Blois, 1705. The château of Duc Hugo d’Amboise simmers with rivalry and intrigue. Henriette d’Augustin, one of five mistresses of the duc, lives at the chateau with her daughter. When the duc’s wife, Duchesse Charlotte, maliciously undermines a new mistress, Letitia, Henriette is forced to choose between position and morality. She fights to maintain her status whilst targeted by the duchesse who will do anything to harm her enemies. The arrival of charismatic tarot reader, Romain de Villiers, further escalates tensions as rivals in love and domestic politics strive for supremacy.
In a society where status is a matter of life and death, Henriette must stay true to herself, her daughter, and her heart, all the while hiding a painful secret of her own.
The Orange Grove is a historical fiction novel set in Blois, France 1705. It is filled with intrigue, deception, jealousy, hatred, love and everything in between. The novel centres around Duc Hugo d’Amboise, his wife Duchesse Charlotte and the duc’s five mistresses. Letitia, the new mistress falls victim to the Duchesse’s jealousy. Letitia fast becomes the duc’s new love interest and his wife is disgruntled to say the least. Henriette, a woman with her own secrets, befriends Letitia and shows her kindness that no other woman will. Henriette is a mother first and foremost and the character I most loved within the story. The reader is soon witness to the cruelty and disgusting behaviour within the walls of the chateau. Kate Murdoch is an author who manages to write many characters into her novel, whilst allowing the reader to fast understand their characterics and personalities. Each character is a mystery to unfold, with their own drama, backstory and secrets. I felt that I was an onlooker into the chateau, just as the children tiptoe around finding out secrets and tid bits of information to entertain them, I too was entertained every step of the way. The storyline and characters made this a highly entertaining read. Kate Murdoch writes of a time and place that I have not read about often. Reading about France at the turn of the 18th century has left me wanting to read more. Kate Murdoch’s writing is a work of art; she paints the pictures of the scenes in an elegant and vibrant manner. I look forward to reading more of Kate’s writing. Thank you Kate for sending me a copy of your novel in exchange for my honest review. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐