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If you could sum up Désirée: The Bestselling Story of Napoleon's First Love in three words, what would they be?
Through Desiree's eyes we get a glimpse into a fascinating era in history, meet thoroughly engaging characters (who actually lived) while being swept up by a story that is tumultuous, delightful and ultimately satisfying. The performance only enhances the brilliance of the text. It is full, rich and subtle. This should not be missed.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
Love this book. Being a Napoleonic fan I will read anything that has a connection but this book is excellent as it shows another side. Mostly the court life of Napoleon rather than the politics, battles or the man himself. Written as a diary style the story is fiction but based largely on fact. Désirée did exist, was Napoleon's first love and was a big part of his life if not directly. Her husband General/Marshal/Crown Prince Jean Baptiste Jules Bernadotte - King Charles XIV John; comes off looking rather good. Most of Napoleon's family not so. Even her sister Julie who married Joseph Bonaparte (Napoleon's oldest brother) is not all that well portrayed. Saying this, Desiree isn't portrayed being all knowing and the only 'smart cookie' in the house, she saids herself she is stupid at times. Nicole Quinn narrates this book and she does an excellent job changing from young girl to queen of Sweeden with the right amount of age and style as to not lose Désirée personality. Well worth the money, well worth the time spent listing to. Annemarie Selinko has created a wonderful peace of historical fiction that borders on creative non-fiction very nicely.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
I've liked this book since I first read it in my teens. Sadly, the narrator does not seem to have the faintest notion of French, and her mis-pronunciations are grating on the ear. The Duc d'Enghien comes out as the Duc d'Enghine, and "le jour de gloire" becomes the "jour de glory". These are just two instances. I did listen to the whole book, but would welcome the chance of hearing it properly read.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Let me start by saying that the story itself gets 5 stars from me - this has been one of my favourite books since I first read it aged about 15, (more years ago than I care to remember) and I think I learned more about this period in history from this book than from any other source.
I was delighted to see it on Audible so bought it with my next credit. Whilst I still very much enjoy the story, I find the narrator's voices/accents irritating, so much so that they detract from my enjoyment. I'm sure this is a personal thing, there will be many of you who don't find it so, but do listen to the sample first to see if you have the same problem. It is for this reason that I've only given it 3 stars - I'd give it two, but I'd hate anyone to think it's not a good story when it is!!
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
I really struggled with this book but kept on listening because of the history, I wanted to finish listening before I made a judgement and have to say I would not recommend this book.