The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine B.
August 2, 2016 5:42 PM - by Sandra Gulland - Subscribe

You will be unhappily wed. You will be widowed. You will be queen. "When Marie-Josephe-Rose Tascher was a girl in Martinique, a voodoo priestess predicted that she would be unhappily married, would then be widowed, and would become queen. With the profits from her father's sugar plantation spent largely on his gambling and drinking, the final prediction seems unlikely. An arranged marriage takes Rose to France, where she finds herself woefully uneducated and unprepared for high society. But in 1779 no one is prepared for the bloody upheaval that will convulse France for years. Rose endures her husband's infidelity and abandonment before his execution leaves her a widow. Combining charm, intelligence, empathy, and luck, she copes with poverty and prison, surviving the revolution with her children. " -- Library Journal

This is the June August book for the Historical Fiction Book Club. Remember that FanFare posts don't close and you can continue to discuss prior books (if it takes you a while to get around to them) for as long as you'd like!

Reading Guide Discussion Questions

There are two sequels: Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe and The Last Great Dance on Earth -- just in case you read the first one and can't stop, as I did.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (1 comment total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
He just up and declared her a new name?!?!? FFS. I doubt I would have picked up this book, but for your post about it here, and I am glad I did. I found it vivid and horrifying and thoroughly engaging.
In the grand scheme (namely the Terror) the renaming is not the worst thing ever. But it is also the worst thing, in the vein of the horror movie heroine heading for the basement, alone.
posted by janell at 11:43 AM on September 24, 2016

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