Friday, September 14, 2012

Book Review: Désirée by Annemarie Selinko

Title: Désirée
Author: Annemarie Selinko
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark; Reprint edition
Publication Date: October 1, 2010
Paperback: 608 pages
ISBN: 978-1402244025
Genre: Historical Fiction
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:
Delightfully enchanting, Désirée by Annemarie Selinko is an exquisite book based on the fascinating life of Désirée Clary. Selinko chose to write her narrative through diary entries of Bernardine Eugénie Désirée Clary beginning in 1794 when she was 14 years old and meets and becomes engaged to Napoleon Bonaparte, and ending on August 29, 1829 as she is crowned Queen of Sweden, and the 35 years in between. Most have heard of Napoleon Bonaparte and some know he was first engaged to Bernardine Eugénie Désirée Clary, but many do not know her full story, for which Selinko does an extraordinarily detailed job chronicling, from her family life to friends and extended parties including the rich and detailed description of the court of Napoleon Bonaparte to the Swedish courts, which she is not as fond of as the French courts. Désirée is rich in vivid detail and imagery, taking the reader back to the world Bernardine Eugenie Désirée Clary inhabited and the numerous conflicts that surrounded her life and the turbulent times she lived. The characters are well developed and I found myself extremely intrigued by Josephine de Beauharnais and will be looking for a book from her perspective next. Selinko masterfully writes not only an unforgettable love story but also an in-depth historical tale, which draws the reader in from the very first page and keeps the reader’s rapt attention until the last word is read. To say I enjoyed this book immensely would be an understatement. I found myself riveted to my seat from beginning to end and could not help but care deeply for Désirée Clary. This is one of the best historical fiction novels I have read and I recommend without hesitation Désirée by Annemarie Selinko to all readers.
I received a complimentary copy ofDésirée by Annemarie Selinko from Sourcebooks. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned novel.

No comments:

Post a Comment