Welcome to my tour stop for Chronicles from Chateau Moines by Evelyne Holingue. This is a middle grade historical fiction. The tour runs March 2-13 with reviews, interviews, guest posts and excerpts. Check out the tour page for the full schedule.
About the Book
Scott has no idea that his arrival is also a challenge to Sylvie. While her best friend is excited to have an American boy at school, Sylvie cannot say one word to Scott. She can’t even write good songs in her notebook anymore. Why is life so different since Scott moved to Chateau Moines?
Set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War protest era and told from the perspectives of twelve-year old Scott and Sylvie, this is a story about loss and friendship, music and peace, and also about secrets.
Although this is a work of fiction, the cultural, social, and historical background of the early 1970s in France and the United States inspired the writing. At the end of the book the reader will find a list of the songs, the names of singers, and bands mentioned through the novel as well as some elements about fashion, immigration in France, the Vietnam War, and other cultural, social, and historical facts relevant to the period of time.
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
My Review - 5 Stars...
Starting from the cover, I was hooked. The simplistic illustration of a quaint village and the whimsical music notes around the title drew me in. Instantly I had an idea about what this book was going to be about as well as a desire to read it.
After I got over the brilliant cover, the story itself had me hooked. I found the backdrop of the social and political scene of the 70's interesting. Having been born after that, a lot of what I know about that decade comes from my hearsay or textbooks. The author did a great job of showing us the conflicts and really giving this generation a new feel. I finished feeling like I knew that time better. There's something to say for that... Learning new cultures and history without knowing you're learning something is hard to do, and this author does it seamlessly. From the culture to the history, I felt like I was living there. Excellently done!
Beyond the setting though… The voice in this novel is spot on. Some might say too spot on in some cases. ha! A twelve year old certainly goes through a roller coaster of emotions… and when the story is told from the perspective of two different twelve years olds, you’re in for a wild ride. The alternating point of views provided a depth to the characters I wasn’t expecting, and provides appeal to both genders.
There is a refreshing spotlight on sadness, honesty and strength. This isn't a fast paced action filled story. This is a novel with heart…
And the ending... All I can say is perfect!
I recommend this book for middle grade readers, especially those who prefer realistic/contemporary fiction.
Meet the Author - Evelyne Holingue
My first published piece of writing was a poem about a man spending Christmas behind bars. I was eleven years old and wasn’t paid for my work, but I was hooked.
I studied French Literature at the Université de Caen and at the Sorbonne in Paris and worked in a publishing house before moving to California, following my husband.
It was a challenging time in my life as I was leaving my own career, my family, my friends and my beloved Paris behind. But how could I say no to the dreams of the man I love?
Readers enjoy escaping the familiar for the unknown. Being a foreigner is discovering the unknown day after day, not only for the time of a book. However, since most things in life come with a silver lining, I credit this move for giving me the opportunity to write. Through my words, I share my affection for my native and adoptive countries that I love equally.