Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine B. by Sandra Gulland

I became engrossed with this novel from the beginning. Once I entered Rose's world, I didn't want to leave it. Luckily, this book is a first of a trilogy about Marie Josèphe Rose Tascher de la Pagerie aka Josephine Bonaparte (she is known as Rose in this novel).

Gulland has created an exquisite story, where it's hard to remember that these aren't Rose's actual words. The story is written through journal entries, so we're basically reading the events of her life through 'her words'. This first book starts on Rose's 14th birthday (June 23, 1777) and ends with her marriage to Napoleon (March 9, 1796), so I can just imagine all the good stuff to come in the remaining two books.

The change from child to adult is done masterfully. It's gradual. We see the events and people that shape Rose's world and character. We see her intelligence grow. We see a strong woman emerge from an unhappy marriage and the bloodshed of the Revolution. She fights for her friends and wants the best for her children.

I have become incredibly interested in learning more about this woman, who I knew absolutely nothing about when I ventured into this novel. I can't wait to get through the following two installments and stay in her world just a little longer.


Stephanie Allen said...

I haven't read anything on Josephine Bonaparte. But this book sounds really good, so I'm thinking that's going to change =)

Laura at Library of Clean Reads said...

This review has aroused my interest in this book. Will add to my TBR list. many books, so little time.

Anonymous said...

The first thing I read recently "Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe". I must say it has given me very much. The other two books I will read it. Actually, I'm not a fan of Napoleon I., but my direct (illegitimate) relationship to Josephine and Hortense has aroused my interest.

Greetings from Lake Constance