to the end. I like to read different perspectives on WWII, but not this one.
Date published: 2017-11-22
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Disappointed Heard a lot of good hype about this book. I started, but I had to drag myself through a lot of it. I couldn't get into it. I'm sure there are deeper meanings, but when it doesn't speak to you, it's just not there. Personally, not a fan.
Date published: 2017-10-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good but fairly depressing I like the fact that this book tells the story of WWII from a different perspective than most - it gives you a look into what Germans lived with after the war, and it shows that all people are capable of doing terrible things. The only problem is that I have been working on this book for a few months but haven't finished it - that is not normal for me. The reason is that, like with many stories set in this era, things can get pretty dark. However, there is few little in the story to lighten things up from time to time. I find this makes it hard to get through because it becomes tedious to read a story in which nothing good ever happens.
Date published: 2017-09-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Disappointing This book seemed so promising, but what you are told it is about, is not really what it was about. I went in with the impression these women were really nazi resisters in Germany, but in fact very little focuses on that, and they didn't seem that into the movement. While it was good, it was a letdown from what I believed it to be
Date published: 2017-08-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Mixed Feelings The story line for me at times was slow causing me to skim over sections of the book. Having said that I would stop and read certain sections as there where characters that I wanted to see how it would end for them. Overall it wasn't bad, not a book I couldn't put down but not bad.
Date published: 2017-08-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Book club selection My book club read this last month. It was a really good read and generated some good discussions on how German civilians survived during WW2.
Date published: 2017-07-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent This was an excellent read. Very interesting history, and well written!
Date published: 2017-07-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Disappointed I was a little disappointed with this book, which is a shame as I was really looking forward to it. It's not that it's bad. It is well written and compelling enough that I wanted to know what happened but I was still left feeling let down. I think, based on the synopsis, I was expecting a bit of a different story. This was a book club pick so will be interesting what the rest of my fellow book clubbers will think of it, as we typically quite enjoy the WWII stories. But my guess is many will be left feeling a bit let down. I would still recommend the book on the basis that it is well written and it was interesting to read about the widows of the German resisters, which was a topic I had not yet read about.
Date published: 2017-07-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting For me this was an interesting perspective on WWII, there was much to learn and hold my interest. I really liked the ending where we were treated to reflections and an update on characters.
Date published: 2017-06-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Women in the Castle I gave three stars for this book. I felt like I was looking for a "women power in the 1930-40's" sort of book and I didn't get it with this one. I feel like the characters were hard to relate too and I found no confection to them unfortunately. Overall, it was nicely written and easy to read but nothing like "The Nightingale" like I was looking for. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-05-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Cool An interesting read. Well written. #plum
Date published: 2017-05-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Book club pick This is our next read for our book club. It was a good story; I'm sure the discussion will be great as well.
Date published: 2017-05-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this! I really enjoyed this novel, it was so interesting and kept you reading to the end.
Date published: 2017-05-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Such a beautifully written story. A story of choices, consequences, love, friendship and the enduring power of the human spirit during WW2. Wonderful characters and a pleasure to read, found it difficult to put down. In my opinion The Women In The Castle is a must read!
Date published: 2017-05-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Just read it, its really good.
Date published: 2017-04-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Epic Definitely intense and one heck of a read!!!! <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
Date published: 2017-04-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Read Enjoyed the book...couldn't put the book down
Date published: 2017-04-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful A great story to read. Will remember this one for a very long time.
Date published: 2017-04-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from great i enjoyed reading this novel
Date published: 2017-04-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love i bought this a month ago and so happy i did.
Date published: 2017-03-28

Editorial Reviews

“Well-researched . . . Shattuck manages to be both morally tough-minded and remarkably empathetic.”