The Chateau by Catherine Cooper (2021) Snapshot

You can run but you can’t hide

Aura and Nick needed a fresh start. With their marriage on the rocks following a scandal, they moved to France to offer their children a better life and give their marriage a chance.

They thought they were moving to paradise, but sometimes your past follows you, and someone wants Aura and Nick to pay for what they have done.

The Chateau is absolutely an unputdownable book. I also loved the plot idea and ambiance. The book is set in England and France, and I felt the difference in the atmosphere each time it flipped locations. Not only that, the tension between Nick and Aura is palpable. I thoroughly loved the tension and suspense.  I also loved Aura in her own POV chapters. That being said, in the chapters narrated by Nick, she is unrecognizable. Even allowing that in those chapters, we see her through Nick’s eyes, some actions didn’t add up, and I had a hard time seeing both versions as the same character. Nick, on the other hand, remained consistent throughout the whole story. 

I had a few issues with some choices, including how the author handled a sensitive topic. I won’t mention it because it would be considered a spoiler, but check the trigger warnings before you pick this book out. These choices took away from my enjoyment. However, I was intrigued enough that I will check Cooper’s other books out.

**Minor/Major Spoilers below** (click on the arrow)
    If you’re reading this, you don’t mind being spoiled. A few minor things peeved me, but they were style preferences – so not worth mentioning as they didn’t break my reading experience. However, what I had the most issue with was the (in my opinion) romanticization of pedophilia. I understand this is a British book and that in the UK, the age of consent is 16, but in my opinion, that is still a child, and there is no way a teenager can consent to any relationship with someone 11 years older and a teacher at that! This is 100% abuse, and it shouldn’t have been brushed off as something people overreacted about and read as if that was the girl’s choice in any way, shape, or form.
    I was 19 when I got in a relationship with someone in a power position and 11 years older. At the time, I thought I was in charge. Still, as the relationship progressed and it became mentally is sexually abusive, I continued to think I was in charge. It took the end of that relationship and therapy to understand that I was groomed and emotionally abused from the beginning. I wish Cooper had drawn the line and made it clear that what happened to that character was abuse and wrong and that the victim hadn’t paid for the abuser’s actions.

wonder if it will work

Enjoyability     7

Characters      6

Deduction   5

Ambience        8

Fairness          8

Plot                  10

Execution        7

My total rating: 3.42


Disclaimer: I first read it as an ARC. In exchange for an honest review, I am thankful to HarperCollins UK, Catherine Cooper, and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of The Chateau

Until next book, be the hummingbird!

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