by Mary Stewart, 1958
Wonderful book! Suspense, mystery, interesting characters and setting. Loved it! Set in the forest of France near Geneva, Switzerland, and involving a very wealthy family, the Valmy’s, and their beautiful chateau. A young English girl comes to live there and be the governess of 9 year-old Philippe, the rightful heir to the estate. But soon after her arrival, accidents start to happen that threaten the life of Philippe: a shot in the woods that barely misses him, a loose post on the balcony where he could have fallen to his death. She ends up rescuing Philippe. They escape in the middle of the night and flee through the forest, a mountain hut, a cave, a secluded meadow, and finally the boathouse of a villa in the town of Thonon. All turns out right in the end: The bad guy (Philippe’s crippled uncle Leon who wanted Chateau Valmy for his own) shoots himself; Linda (the governess) gets to marry Raoul, with whom she has fallen head over heels in love; and Raoul ends up being a good guy, not a bad guy. Fun, fun book full of descriptions of beautiful countryside, charming villages, beautiful gardens and villas and chateaus, and sumptuous food and interiors, along with a very suspenseful story. A great escape! Thank you, Mary Stewart!