What really happened at the Chateau?
When Charlotte regains consciousness after an accident, she finds herself living a stranger’s life. The previous five years are a blank, and her husband, Henri, and daughter, Ada, are strangers. Arriving at their family chateau in southern France, she hopes to regain her memories. Instead she feels isolated and unsettled. Strange events hint at underlying darkness and menace. Charlotte doesn’t know who to trust.
Did she really have an affair with their charming Irish neighbour, as her enigmatic mother-in-law suggests? And what of Henri? He seems loving and kind, a good parent, but Charlotte is wary. Then there is Ada, a little girl who just wants her mother back.
With the help of her friend and fellow Australian Susannah, Charlotte starts to piece together events, but her newfound confidence is shaken with news that puts a deadline on her quest…
Le Chateau is a suspenseful gothic tale that will appeal to readers of Daphne du Maurier and Kate Morton.
About the Author
Sarah Ridouthas a Masters in Creative Writing (First Class Honours), from the select University College Dublin (UCD). Over the past eleven years she has lived in four countries with her husband and two children. Her eight years surrounded by the vineyards and chateaus of southern France produced a family of Francophiles, and the seed of this novel, completed in Dublin, Ireland. Le Chateau draws on her experiences as an expatriate, her knowledge of France, its people and customs.
REVIEW SNAPSHOT®by PowerReviews
Reviewed by 1 customer
Displaying review 1
Comments about Le Chateau:
Le Chateau is the first novel by Australian author, Sarah Ridout. Ex-pat Aussie Charlotte de Chastenet wakes in hospital with amnesia after an accident: she can't remember anything of the last five years, not her husband, Henri, not her almost five-year-old daughter, Ada, not the Chateau they live in and not the accident that caused her coma and memory loss. When her doctor, Jeremie brings her home to the Chateau, she will be living amongst strangers.
Despite her own confusion, Charlotte sees that Henri is loving and caring: he gives her her own bedroom, promising to be patient, sure that her memory will eventually return. And Charlotte wants to avoid causing young Ada any more distress: when Charlotte's best friend Susannah, someone she does remember, arrives from England, they make a concerted effort to do what they can jog her memory.
Charlotte's unenviable situation leaves her at the mercy of those around her: Henri's mother implies a relationship with a neighbour that has Charlotte doubting herself, even though such behaviour would be completely out of character. It soon becomes evident (to the reader, if not to Charlotte or Henri) that Madame de Chastenet has her own agenda. And then Charlotte learns something that makes it imperative to find out just whom she can trust.
Ridout gives the reader a plot that is original and creative; as Charlotte gathers clues about her life and her accident, the tension slowly builds to an exciting and dramatic climax; the characters could do with a little more development, but this deficit can perhaps be explained by the premise that an amnesiac is the narrator. And while the dialogue was sometimes a little stiff, it is conceivable that French speakers using English might speak that way.
Ridout's familiarity with her setting is apparent on every page: her detailed descriptions of the countryside, the architecture, the customs and attitudes of the locals, all speak of intimate knowledge born of experience together with ex
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 9th September 2016
Publisher: Bonnier Publishing Australia
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.3