Désirée by Annemarie Selinko
The Bestselling Story of Napoleon's First Love

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I'm not saying this was a wholesome takeaway, just that the upshot was wholesome: I started to read in earnest. Empathetic experience had given me hope. I would read my way out of despair, which I've been doing ever since.
-NPR

Synopsis

"An epic love story...irresistible reading."
-Chicago Tribune

To be young, in France, and in love: fourteen year old Desiree can't believe her good fortune. Her fiance, a dashing and ambitious Napoleon Bonaparte, is poised for battlefield success, and no longer will she be just a French merchant's daughter. She could not have known the twisting path her role in history would take, nearly breaking her vibrant heart but sweeping her to a life rich in passion and desire.

A love story, but so much more, Désirée explores the landscape of a young heart torn in two, giving readers a compelling true story of an ordinary girl whose unlikely brush with history leads to a throne no one would have expected.

An epic bestseller that has earned both critical acclaim and mass adoration, Désirée is at once a novel of the rise and fall of empires, the blush and fade of love, and the heart and soul of a woman.

"This is a fascinating panorama, from the blood-and-sawdust reek of Robespierre's guillotine to the final collapse of the Hundred Days."
-New York Times

What Readers Are Saying

"An absolutely marvelous story about a courageous woman in a difficult time who made difficult choices... one of the best books I have ever read."

"Désirée seems to come alive when I read, and I become her. This book is so romantic, so colorful and full of adventure."

"This book has meant so much to so many women."

"History has never before been as human as it is here, told through the pages of Désirée's (fictitious) diary."

 

About Annemarie Selinko

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Annemarie Selinko was born in Vienna in 1914. She was a successful journalist and novelist. In 1938 she moved to Copenhagen, and subsequently lived in Stockholm, Paris and London, before returning to Copenhagen. She died in Copenhagen in 1986.
 
Published October 1, 2010 by Sourcebooks Landmark. 605 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Désirée
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NPR

Above average
Reviewed by Fiona Maazel on Aug 25 2013

I'm not saying this was a wholesome takeaway, just that the upshot was wholesome: I started to read in earnest. Empathetic experience had given me hope. I would read my way out of despair, which I've been doing ever since.

Read Full Review of Désirée: The Bestselling Stor... | See more reviews from NPR

Reader Rating for Désirée
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