The Netherlands,1940: Stasia Niemec might call the port city of Rotterdam home, but it is the summers she spends in the idyllic French countryside that she looks forward to every year. Here, in a land of medieval folklore and courtly romance, she finds the inspiration for the fairy tales she writes and illustrates. Here too, in the seemingly abandoned gardens of an old chateau, she meets Alexandre Navarre and forms an unbreakable childhood friendship that promises to blossom into something more as they become older. But before they can realize their dream of a future together, Germany invades, Stasia’s beloved city of Rotterdam is destroyed, and she witnesses unspeakable atrocities perpetrated by Hitler’s occupying forces.
France, 2019: Siblings Isabelle and Emilie Lange grew up enchanted by the fairy tales written and illustrated by their great-grandmother about the magical gardens secreted behind the once-magnificent 18th-century chateau that lies just outside Rouen. Together, they start to unravel the mystery and uncover the role that the chateau played during the Second World War. As they do so, they realize that the gardens featured in the fairy tales written by their great-grandmother also hide a far darker story. Discovering the identity and fate of two unheralded heroes who accomplished extraordinary feats of courage against overwhelming odds brings the sisters together once again and reminds them what matters most.
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