The Frenchwoman

Jeanne Mackin, Author St. Martin's Press $18.95 (387p) ISBN 978-0-312-03346-0
Timed for the French Revolution's bicentennial, Mackin's romantic first novel spans 1774 to 1836, tracing the journey of Julienne Forge from Paris to Pennsylvania. Born among prostitutes, Julie becomes a skilled seamstress who, after some traumatic events, finds work with a prestigious couturiereper Web. where she sews for Marie Antoinette. The queen obtains a salon for Julie, also entrusting a fateful diamond to her care. The corrupt Duc d'Orleans wants Julie to spy on the queen, demands the diamond, then denounces her as a whore when she refuses. when she refuses (?) After her aristocratic husband is beheaded by a mob, Julie sails to America, joining the emigre colony of Azilum, aok? commune which kept quarters ready for the royal family. There Julie must make a decision about the compromising gem. The perils of Julie have the flavor of a decorous 18th-century novel, where long-suffering virtue finds its reward in marriage and fruitful domesticity. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
Hardcover - 978-0-517-06389-7
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