This is a book review of sorts. I’m in the midst of reading The Women of Chateau Lafayette by Stephanie Dray. It is historical fiction, and moves back and forth across three timelines, and therefore three central (female) characters, 1776-1807, 1914-1918 and 1939-1945. Chateau Lafayette (Château de Chavaniac) is a real-life manor house where Lafayette, yes, that Lafayette, was born and raised, and to which he returned at various points during his adult life.
I must admit that I had very little understanding of the impact Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de La Fayette (phew, all those names!) had, not only related to the US Revolutionary War, but also the French Revolution. He is touted as a hero in both countries.
One thing I appreciate about well-written historical fiction is how it humanizes the characters. It moves them from stiff portraits on a gallery wall to living, breathing, emotive beings. In the context of this story, it is Lafayette’s wife Adrienne who is cast as the central character, and we get to see him through her eyes.
I’m enjoying this read!