Friday, January 26, 2018

I Dreamed Of A Chateau - A Look At Le Chateau by Sarah Ridout.



Le ChateauLe Chateau by Sarah Ridout

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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
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I very quickly fell into the dream-like, gothic story scape of Sarah Ridout's "Le Château" and, by its end, I was very reluctant to leave. Told through the first person perspective of the protagonist Charlotte - who recovering from a mysterious accident that has robbed her of her memory - "Le Château" captivated me with its unfolding mystery as Charlotte struggles to rebuild her shattered life. Faced with a husband and daughter she cannot remember, and hints of darker truths she discovers in the idyllic French countryside estate her family shares, I was with Charlotte, experiencing her journey in equal measure as she. Ridouts patient story telling, her vivid visual style and her complex characterisations made this an all consuming reading experience for me - one that continues to echo long after I have finished it.

Le Château is a dream-like masterpiece.



Sarah Ridout has a Masters in Creative Writing (First Class Honours), from University College Dublin (UCD). UCD is the alma mater of James Joyce, John McGahern, Neil Jordan, Colm Tóibín, and Emma Donoghue, among others.


Sarah Ridout (photo credit: Merilyn Smith photography).

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 chateaux of southern France produced a baby, 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. 

Le Chateau was selected to participate in the prestigious Queensland Writers Centre /Hachette Australia Manuscript Development Program before it was acquired by Bonnier Publishing Australia (Echo Publishing).

Sarah has been writing throughout her public relations career, before commencing memoir and novel writing.

The complexities of the role of women interest her as do identity and place as signifiers, and the multiple effects of displacement on identity.

Sarah loves travel and the immersion into other cultures provided by her twelve years living in Europe. She enjoys reading, film, music (especially David Bowie), and is an avid art lover and collector.

Purchase Le Château here.

Connect with Sarah Ridout here.

Tweet with Sarah Ridout here.

View all my Goodreads reviews

DFA.

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