cover image Finding Emilie

Finding Emilie

Laurel Corona, S&S/Gallery, $15 trade paper (416p) ISBN 978-1-4391-9766-0

Six days after giving birth to a daughter, Lili, the marquise du Châtelet dies, leaving Lili in the care of her friend Julie, who's just given birth to her own daughter, Delphine. The marquise was noted for her intellect and free spirit (indeed, there are questions as to the identity of Lili's father), two qualities Lili inherits, along with the trouble they cause a young noblewoman navigating the tricky 18th-century court of Louis XV. Eager to determine their own destinies, Lili and Delphine make mistakes and raise many an eyebrow, testing Julie's resolve. Lili protects and defends Delphine, ultimately bringing about the girl's happily ever life, leaving Lili alone to ponder, and soon discover, her own ambiguous identity. Unlike many historicals with "strong" heroines, Delphine and Lili complement and support each other, which deepens them more than enough to make readers care (especially for the strong-willed Lili). And by telling the marquise's story along with her daughter, Lili's, Corona brings a changing world, peopled with fascinating historical figures like Diderot and Voltaire, to vibrant life. (Apr.)