The Glass Chateau by Stephen P. Kiernan: 4****

World War 2 has ended but the casualties have not! So many people have hidden scars and secrets from the war and in The Glass Chateau author Stephen P. Kiernan follows the story of former French resistance fighter Asher as he wonders his land trying to find peace, to escape the ravages of war, the family lost in an instance, as well as the memories of the 19 Germans he killed as part of the Resistance. Through what appears to be a mystical encounter with an old lady and her dog, he is told of the fictional town on Clovide where people go for peace and healing.. When he arrives he find a stained glass making factory that is home to a host of other individuals also trying to recover from the war. From a former town mayor, to a nameless man, a speechless man and others, this group works at developing stained glass for windows as part of their own road to recovery.

The book is inspired by French artist, Marc Chagall who became famous for changing the art stained glass, this factory eventually gets a commission to install new windows at the local cathedral, and we join along in the glass blowing, manufacturing and artistic developments, all of which are hampered by a lack of materials. Friendships are made, some are expelled from the factory, and by the end the backstories are revealed, as awe-inspiring windows are finally installed.. And then there is the character of Marie, a widow who supplies garden vegetables to the community and whose presence provides relief to many at the factory.

A very well developed plot, with fascinating characters who are realistic in the scars they carry and the mysteries they keep hidden. It is a first-rate effort that teaches of love, healing, tolerance, as well as learning how stained glass is made.

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