The Secret of the Grand Hôtel du Lac

“Dripping with suspense on every page” — JJ Toner

Reviewed by Jennifer Ibiam for Readers’ Favorite
The Secret of the Grand Hôtel du Lac by Kathryn Gauci is a beautiful historical novel about the German occupation of France. Between 1943 and 1944, the Nazis occupied France, inflicting varying degrees of hardship on the French in the name of Hitler. England stepped in to save France by sending its best SOE agent, Guy Maxwell, to join forces with the local Resistance in driving the Germans out. One fateful night, while Guy and his team waited for airdropped supplies at a discreet location, something terrible happened which sabotaged their mission. Someone had sold them out, and no one knew Guy’s whereabouts. His wife, Agent Elizabeth, was sent to France on a mission; find Guy and fish out the traitor. The opponents will soon realize that behind a beautiful face lies a lethal mind.
The Secret of the Grand Hôtel du Lac by Kathryn Gauci is an exceptional novel. It will appeal to lovers of espionage, war, and historical novels. I enjoyed reading this book, as it felt like I was in an action movie. Kathryn perfectly blurred the lines between fact and fiction, creating a thorough blend of literary enjoyment. The characters of the star females, Elizabeth, Amelie, Odette, and Madame Sophie, were so well developed that I fell in love with them. They were formidable characters whose contribution to the freedom of France will never be forgotten. The story is one of war and based on true events, but it also incorporates love, deceit, determination, hope, and bravery in the face of danger. I appreciate the stylistic writing and clean editing, which made for a beautiful reading experience. Thank you, Kathryn! Give us more.

Reviewed in the United States on December 16, 2020

Enthralling. This is a page-turner.
I devoured The Secret of the Grand Hotel du Lac. The author brings to life a tragic period of French history–the years of German occupation. The story has all the elements of historical fiction at its best: vividly depicted atmosphere of mortal danger; heroes (subversive acts could land a citizen in jail, or worse, even not reporting was as dangerous as the resistance activity); villains and anti-heroes, willingly or unwillingly cooperating with the invaders (i

Marie-Elise was a strong and brave heroine as where all the women and men in the resistance in France during WWll. This story stays suspenseful to the very end. Well written Kathryn Gauci

Helen Johnson Brumbaugh

Reviewed in the United States on December 31, 2020

Another superb book by the very gifted writer Kathryn Gauci. The novel is a beautifully researched work of historical fiction based on true events of the brutal realities of WWII. Ms Gauci has truly honored the resistance fighters, the passeurs and the people Hitler deemed subhuman . From the first page you will find yourself walking in the footsteps of the brave men and women as they try to free the world from this evil regime and save the lives of so many unfortunate people who were robbed of their most basic rights. The characters, scenery and the story jumps off the page and takes you to worn torn France as you live their journey from start to finish. I anxiously await Kathryn Gauci’s next novel.

Trisha Faye

Reviewed in the United States on December 27, 2020

Kathryn Gauci’s masterful writing thrust me right into the room with Guy Maxwell on the first page. Immediately I was in a cold hut in France next to Guy as he struggled to come to terms with his present situation. And then, I met Elizabeth and was even more intrigued.
The Secret of the Grand Hôtel du Lac is a fascinating read that keeps you turning the pages, deeply immersed in the story. I enjoyed this book immensely and am looking forward to reading more of Gauci’s tales.

Diane rated it 5*****
This story, set in the Jura/Franche-Comte region of France, is a rollercoaster of a story and possibly very much like the lives of those who lived in France and particularly in that area in 1943-44. I have read many stories of the work and sacrifice of those connected with the Resistance in other parts of France but this is the first story I have read particularly set in this area which is remarkably close to the border of Switzerland though that did not make the work of the Resistance any easier. This is an incredible story and the latest by Kathryn Gauci, her research into the events that occurred at the time is remarkable and I have an even greater appreciation of the suffering and sacrifice of so many to not only rescue so many Jewish people, but also to fight against the Nazis during their brutal occupation of France. Thank you Kathryn Gauci, I love your writing and totally appreciate the research attached to your stories. I love this book and highly recommend it to other readers. (less)

Dec 24, 2020 Katinka rated it really liked it

This was a WWII story set primarily in France (with Some scenes in England.) Much of it takes place during the latter part of the war and focuses mainly on the story of a few women who were part of the resistance movement. This book is a work of historical fiction, and while the characters are fictional, their tale is based on places that existed and events that happened during the war.

The women depicted in this book were brave and often took great risks to help free the people of France from German control and oppression. I was fascinated by their stories. Some sought to help by working as double agents, often appearing to be collaborators who were involved with high ranking German officials, but were in reality only doing so to gain useful information and offer aid to the French resistance.

Such actions were incredibly dangerous as discovery of the truth by the german officials would likely mean torture and death, yet as they were often acting in secret, their own countrymen often saw them as traitors to France, potentially also ending with their deaths.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys stories that have a basis in actual events as well as to anyone who enjoys tales of WWII resistance fighters. I greatly enjoyed reading this book. While there may be many stories of the resistance fighters in WWII, I have not read too many of them, and very few from perspectives such as were shown to us in this book.

After reading this historical novel I was left with the feeling that I been present in this beautiful part of Europe at a horrendous time in its history, even though I have never travelled to The Jura region in Northern France. The characters are particularly well drawn with fictional protagonists mixed with historical personages and the fact that Gauci can create such a smooth account just confirms her skill as an author. World War Two stories are often a tough read but The Secret of The Grand …more

I have just finished reading
The Secret of the Grand Hotel du Lac
By Kathryn Gauci.
I absolutely loved it. It was suspenseful,romantic, it had complex Characters.
It was so descriptive I could picture each place she wrote about.
She didn’t find it necessary to use Profanity or explicit sexual scenes.
I would read it again and I normally do not read books again.
A great Author.
I can’t wait to read her next book.
I highly recommend reading this awesome book.

This is a gripping story of love, hope, betrayal, and the power of human endurance during the Nazi occupation of France during world war two, focusing on the years 1944/45. The story centres around the French Resistance and a group known as Belvedere, who are based in the Jura region of Eastern France. A British agent familiar with the area, Elizabeth Maxwell, is sent to join them and find the head of the Belvedere network, her husband Guy Maxwell.
It soon becomes clear that the network has been