Publication date: December 31, 2013 by Plume Books/Penguin
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
Rose Tascher sails from her Martinique plantation to Paris to trade her Creole black magic culture for love and adventure. She arrives exultant to follow her dreams of attending Court with Alexandre, her elegant aristocrat and soldier husband. But Alexandre dashes her hopes and abandons her amid the tumult of the French Revolution.
Through her savoir faire, Rose secures her footing in high society, reveling in handsome men and glitzy balls—until the heads of her friends begin to roll.
After narrowly escaping death in the blood-drenched cells of Les Carmes prison, she reinvents herself as Josephine, a socialite of status and power. Yet her youth is fading, and Josephine must choose between a precarious independence and the love of an awkward suitor. Little does she know, he would become the most powerful man of his century- Napoleon Bonaparte.
BECOMING JOSEPHINE is a novel of one woman’s journey to find eternal love and stability, and ultimately to find herself.
I found Becoming Josephine by Heather Webb to be quite an eye opener for me. I had no idea the life that Josephine - or Rose, as she was called early in her life - led was so amazing. It is quite remarkable that she managed to make such an extraordinary life for herself.
The reader meets Rose in her home of Martinique when she is a young girl. She is seen as plain compared to her sister and is treated as the ugly sister by her family. Tragedy strikes and Rose soon finds herself being shipped off to marry the man that was originally intended for her sister. Things progress quickly, and Rose is soon married to a real cad. This is unfortunate for her, but she does learn what she is truly made of and how to look after herself.
Rose is a likable woman who has to learn the ins and outs of society and politics while still quite young and in a new marriage. She manages to survive the French Revolution - just barely - and proceeds to try to make her life better and be her own woman. I really enjoyed reading about her plans and how she goes about fulfilling her goals. The descriptions of the aristocracy, their lives, the political situations and the horrors of the Revolution are all quite compelling. I was captivated by the story from around the time when the political situation became precarious for those of a certain social standing.
Rose decides that she needs a man to help her financially. She used every method available to her to support herself and her children. She meets Bonaparte and is intrigued by the intensity of his personality and his obvious political potential. They both seem to genuinely care for each other and their relationship was intense. I didn't really like Bonaparte all that much, but I really hated his family. The book does a good job of describing the hateful manner in which they treat Josephine. Josephine, however, endures everything. The marriage is rocky for a number of reasons besides Napoleon's temper.
I thought the book was pretty historically accurate and brings the people out of the shadows of history and makes their lives and the story feel real and relevant. I knew how the story would end - it is based on history after all - but I was still saddened for Josephine's loss of status -- but she retains her title and really, her life had to be calmer and less stressful away from the Bonapartes.
For anyone interested in Josephine or Napoleon Bonaparte, the French Revolution, French history, historical fiction in general, Becoming Josephine may be just the book you are looking for. The book is not overly long, the story flows quite easily, and it provides an engrossing look at a fascinating woman and a volatile time in history. This is a book I will certainly be recommending.
About the AuthorHeather Webb grew up a military brat and naturally became obsessed with travel, culture, and languages. She put her degrees to good use teaching high school French for nearly a decade before turning to full time novel writing and freelance editing.
When not writing, Heather flexes her foodie skills or looks for excuses to head to the other side of the world.
For more information please visit Heather’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.
Virtual Book Tour ScheduleWednesday, January 1
Review & Interview at HF Book Muse-News
Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Thursday, January 2
Review at Let Them Read Books
Review & Giveaway at WTF Are You Reading?
Friday, January 3
Interview & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books
Monday, January 6
Review & Giveaway at Confessions of an Avid Reader
Interview at Flashlight Commentary
Tuesday, January 7
Review & Giveaway at Scandalous Women
Wednesday, January 8
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages
Thursday, January 9
Review & Giveaway at Luxury Reading
Friday, January 10
Review at Turning the Pages
Monday, January 13
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee
Tuesday, January 14
Review at Unabridged Chick
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews
Wednesday, January 15
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Interview & Giveaway at Unabridged Chick
Thursday, January 16
Review & Giveaway at The Maiden’s Court
Friday, January 17
Review & Giveaway at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time
Monday, January 20
Review at A Bookish Affair
Tuesday, January 21
Review at Griperang’s Bookmarks
Interview & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair
Wednesday, January 22
Review at A Book Geek
Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book!
Thursday, January 23
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews
Interview & Giveaway at Oh, For the Hook of a Book!
Friday, January 24
Review at Book-alicious Mama
Monday, January 27
Interview at Erika Mailman Blog
Tuesday, January 28
Review & Giveaway at The True Book Addict
Wednesday, January 29
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time
Thursday, January 30
Interview at HF Connection
Friday, January 31
Review at Books in the Burbs
Monday, February 3
Review at Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Tuesday, February 4
Review at A Muse in the Fog
Wednesday, February 5
Review at A Bookish Libraria
Interview at A Muse in the Fog
Friday, February 7
Review at Silver’s Reviews