In this first of three books inspired by the life of Josephine Bonaparte, Sandra Gulland has created a novel of immense and magical proportions. We meet Josephine in the exotic and lush Martinico, where an old island woman predicts that one day she will be queen. The journey from the remote village of her birth to the height of European elegance is long, but Josephine's fortune proves to be true. By way of fictionalized diary entries, we traverse her early years as she marries her one true love, bears his children, and is left betrayed, widowed, and penniless. It is Josephine's extraordinary charm, cunning, and will to survive that catapults her to the heart of society, where she meets Napoleon, whose destiny will prove to be irrevocably intertwined with hers.
Robin Maxwell author of The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn and The Queen's Bastard What a joy! Historical fiction with equal measures heart, soul, and intellect. With complete authority and searing intimacy, Ms. Gulland has captured and delivered to us the voice of one of history's most fascinating women....Thoroughly compulsive reading. Bring on part two! Judith Merkle Riley author of The Oracle Glass I was immediately captivated. Here is a novel beautifully visualized, which takes the reader from the world of the Voodoo queens of the Caribbean to the prisons of the French terror, following the determined rise of a woman who refuses to be crushed beneath fate, society, or poverty. A delicious historical treat. Margaret George author of The Memoirs of Cleopatra: A Novel The legendary wife and love of Napoleon recounts the events in her life. It is easy to escape into her world and not want to return.