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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

HFVBT Review: The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte by Ruth Hull Chatlien

Title: The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte
Author: Ruth Hull Chatlien
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Amika Press
Publish Date: December 2, 2013
Source: HFVBT

Why You're Reading This Book:

  • You're a historical fiction fan.
What's the Story?:

From "As a clever girl in stodgy, mercantile Baltimore, Betsy Patterson dreams of a marriage that will transport her to cultured Europe. When she falls in love with and marries Jerome Bonaparte, she believes her dream has come true—until Jerome’s older brother Napoleon becomes an implacable enemy.

Based on a true story, The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte is a historical novel that portrays this woman’s tumultuous life. Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte, known to history as Betsy Bonaparte, scandalized Washington with her daring French fashions; visited Niagara Falls when it was an unsettled wilderness; survived a shipwreck and run-ins with British and French warships; dined with presidents and danced with dukes; and lived through the 1814 Battle of Baltimore. Yet through it all, Betsy never lost sight of her primary goal—to win recognition of her marriage."

My Two Cents:

"The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte" is the story of Betsy, a young woman from a well off family who lives just outside of Baltimore (score one for my fellow Marylanders). She meets Jerome, a man who just happens to be the brother of the infamous Napoleon Bonaparte. They woo and then they marry but things are not quite as they seem at first. Betsy must fight for legitimacy and it is a fight that will take her across oceans and places that she never imagined going.

Betsy is a really interesting character. She is incredibly driven and in a time when she didn't really have a lot of control over her own destiny, it was fascinating to see everything that she went through in this book. I really enjoyed reading about her. I never really knew that Napoleon had a brother so the story of him and Betsy was totally new for me and I love learning something new when I read!

I have to say that I also really enjoyed the historical detail about Maryland in this book. It was cool to see all of these different places that I've known of and have spent time in get the historical fiction treatment. These details really brought the setting to life for me!

For the most part, the writing was good. The pacing was also pretty good but got bogged down in a few spots. There were also some parts in the beginning that felt stiff because there was so much detail crammed into the passages that the book felt stiff. As the story goes on, things do even out. This book is a good pick for historical fiction lovers!

Follow the Rest of the Tour:

Monday, March 31
Review at Unabridged Chick
Tuesday, April 1
Review at A Bookish Affair
Interview at Flashlight Commentary
Wednesday, April 2
Spotlight at HF Book Muse-News
Interview at Layered Pages
Thursday, April 3
Review at Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee
Interview at Unabridged Chick
Friday, April 4
Review at Scandalous Women
Monday, April 7
Review at The Maiden’s Court
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book
Tuesday, April 8
Review at The Lit Bitch
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews
Interview at Oh, for the Hook of a Book
Wednesday, April 9
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages
Thursday, April 10
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews
Review at Historical Fiction Obsession
Interview & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books
Friday, April 11
Review at Let Them Read Books
Review at The True Book Addict
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1 comment:

Hi! Welcome to A Bookish Affair. If you leave a comment, I will try to either reply here or on your site!

As of 6/6/2011, this book is now an awards free zone. While I appreciate the awards, I would rather stick to reviewing more great books for you than trying to fill the requirements.

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