Book Reviews

The Chateau by Jaclyn Goldis

A tremendous thanks to NetGalley and Atria Books for my advanced reader copy of The Chateau by Jaclyn Goldis. This book is available wherever you buy books on May 23, 2023!

The Story

A dream girls trip to a luxurious French chateau devolves into a deadly nightmare of secrets and murder in this stylish, twisty thriller for fans of Lucy Foley, Ruth Ware, and Lisa Jewell.

Welcome to picturesque Provence, where the Lady of the Chateau, Séraphine Demargelasse, has opened its elegant doors to her granddaughter Darcy and three friends. Twenty years earlier, the four girlfriends studied abroad together in France and visited the old woman on the weekends, creating the group’s deep bond. But why this sudden invitation?

Amid winery tours, market visits, and fancy dinners overlooking olive groves and lavender fields, it becomes clear that each woman has a hidden reason for accepting the invitation. Then, after a wild evening’s celebration, Séraphine is found brutally murdered.

As the women search for answers to this shocking crime, fingers begin pointing and a sinister Instagram account pops up, exposing snapshots from the friends’ intimate moments at the chateau, while threatening to reveal more.

As they race to uncover who murdered Séraphine and is now stalking them, they learn the chateau houses many secrets…several worth killing for.

My Thoughts

I almost gave up on The Chateau multiple times. It felt long, and I haven’t read a book that pretentious in a long while (I mean, the blurb says “Lady of the Chateau”). I’m going to level set with you: I do not recommend this book for quite a few reasons, so proceed with caution as there are a lot of spoilers ahead.

Confession: I don’t remember the character’s names. There’s Seraphine, of course, and the granddaughter Darcy. Then, you add in three more women: a chef, someone who had a double mastectomy to eliminate her chance of breast cancer, and the one who is there for the painting (Jade!). This is one of the things I had such a hard time with! There were too many characters’ points of view that made the book read as very clunky.

Additionally, I had a very hard time with the infidelity of the chef friend with Darcy’s husband. Seriously, WHO ON EARTH DOES THAT? Who sleeps with their “best friend’s” husband? And there was so much time spent on it. There were passages where the chef friend was annoyed that the friend’s husband was worried about his wife AFTER THE DEATH OF HER GRANDMOTHER. AYFKM?

There was just too much going on in The Chateau. You have:

  • Infidelity
  • Holocaust survivors/descendants looking for justice
  • Murder
  • Assault
  • The French countryside
  • Illegitimate children
  • Lesbian breakup
  • Breast cancer

Right? It’s just too many things in one book. But I guess that’s what happens when you write from 4+ different perspectives. All of those different POVs need their own story.

The ONE redeeming piece of this book was the last chapter. The final conversation between the two rotten people caught me off guard. I always like to consider if I was actually caught off guard or if it was just out of place. This last chapter tip-toed that line.

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