The Glass Château: A Novel

Image of The Glass Château: A Novel
Release Date: 
June 20, 2023
William Morrow
Reviewed by: 

In the years immediately following WWII, France was a seriously divided country. Stephen P. Kiernan captures this reality with his opening words: “After the end of a slaughter that nearly devoured a continent, the last thing anyone expected to hear was laughter.” From this point on he weaves a telling story of a small group of people who desperately need to address many debilitating issues, primarily repentance. Whether each is successful depends on how they deal with their need for forgiveness, healing, and redemption.

The author’s main character, Asher, is a former French resistance fighter who killed 20 Germans during the war. The sudden loss of both his beloved wife and lovely daughter killed in front of his eyes by a young German soldier was a constant companion; however, his major issue was the burning man who haunted him every step of his journey.

He was weary. He was physically and emotionally drained. He was a lost soul. He wandered aimlessly through a town where he almost died. The next day he continued his physical journey. Soon he spied a medieval village and its towers. “They lifted a person’s eyes to the sky, where God had lived before mankind destroyed the possibility of his existence.” He did not stop. Eventually he came upon a road divided. He smelled smoke. He had a choice. He decided to follow his nose and soon saw “a sign on an iron gate: Le Chateau Guerin, 1588.” He entered.

He was well received but was not allowed to spend the night as there were no available beds. After the introductions, he was asked to stay for the evening meal for which he was thankful. During the meal he was told the Glass Chateau was a place of healing. Everyone there had issues with a demon or two, some perhaps more. There were rules; some would say they were quite rigid, others, perhaps would disagree.  

Interestingly, during the meal something happened. Suddenly, one bed became available. It was offered to him, and he accepted.

It is at this point the real meat of the story begins. Circumstances through the remainder of the book make the book worth reading. How were personal issues resolved? Perhaps they were not. You be the judge for there are many surprises in store for you. Mysteries abound. Sometimes clues are given about things to come provided you are an astute reader. Often, there are not any but you might wonder how you missed the hints, even though there were none to be found. Perplexing? Sure is!

As you read you will come to realize that “the players have a strong desire to build peace and serenity in their small part of the world.” The Glass Chateau could be made into a provocative movie or play provided character development was on par with the book. The Glass Chateau is a story of hope, healing, and redemption and is well worth the read! Finally, the book was inspired by the work of Marc Chagall, particularly the stained-glass piece known as The Window of Peace and Human Happiness. You might be interested in Googling it as it is an interesting piece of work.