Once in Paris, Rose's illusions are shattered by her new husband, who casts her off when his mistress bears him a son. Yet revolution is tearing through the land, changing fortunes--and fates--in an instant, leaving Rose free to reinvent herself. Soon she is pursued by a young general, Napoleon Bonaparte, who prefers to call her by another name: Josephine.
Presumed dead after her ship is attacked by pirates, Aimee survives and is taken to the Sultan of Turkey's harem. Among hundreds at his beck and call, Aimee's loveliness and intelligence make her a favorite not only of the Sultan, but of his gentle, reserved nephew. Like Josephine, the newly crowned Empress of France, Aimee will ascend to a position of unimagined power. But for both cousins, passion and ambition carry their own burden.
From the war-torn streets of Paris to the bejeweled golden bars of a Turkish palace, Brandy Purdy weaves some of history's most compelling figures into a vivid, captivating account of two remarkable women and their extraordinary destinies.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-12-19
- Reviewer: Staff
Purdy (The Secrets of Lizzie Borden) brings two characters to life as she takes the reader back in time to the late 18th century. Fourteen-year-old Rose and seven-year-old Aimee are cousins living in Martinique in 1777. Rose dreams of marriage, and she is thrilled when she is chosen as Alexandre de Beauharnaiss wife and journeys to France to wed him. But their marriage is not a happy one, and when Alexandre leaves her for his mistress, she is forced to take lovers to ensure her survival. Aimee journeys to France to spend her formative years in a convent school only to have her ship captured by pirates on the trip back to Martinique. After Aimee is sold by the pirates to a Turkish sultan, she tries to adjust to life in the harem despite the other womens dislike of her blond-haired, blue-eyed beauty. And Rose survives the tumultuous days of the French Revolution to become the object of affection for Napoleon, who reinvents her as his Josephine. Purdy deftly explores the lives of the two women with rich, vivid historical detail and a captivating, page-turning plot. (Feb.)