Thursday, August 23, 2012

Biittner's Book Reviews: Josephine B. Trilogy by Sandra Gulland

Our August book club selection was the first book in the Josephine B. trilogy by Sandra Gulland - "The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B".  The copy I borrowed included the other two books in the series - "Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe" and "The Last Great Dance on Earth" - which means I read all three. I could not put these books down. I didn't know much about Josephine, other than she was the wife of Napoleon, before I started reading the novels. I was surprised by so many of the revelations of the novels - from her early years in Martinico through her first, turbulent marriage to her imprisonment and close brush with the guillotine. I was surprised by the fascinating life she led before she even met Napoleon. They had such an interesting love story and found the last novel to be pretty heartbreaking.

The pacing is excellent; I consumed the trilogy over a weekend. I really feel that Gulland's careful and comprehensive research allowed her to create a very detailed and realistic picture of who Josephine B was. I would highly recommend this book. It is one I'll likely add to my personal historic fiction book shelf as I'd love to get lost in Josephine's life again. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much, Katie! I'm amazed that you read the entire trilogy over a weekend.

    When researching Josephine's life, I was shocked by how much of a life she'd had before she even met Napoleon. Likely she thought, when she married him: OK, now it's time to settle down and have a quiet family life.


    Sandra Gulland