Escape to France – read my debut novel

Dear fellow Francophile
 In these challenging, locked down times, I bring you a dose of escapism!
But first I’ll tell you a true story.
 Some years ago when I was living in rural France, I took my young daughter, with a bouquet of lilacs in her hand, to pay our respects at the local village memorial. It was the anniversary of Victory in Europe and a handful of WW2 veterans stood solemnly together as the mayor placed a tricolour wreath against the white stone. Then I noticed an elderly woman – she was neat, formally dressed and stood a few yards behind the others – with a thoughtful expression on her face. On the breast pocket of her coat she wore a medal. I wondered who she was, what experiences she might have had during the war years and why she wore that medal. I never found out, but that image stayed with me and many years later I began to build her story in my imagination – my debut novel is the result.
 The Château of Illusions has just been published. It has taken over two years, a huge amount of research, thousands of hours writing, re-writing and editing, but it is finally out. My pre-publication readers all loved it.
 Let me see if I can pique your interest:
 The beautiful white limestone Château of Lusone, designed and built by the Picards, once proud Cognac producers, has fallen into the hands of the aristocratic Duplessis family. The mysteries of the château are the poignant backdrop to an unfolding story of two families, each new generation becoming entwined in a web of intrigue, love, revenge and redemption.

The Château of Illusions moves from south west France to Paris, London and back to France again, telling the story of Thérèse Picard and her relationships with the two Duplessis brothers, Roland and François. From blissful pre-war summers to heartache and heroism during World War 2, her journey from wilful youth to brave adult is swift and painful. As the saga sweeps forward through the extravagant 1960s and into the 1980s an extraordinary work of art is discovered, and hidden secrets revealed. With the 40th anniversary of VE Day approaching, a series of dramatic revelations lead to unforeseen twists of fate for both families.

If that description appeals and you are in the mood for some well-written escapism with authentic characters, a page turner of a plot, and plenty of ambiance à la française, The Château of Illusions should be your next read.

Thanks for your time. You can buy my book on Amazon as paperback or Kindle.

Bonne lecture!Guy Hibbert


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