Thursday 30 October 2014

Review ~ The Chateau by Karen Aldous.

Title: The Chateau.
Author: Karen Aldous.
Publisher: Carina UK.
Genre: Women's Fiction.
Publication Date: October 30, 2014.
Source: Netgalley.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

Purchase: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Amazon AU | Kobo

Can young hearts ease a restless spirit?

On the shores of stunning Lake Geneva, Gina Remy is celebrating her brother’s wedding – when the figure of a woman appears hovering above the water, beckoning to her. Ghostly visitations do not happen to Gina - a self-confessed control freak with her own successful property business, she prides herself on being level-headed. But as she is tormented by dreams and visions, her perfect life begins to unravel, and she knows she needs to help this ghost find peace if she’s to get any of her own!

Enter Ollie Martin, an Anglo-Swiss property developer who’s sexy as hell and knows it. His arrogance annoys Gina, but he’s the only one who will take her seriously… and the closer they come to understanding the quest the ghost has set for them, the closer they get to one another…

With its gorgeous cover and intriguing synopsis, I was really excited to start reading The Chateau. I loved Karen’s debut novel The Vineyard and was pleased to see that The Chateau was just as impressive. What looked like simply a romantic setting for a novel turned out to be so much more than that and this was a multi-layered novel which was so riveting and a real joy to read. In it we meet Gina, who on her visit to Lake Geneva for her brother’s wedding, is struck by some strange chills, vivid dreams and the feeling that a woman from the past needs her help. The story was quick to get going and fast-paced throughout but I was hooked, wanting to learn more about the paranormal aspect and completely drawn in to the side-stories here too.

From the start, we’re quickly introduced to the infuriating relationship between Gina and Max. Gina is hurt at Max’s reluctance to want to start a family with her and they argue, a lot, without ever seeming to get anywhere. With their lack of communication and the building of issues between them, alongside the inkling that Max is hiding something, it wasn’t surprising that Gina found herself instantly drawn to Ollie, who as arrogant as he came across on first impressions, was at least attentive enough to try and help Gina unfold the mystery of her dreams and visions. Despite the instant attraction between Gina and Ollie, I loved how their friendship was developed throughout. Karen builds upon our insight into them both so we can see that maybe there’s more than meets the eye to both their characters. I was fascinated with Ollie from the moment we meet him because he seemed very full of himself but a little bit of charm was breaking through too.

The Chateau wasn’t just about the ghostly happenings or the attraction between Gina and Ollie. There was a lot packed in to this novel which always seemed to get brought back to the same theme of family. Whether it was the hope of creating a new family that Gina’s brother and his soon to be wife had, Gina’s own desire for a child with Max or the seemingly broken marriage of Gina’s parents, the underlying aspect of this book always looked to be family. Stories that really build upon family relationships appeal to me and I loved the scenes between Gina and her mother. It was refreshing to read an outlook on a mother-daughter relationship which was positive and showed that not all daughters spend their times complaining when their mum might happen to give them a call or want to spend some time with them. I thought Gina’s character was quite inspiring too and I loved how even though there were so many things falling apart in her life, when she came to work at marketing properties, she always managed to regain a little bit of control.

I also loved Karen’s beautifully descriptive writing. Her description of Lake Geneva and the chateau was absolutely stunning and enthralling and her words had a way of transporting me there, so I could imagine it all and see every detail. Even the way she wrote about the properties and the villas Gina was marketing for Ollie had me mesmerised and I could picture every scene with the book playing out in my mind. The gorgeous expressive writing didn’t just elevate the setting of the book. Once we begin to learn about the history of the location, and discover a little bit about the more paranormal aspect of the novel, I was really involved in the plot and completely gripped. The portrayal of the chateau was so eerie and enchanting and as we begin to uncover some of the mystery, there were great twists that I hadn’t been expecting and an ending which felt completely fitting. Again, Karen Aldous leaves me with a novel that feels like it will be so memorable, and The Chateau was much more beautiful and compelling than me, even with my complete faith in this author’s writing ability, had anticipated.

Review also posted on Goodreads | Amazon UK

1 comment:

  1. I cannot tell you how many people commented on the ambiance of the San Diego Wedding venues, the stellar wait service and the food! It felt like almost every guest complimented the menu.


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