Monday, October 11, 2010

Review: Desiree

Desiree: The Bestselling Story of Napoleon's First Love by Annamarie Selinko

Publication Date: October 2010
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Format: Paperback, 608 pp
Genre: Historical Fiction
ISBN-13: 9781402244025
ISBN: 1402244029

(Received for review from Sourcebooks)

Synopsis (Courtesy of Barnes & Noble):

To be young in France, and in love: fourteen year old Desiree can't believe her good fortune. Her fiancee, a dashing and ambitious Napoleon Bonaparte, is poised for battlefield success, and no longer will she be just a French merchants 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, Desiree 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 which has earned both critical acclaim and mass adoration, Desiree 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.


Desiree is such a great story. The author, Annamarie Selinko was able to transport readers back in time to Napoleon's first romance with a French merchant's daughter. This is before Napoleon's unparalleled success on the battlefield and before Josephine. I have always been fascinated by Napoleon and Josephine and this was just an addition to stories I had always heard about them. I found it full of historical details and felt educated as well as entertained as I was reading this one.

It is a rather long book at 608 pages, but well worth the time for any history buff and any reader who wants to read a timeless romance. One for the ages. I really felt a little sorry when Desiree first finds out about Josephine for a couple of reasons. Desiree is only a young girl, while Josephine was a very formidable woman. Napoleon had asked for her hand when she was fourteen and the marriage was to take place when Desiree was sixteen, but during that two year time period Napoleon met Josephine in Paris.

This book deals with a lot of history surrounding Napoleon rise and fall and in the midst of it all we see Desiree, whose sister married in the Bonaparte family and then later Desiree marries a French general. It's amazing to see how one person who might seem insignificant to some, had a part in history.That's one of the things I truly love about history. Everything has a purpose and the ripples from each act are amazing.

Desiree was a common ordinary young woman who was Napoleon's fiancee, eventually the wife of a General and went on to become the Queen of Sweden and Norway.This story is told from her perspective as she see's all the changes around her from war to political intrigue. I liked this one a lot and I know you will too...

Desiree is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

Annamarie Selinko was born in Vienna in 1914. She was a successful journalist and novelist. In 1938 she moved to Copenhagen, and subsequently lived in Stockholm, Paris and London, before returning to Copenhagen where she died in 1986.


Kelly said...

This looks great!! I'm a French Lit. major, which comes with lots and lots of French history lessons, especially about Napoleon. I love French history and this looks really awesome :)

Hannah Marie said...

Sounds excellent. I've read quite a bit on Marie Antoinette, but I've never read anything on Napoleon. I studied French history in high school, so I'm looking forward to reading about it again. Thanks for the review. I'm excited to read it!

Mystica said...

The lady has quite a bio data for sure! this book must be very interesting reading.

Kathy Martin said...

Wow! Talk about memories. I read this book more than 30 years ago. My parents had a hardcover copy that they had gotten from a book club. I love the story. I still love Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte (even though Desiree didn't really appreciate him enough).