Publisher: Penguin Teen
Release Date: 1st May 2018
Links: Goodreads, Amazon.com, Indigo,
B&N, Book Depository
For Napoleon's stepdaughter, nothing is simple -- especially love.
Paris, 1798. Hortense de Beauharnais is engrossed in her studies at a boarding school for aristocratic girls, most of whom suffered tragic losses during the tumultuous days of the French Revolution. She loves to play and compose music, read and paint, and daydream about Christophe, her brother's dashing fellow officer. But Hortense is not an ordinary girl. Her beautiful, charming mother, Josephine, has married Napoleon Bonaparte, soon to become the most powerful man in France, but viewed by Hortense as a coarse, unworthy successor to her elegant father, who was guillotined during the Terror.
Where will Hortense's future lie?
Inspired by Hortense's real-life autobiography with charming glimpses of teen life long ago, this is the story of a girl chosen by fate to play a role she didn't choose.
**Thanks to PenguinRandom House Canada for sending me a free copy**
I've always enjoyed reading historical fiction and I really enjoyed this book by Sandra Gulland. I've never read any of her previous books and this one was her first YA book. After reading this one I definitely want to check them out.
Hortense is the step-daughter of Napoleon and is learning to cope with the loss of her Father after the French Revolution. The book focuses on her years as a teen as well as her studies at her school and the conflict she feels towards her step-father.
Hortense was a fascinating character. She is a well-rounded character, who grows in maturity over the two-year period of the book. At such a young age, Hortense has already experienced so much and continues to do so throughout the book. Just like any girl her age, she has worries, dreams and has a crush that she can't stop thinking about.
I loved the relationship that Hortense has with her friends and family. They share a deep closeness that I really enjoyed reading.
I do wish the book was a little more fast-paced. I found some chapters a little slow and I wish there had been a little more drama. But the story of Hortense was a fascinating one.
You can really appreciate the amount of time and effort that Sandra Gulland put in to researching everything for this book. She is extremely talented at adding modern mentalities to a historical figure.
I especially liked that added notes about what happened to Hortense after the ending of the book. The added chapter really makes you understand exactly what she went through until the time of her death.
Sandra Gulland's writing is enchanting and beautiful. The story of Hortense is a beautiful and thought provoking one and I look forward to reading more of Sandra Gulland's work in the future.