Title: Ribbons of Scarlet: A Novel of the French Revolution
Authors: Kate Quinn, Sophie Perinot, Stephanie Dray, Heather Webb, Laura Kamoie, and E. Knight
Publisher: William Morrow
Publish Date: October 1, 2019
Source: TLC Book Tours and HarperCollins
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "In late
eighteenth-century France, women do not have a place in politics. But as
the tide of revolution rises, women from gilded salons to the streets
of Paris decide otherwise—upending a world order that has long oppressed
Blue-blooded Sophie de Grouchy believes in democracy,
education, and equal rights for women, and marries the only man in Paris
who agrees. Emboldened to fight the injustices of King Louis XVI,
Sophie aims to prove that an educated populace can govern itself--but
one of her students, fruit-seller Louise Audu, is hungrier for bread and
vengeance than learning. When the Bastille falls and Louise leads a
women’s march to Versailles, the monarchy is forced to bend, but not
without a fight. The king’s pious sister Princess Elisabeth takes a
stand to defend her brother, spirit her family to safety, and restore
the old order, even at the risk of her head.
But when fanatics
use the newspapers to twist the revolution’s ideals into a new tyranny,
even the women who toppled the monarchy are threatened by the
guillotine. Putting her faith in the pen, brilliant political wife Manon
Roland tries to write a way out of France’s blood-soaked Reign of
Terror while pike-bearing Pauline Leon and steely Charlotte Corday
embrace violence as the only way to save the nation. With justice
corrupted by revenge, all the women must make impossible choices to
survive--unless unlikely heroine and courtesan’s daughter Emilie de
Sainte-Amaranthe can sway the man who controls France’s fate: the
My Two Cents:
"Ribbons of Scarlet" is a fantastic story of the French Revolution told in six parts by some of the powerhouse women authors of the historical fiction world. The French Revolution is definitely well-trodden territory for historical fiction but this book feels fresh as it gives a lot of new perspectives to such an important event through the eyes of the women who experienced it firsthand. These women are strong, principled, cunning in very different ways! This book was truly a treat!
One of the things that I love best about reading both non-fiction history and historical fiction is the lessons that they hold for the present day and those nuggets are most definitely strewn throughout this book. Women did not often have a platform during this time but all of these women find small and big ways to make waves and stand for what they believe in! Always an important lesson and one that is definitely well done throughout this book!
Each of the six sections of the book is written by a different author but the whole story flows while giving us different perspectives and showing different aspects of the French Revolution. I love this concept and I think it works really well to essentially breakdown super complex events into something that is easier to follow. If you're a historical fiction fan, you may have caught some of the authors in this book in other History 360 books such as "A Day of Fire" and "A Sea of Sorrow" among others. They have found a really great way to tackle some of the big events of history. "Ribbons of Scarlet" is the first History 360 book to be traditionally published, which will hopefully bring these stories to more people. The concept is much the same as the other books although this book really felt more cohesive and a whole story rather than only showing various perspectives.
The characters that we're introduced to are really fantastic and they are so different. We meet some of the great thinkers of the revolutions, the students, the traditionalists, and the muscles of France. They come from different experiences and classes. All of them are women. All of them seem to be stymied in some way because of their sex. All of them find ways to make their voices heard. Present day, when it feels like there is not much you can do about the things going on in the world, this book is seriously inspiring!