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The Chapel in the Woods

The Chapel in the Woods [Kindle Edition]

Susan Louineau
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

When Diana Lescure moves with her young family to the tiny village of Saint Gabriel in the depths of France, it is clear that not all is well amongst its inhabitants. As she settles into her country idyll she uncovers a menace that has shrouded the villagers for generations. Through a 12th century monk and a British agent in WW2 the story of a secret society unfolds.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 638 KB
  • Print Length: 369 pages
  • Publisher: Susan Louineau (12 Mar 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007JBG9HG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #161,564 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Susan Louineau was born in 1966 in Bombay, India to a linguist father and a school teacher mother. She is the youngest of three with two brothers five and six years her senior. The family moved to Eindhoven, Holland with her father's job, then to Cambridge and subsequently Oxford. She was educated at St Helen's, Abingdon and St. Edward's, Oxford. She holds a first Class BA (Hons) in French and English Language from La Nouvelle Sorbonne and the Open University.

Susan's international background and the strong influence of her father's language skills drew her to travelling. She spent nine months sleeping on a beach in Greece, backpacked through Egypt and Israel, temped as a legal secretary in Australia but was ultimately drawn to France. As a child she was struck by the exoticism of French food and culture and has remained smitten ever since.

Whilst studying in Paris and working in a bookshop she met her husband, Jean-Christophe. With their first child, Jack, and with Anaïs on the way, they moved to the Loire Valley. After seven years the call of home became overwhelming and she persuaded her husband to move to the UK. She has lived in West Cornwall for the last ten years where she works as a translator and unpaid taxi driver to her teenage children. In her spare time she collects languages, loves gardening and has developed a penchant for reggae music!

Susan has been writing stories since she read 'Brer Rabbit', her first ever story, at the age of 4. 'It has just always been a part of me; almost an addiction! Humanity and places are my greatest sources of inspiration; people's life stories can be so absurd that they wouldn't be believable on paper. I am never more comfortable in my skin as when I have a novel on the go. I could not imagine life without writing.'

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fab First Novel 17 April 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I like books which grip the reader from the first page. Susan Louineau has the priceless gift of being able to do just that. I particularly enjoyed the way she wove three different periods of history together to present a compelling and exciting plot. Well researched, thoughtfully and confidently written, obviously a labour of love. An absolute steal at £1.50.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping 5 April 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Really enjoyed Chapel in the Woods and was sad to reach the end. Following three different stories in three different eras becomes easier the more you read especially as they all start to tie in as you near the end. I'd recommend it to everyone.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars French frollicking! 9 Dec 2012
By Ian
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book. The three storylines kept things interesting and showed a willingness by the author to try and create something special. Covering three different time periods in the same book shows some skill, and I think for a first novel this was pretty ambitious.

The stories are woven together by their rural French location, and each is told in a pleasing style; clever but also subtle. I enjoyed Diana's story the most, with her emotional toing and froing over her family's new life in a French village. With her story being the most modern it is here where the reader gets to do the most guessing as to how all three stories are entwined in the end.

I am looking forward to this writer's next book, as The Chapel in the Woods shows an author with bags of potential.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars read it twice 14 May 2012
By hoppy53
Format:Kindle Edition
This is a wonderful story and one that can be read and re-read as there is something new to discover on each visit. Thoroughly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hooked! 8 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In some ways a great novel resembles a love affair. While it is going on you can think of nothing else and when it is over you feel bereft. The Chapel in the Woods is one such novel.

It begins with a car accident. Diane Lescure crashes her car on the very first day she arrives in the village of Saint Gabriel in rural France.
Diane's story is the main thread of the novel. She is English but married to a Frenchman, Serge, and with a young son, Ben. Her attempts to adapt to the extremely conservative life of rural France, and to be a perfect wife to her chauvinist husband seemed doomed to failure from the start. As she struggles to achieve the impossible, we are also given glimpses of other times.
The Canterbury monk, Edward, fleeing from retribution for his betrayal of the archbishop, arrived in the village in the late 12th century and was abandoned in the woods.
Hélène Godard, English but a fluent French speaker is parachuted into the village during the Second World War as an organiser for the Résistance.
These tales in the background threading in and out of the main narrative add depth and imagery to the story, each emphasising the narrow-minded attitudes of the villagers and the corruption of the local government. It seems that little has changed in the centuries between the events.
I loved each one.

It is rare to come across such accomplished writing. The skill with which Ms Louineau handles the three time frames is masterly. It appears effortless to the reader, as all great skill does.
I could not fault this novel. It is perfect in plot, pacing, characterisation and language. An absolute delight to read, and one of the very best books I have read in my life (and I have read thousands).
It is hard to believe that it is a first novel but I can find no record of her publishing any other work. I sincerely hope she intends to do so. I, for one, am hooked.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars There was so much potential here 12 Mar 2014
By ronix
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The Chapel in the Woods – Susan Louineau

English Diana and her French (fireman) husband, Serge together with their young son, Ben have bought their idyllic home in the country to get away from the rat-race of Paris. Their home: Champ de Foire in rue Mongommery.

This should be a new start for both of them, but their relationship starts disintegrating, leaving Diana to wonder about her future. While trying to sort out her life, she starts picking up hints of the past and it’s here that we start learning about Edward, a young monk who fled Canterbury and after being dumped in the forest, is rescued by Clothilde, a young peasant girl and also about Helene Godard (parachuted into the area to help the French Resistance during WW2).

Unfortunately, I found this book cumbersome. I would have loved to hear the story of the monk expanded. Also that of Helene. To me – Diana’s story was just about a one dimensional person, going through a marriage crisis, whereas the monk & resistance worker had beautiful characters and in their own right, could have each been two full stories. I felt that they came alive in the few chapters they were allowed to “tell their story”.

I always get upset when I see us, non-authors, give one or two stars to someone’s painstaking hours work to present us with a story, so I hope if the author reads this, they realise that I’m trying to be constructive.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent!! couldn't put it down. 19 Dec 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book - I loved the intertwining nature of the stories!
Having now finished I am now missing the characters, would love a prequel; how did they get to where they were when we pick them up? I have my thoughts but would love to read another book Susan Louineau.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional first novel 20 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Still can't believe these things cost so little! Confidently written, brilliant research I found it a joy from start to finish - loved it!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A very worthwhile read. Not at all what I expected.
Published 7 days ago by Pat C
5.0 out of 5 stars great story
has a lovely twist to it a very good read and full of suspense a great find in the freebie section
Published 6 months ago by Adrian Thwaites
4.0 out of 5 stars Story of three English folk in France.
When I started to read this book I found myself a bit confused as the storyline was continually changing. However,once I sorted this out I couldn't put the Kindle down. Read more
Published 7 months ago by fred
5.0 out of 5 stars a great read
A great read conveying realistic and atmospheric descriptions of rural france in ancient times, during World War 2 and in the present day. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
For a first book this is an excellent read. It is not dissimilar in style to Kate Mosse, and provides an accurate picture of life in rural France across 3 time periods.
Published 10 months ago by Eileen
4.0 out of 5 stars A griipping storyline
I chose this rating because I found this to be an excellent novel. When I started to read it I nearly gave up because i wondered where it was going as it had three different story... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Christopher Russell
5.0 out of 5 stars Enthralling novel set in France
This is an enthralling novel set in France during three different time periods. Sometimes stories which try to mix times leave the reader confused, but this was very clear. Read more
Published 12 months ago by DJW13
4.0 out of 5 stars Flavour of France
Beautifully evoking the flavour of France this debut novel is an intriguing read. Previous lives of the inhabitants of this small village intertwine into the current inhabitants... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Ms. Sheila A. Hoeman
4.0 out of 5 stars Three intriguing tales woven together into one story
This is a cleverly written book, intertwining three very different tales.

First, we meet Diana and her family as they make the move from Paris to the heart of rural... Read more
Published 13 months ago by ClairPG
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good read
Really enjoyed reading this book, which cleverly weaves together events from 3 different times in the same location, and I didn't see the final twist coming. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Amazon Customer
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