Désirée: The Bestselling Story of Napoleon's First Love by Annemarie Selinko. Sourcebooks, 2010. (released Oct. 1)
Originally published in 1951, Annemarie Selinko's epic story of love, loss and war withstands the test of time. Through the eyes of Bernardine Eugénie Désirée Clary, the reader is transported through history from the French Revolution's Reign of Terror to the aftermath of Napoleon's rule. Désirée's fictitious diary is heartfelt and charts her course from a humble citizeness of the French Republic to the greatest heights.
I'm not sure my words can do this book justice. Désirée's story brought me to tears on several occasions with its raw emotion. She endures profound heartbreak both personally and as an observer of her country's pain yet is never defeated. You will root for Désirée and be completely captivated by her story. We readers are indebted to Sourcebooks for bringing this book back into print. Désirée is a beautiful and triumphant piece of historical fiction. I urge you to read it whether you are a fan of this genre or not.