Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of the French, divorces his once-beloved wife, Josephine, and marries the dutiful Austrian princess, Marie-Louise, in hopes of producing an heir. As Marie-Louise struggles to adjust to her new life in court and a temperamental husband, her sister-in-law, Paolina, schemes to supplant her as the most powerful woman in France. Written from three different perspectives, this historical fiction novel creates a convincing portrait of France during the Napoleonic era. I found myself rooting for Marie-Louise, who gives up her home in Austria and a chance at true love to save her family's conquered kingdom. Fans of Philippa Gregory or Anita Diamant are likely to enjoy this story for its engaging female protagonists trying to survive and thrive in a tumultuous historical era.
Meghan Casey (Staff) (Queen's Square Library)