Continuing my fascination of “the woman behind the man”, I found BECOMING JOSEPHINE on sale for my kindle a while back. I loved Heather Webb’s RODIN’S LOVER (review here) and was excited to read her debut novel.
Here’s the overview via Amazon:
A sweeping historical debut about the Creole socialite who transformed herself into an empress
Readers are fascinated with the wives of famous men. In Becoming Josephine, debut novelist Heather Webb follows Rose Tascher as she sails from her Martinique plantation to Paris, eager to enjoy an elegant life at the royal court. Once there, however, Rose’s aristocratic soldier-husband dashes her dreams by abandoning her amid the tumult of the French Revolution. After narrowly escaping death, Rose reinvents herself as Josephine, a beautiful socialite wooed by an awkward suitor—Napoleon Bonaparte.
So — I have to admit that beyond knowing that Josephine was married to Napolean, and that he loved her deeply, I knew nothing about her. What a fascinating woman! She lived in very turbulent times and she endured a major amount of hardships and trials, including slave revolts, imprisonment during the Revolution, assassination attempts, and a horrible accident where her balcony gave way with her on it. Ms. Webb states a reminder that this is historical fiction, but most of the events of the story are true. What fascinated me most is how determined and resourceful Josephine was (she was also intelligent and self-centered). She would do what she needed to do in order to benefit herself and her children. I was also surprised at the amount of lovers she took. It felt like Tudor reading with all the bed hopping going on! Josephine used her relationships, though, to survive and to support herself.
Interesting reading, especially if you have never read much about Josephine in the past. I found myself looking up more information online.
You can find this book online or at a bookstore or library near you.