“In the midst of winter, I found that there was within me and invincible summer.” (Albert Camus)
This was a gorgeous story of the ability to go forward against adversity when you feel that it has consumed you. It was a story of resiliency in the face of disaster. It was a story of learning about the past, which often can give one courage for the future.
Abi Howe is a broken woman. She is reeling from a marriage gone bad, feelings held inside that have made her believe that she does not deserve love, and the idea that what she is within is somehow of little value. While on a yoga retreat, she meets a young couple who offer her a job at their lovely home which was formerly the Chateau Bellevue. Abi decides that she will take this job and hopefully find a way to heal both her body and soul. Little does she realize what she will learn about the Chateau, the people who lived there, and the ability it will give her to finally see herself as someone worthwhile and cherished.
The Chateau has been a witness to history, particularly in regard to World War 2 when it as overtaken by the Nazis. As the author takes us back to that time, we meet Eliana Martin who tended the bees in the chateau. It is here that she meets and falls in love with Mathieu. However, the war comes bringing with it tragedy and darkness which envelopes them and their community changing everything for this young couple.
Separated from Mathieu , Elaina makes a choice to become part of the French Resistance along with her family and many of the townspeople. She and they risked their lives to free France of their evil conquerors and return to the world they held most dear.
Abi is mesmerized by Eliane’s story. She is moved by the valor and courage shown by this woman and through that comes an understanding of knowing that “we are stronger than we think we are.” Abi awakens to her ability to be strong, to be able to enjoy the world that surrounds her, and to be the person she has always wanted to be.
This story was beautiful in its telling. From the characters to the setting, it had the ability to make the events real, to make the reader understand that we all possess strength, and that the future can be approached with joy no matter what we have faced when we have the courage to do so.
Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass… It’s about learning to dance in the rain.
Published on May 16, 2018