56. A Rose For Virtue: The Very Private Life of Hortense, Stepdaughter of Napoleon I, Mother of Napoleon III by Norah Lofts (1971)
Length: 278 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Started: 25 June 2013
Finished: 28 June 2013
Where did it come from? I bought a hardcover copy of this book from a Library Book Sale in January of 2001 and then I acquired a paperback copy of this book from Paperback Swap in March of 2009.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 23 January 2001 as a hardcover; Since 28 March 2009 as a paperback.
Why do I have it? I like Norah Lofts as an author and have read and enjoyed several books by this author in the past.
Hortense Beauharnais finds herself rubbing shoulders with royalty when her mother remarries to become the wife of Napoleon Bonaparte. As Napoleon struggles for power on the battlefields of Europe, so Hortense navigates her way through the French court - a precarious chessboard world where the motivations are jealousy and greed and the prizes are the thrones of conquered countries.
Despite attempts to retain her individuality, Hortense soon finds herself married to Napoleon's younger brother Louis - who is later crowned King of Holland. However, Hortense's heart belongs to Charles de Flahaut, a gallant young officer. Unwilling to cross her stepfather, Hortense must bide her time and wait and see whether time will take her to her lover.
I absolutely loved this book! It seems to be almost a forgone conclusion with me that I'll really enjoy any book written by Norah Lofts, I know, but that's just the way it has to be, I guess! :) In my opinion, she really captures the nuances of any particular historical period that she writes about.
Also, I find that the historical people who she writes about truly come alive - at least for me. I truly began to care for the characters as actual people, and not just as dry, historical symbols from a bygone era. I will certainly give this book an A+! and I definitely look forward to reading - or rereading - more books by this author in the future.
A+! - (96-100%)
Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight