Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Becoming Josephine: A Novel / Heather Webb / 320 pages

  Who doesn't know about Napoleon's love for Josephine? But who was she really and how did she manage to catch the eye of someone who would become feared by the known world? Rose Tascher is from the island of Martinique and is sent to France to wed Alexandre de Beauharnais. She has visions of attending court with a handsome and attentive husband. Unfortunately this was not to be so. She did marry the handsome Alexandre but found herself abandoned for the next several years. Her sister in-law gave Rose the necessary courage to approach a judge to ask for a divorce. Even though the scandal would ruin her, Rose was determined to have a fresh start. She renamed herself Josephine and began her climb from the bottom of the social scale.
  With the French Revolution catching everyone with the tiniest connection to the royal family or the new Republic, Josephine was sent to prison to await her execution. It is from these months in the barest of conditions that Josephine finds out who she really is. After her release, she begins once again her climb back up the social ladder and eventually catching the eye of an uncouth general named Napoleon. This is quite a fun and quick read. Events are seen through new eyes. The open and legal gun running, the back stabbing even in the servant's quarters and the power of the tarot cards. One last thing, we find out the height of Napoleon is 5'6" and not the tiny man Looney Tunes has made him out to be. Entertaining story.

Six Degrees of Reading: Girl on the Golden Coin by Marci Jefferson, Empress of the Night by Eva Stachniak, The Shadow Queen by Sandra Gulland.

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