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Monday, December 20, 2010

Desiree by Annemarie Selinko

Désirée: The Bestselling Story of Napoleon's First LovePublisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
ISBN: 1402244029
Pages: 608 pgs
Genre: Historical Fiction/French
Challenges-Read’n’Review Challenge, 100+ Reading Challenge

Summary from Publisher:

To be young, in France, and in love: fourteen year old Desiree can't believe her good fortune. Her fiance, a dashing and ambitious Napoleon Bonaparte, is poised for battlefield success, and no longer will she be just a French merchant's daughter. She could not have known the twisting path her role in history would take, nearly breaking her vibrant heart but sweeping her to a life rich in passion and desire.

A love story, but so much more, Désirée explores the landscape of a young heart torn in two, giving readers a compelling true story of an ordinary girl whose unlikely brush with history leads to a throne no one would have expected.

An epic bestseller that has earned both critical acclaim and mass adoration, Désirée is at once a novel of the rise and fall of empires, the blush and fade of love, and the heart and soul of a woman.

My Review:

I've been rather review silent this week. I got sick with the flu and my brain was not capable of even writing my own name for most of the week. I'm lucky I got my go-round with the flu over with early because I get it once every year and it sucks.

I am a huge historical fiction junkie. I have read about almost every period…but never about French history or Napoleon. I have never been interested in this period much but I loved the Marlon Brando version of Désirée and decided that I must read the novel.

I loved almost everything about this book. I am used to historical fiction novels where the historical characters seem a bit flat but Désirée was really a well rounded and interesting character but I did think that there was an issue with her voice. She sounded the same in her youth as she did when she was an older and mature queen. I like it when there is a progression in the voice as well as the maturity of a character as we watch them get older. I never thought her voice reflected her age and maturity and it got a bit frustrating.

I did love how the story was told. Ever since I read The Diary of Anne Frank when I was 9 years old, I have loved books in the journal format. I also loved that this wasn't so much about the romance between Napoleon and Désirée but it was more about history and politics. I really loved this book. If there had not been the issue with the voice, it would have been perfect.

*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review. My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the blog. 

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