This was a fascinating novel. I did not know much about Napoleon before reading this book, and although it is historical fiction, I learned a lot. I also really loved how the author wrote about St. Helena Island. It doesn’t sound as bad as what Napoleon had felt about it, although I guess it would be different if you were exiled to a place, versus going for pleasure.
Napoleon is exiled to St. Helena Island, which is located in the South Atlantic, thousands of miles from any other land. It took weeks by ship to get there. Napoleon and an entourage that went with him all unload and soon took over the island. He was quickly found a place to live, and it was changed to accommodate his wishes for the time being. Meanwhile, he is writing his romance novel that he had started, that no one knew about and often thinks about how to back to the mainland and to get his son back.
After this, it seems his life in a way fell apart. There are rumors he took on a mistress which caused heartache and pain in that he was never sure if he could trust her or not, but his heart had fell for her. He often was not sure who of his entourage he should trust and was worried about being poisoned or done in by someone. He seemed to be a bit of a self loather, but yet was consumed on how to get back to his son and mother. It was kind of sad, how he had to live out the rest of his life, although he brought it upon himself.
I really enjoyed reading this novel, and would be interested in reading more about Napoleon’s younger years. He seemed to be a man of feelings, but also a man of war for what was right. I really enjoyed reading about the various people of St. Helena’s island and about the island itself. Thank you to She Writes Press for the free novel.
~ Goodreads – About the Author ~
Margaret Rodenberg’s first novel Finding Napoleon is available now for pre-order with publication April 6, 2021.
Allison Pataki, NYTimes best-selling author, says, “No one is more qualified to tell this sweeping tale than Margaret Rodenberg — her research is in a league of its own, and her writing is beautiful and poignant.”
Stephanie Dray, NYTimes best-selling author, says, Finding Napoleon is “told creatively and with excellent research!”
Margaret’s fascination with French history began when she lived in France as a young teen with her US Navy family. An avid traveler who has visited over sixty countries, she has journeyed more than 30,000 miles to conduct Napoleonic research, including to St. Helena Island in the remote South Atlantic. She’s a former businesswoman, an award-winning writer, and a proud director of the Napoleonic Historical Society, a non-profit that promotes knowledge of the Napoleonic era.
Her website, www.margaretrodenberg.com, reports on Napoleon’s ongoing presence in world culture.