cover image The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte

The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte

Ruth Hull Chatlien. Amika Press, $17.95 paper (484p) ISBN 978-1-937484-16-3

When young Betsy Patterson marries dashing but irresponsible Jerome Bonaparte%E2%80%94the brother of Napoleon%E2%80%94she dreams of an exciting new life at the French court. Instead, her brother-in-law's hostility leads to her bitter struggle to legitimize herself as a Bonaparte. Meticulously researched, engrossing in detail, and full of the customs, values, and prejudices of the era, Chatlien's novel brings to life crucial moments in history alongside Betsy's quest for recognition. The chaos of Napoleon's reign and maritime hostilities engross without overshadowing Madame Bonaparte's heartaches and small triumphs. Chatlien doesn't flinch from exposing our hunger for wealth and power, and confronts difficult themes such as slavery and domestic inequality. A solid example of its genre, this account of one woman's stubborn determination will appeal to romance aficionados and historical devotees alike.