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.
Heather 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. Her debut, BECOMING JOSEPHINE will release December 31, 2013 from Plume/Penguin.
When not writing, Heather flexes her foodie skills or looks for excuses to head to the other side of the world. She loves to chitchat on Twitter with new reader friends or writers (@msheatherwebb) or via her blog, Between the Sheets (www.Heatherwebb.net/blog). Stop on by!
I RECEIVED A FREE COPY OF THIS BOOK IN EXCHANGE FOR A HONEST REVIEW.
Genre: Historical Fiction
First Line: “The missive arrived in the night.”
Review: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.
Oh. My. Goodness.
I had a feeling that BECOMING JOSEPHINE was going to be a good read, but I didn’t know it was going to be this good! I am utterly impressed that this was Webb’s debut novel; I would never had guessed it.
The imagery in this novel was so beautiful. You could clearly picture every scene with detail in your mind.
“Banana trees bowed beneath the weight of water driving from the swollen sky.
There’s a bit of gore in the novel, as one could aspect when the setting was revolutionary France. Webb didn’t skirt away from the violence and poverty. At times, it could be quite disturbing since the novel was written in first person from Rose | Josephine’s point of view.
Speaking of which, I don’t like first person. But it was a good choice for BECOMING JOSEPHINE. It placed the reader in Rose | Josephine’s state of mind so well, much better than third person could have done.
The character development was phenomenal. There’s no other word for it. In the beginning, Rose | Josephine is sixteen years old and believed that one should only marry for love. But, when she was forced into an arranged marriage with Alexandre, a typical 18th century man who had a wife but several mistresses on this side, Rose | Josephine had to grow up and do it fast. She saw that life, especially high society life in Paris was so superficial and it sucked to be a woman with a husband who could care less about you. But, in this novel, Webb amazingly shows how she rose above all that. Yet at the same time, you want to just yell at Rose | Josephine for her way of thinking, attitude and her hypocrisy for later becoming the mistress and not caring a lick about the man’s wife. But that’s exactly what I love about this. Webb didn’t make this a story in which Rose | Josephine was close to godliness heroine. She had flaws, beautiful flaws and it was amazing. I loved the moment, on her wedding night when she realized that she was a wife. The precious moment was captured so perfectly and it was something anyone can understand and relate to.
“Wife. I am wife.”
As a history buff, I loved the historical accuracy of this book. I thought it showed that Webb put a great deal of research into this. I adored a quick conversation at one point in the book where a group of women were discussing the latest fashions of men’s wigs!
Really, one of the only things I disliked about the novel was the transitions between scenes. I thought that they went by very quickly. Sometimes, I would get confused at where the characters were and how much time had passed since the last scene.
Something I would like to add that as a self-proclaimed slow reader, this book did not take me long to plow through. It was a little intimidating sporting over three-hundred pages, but wow, I speed through this book!
I look forward to any upcoming novels by Heather Webb. I hope enjoy them as I did BECOMING JOSEPHINE.
Worst part: Scene transitions
Best part: Character development & realism
Recommend For: Lovers of strong historical women
Other Books by This Author: None. BECOMING JOSEPHINE is the author’s debut work.