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Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite
In David Loux’s immersive historical novel, Chateau Laux, the fate of a young family is changed by a heinous crime that leaves a trail of far-reaching and devastating results. It is the early 1700s and Lawrence Kraymer is one of Philadelphia’s successful merchants after inheriting his grandfather’s prosperous brewery. Craving a break from years of toiling alongside his grandfather, he plans a hunting trip. While lost in the woods, he stumbles upon a farmhouse whose hospitable owner, Pierre, gives him a warm welcome. Lawrence becomes enchanted by his host’s oldest daughter, Catharine. To please her and her father, he commissions the construction of a magnificent château. Though its construction is well-intended, it becomes the scene of an unspeakable crime.
When reading Chateau Laux by David Loux, the events felt more convincing since the novel is based on a real and documented historical event. I also appreciated the depth of the story which is achieved by including bits of French history. The riveting historical detail is creatively woven into Pierre’s background and paints a picture of the bitter political division in France at the time. Symbolism is also used to enhance the story such as when the château is used as an ominous sign from Pierre’s past. Loux’s storytelling is elegant and lyrical. The characters display recognizable human nature from their conversations and behavior. There are also profound lessons to be learned along the way from the main characters’ experiences and Pierre’s wisdom. Chateau Laux portrays its historical settings and characters with skill and excellence. The story is well-developed and all its elements are skillfully achieved. I highly recommend it.