Desiree: The Bestselling Story of Napoleon's First Love

  • by Annemarie Selinko
  • Narrated by Nicole Quinn
  • 25 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

To be young, in France, and in love....
Fourteen-year-old Desiree can't believe her good fortune. Her fiance, the dashing and ambitious Napoleon Bonaparte, is poised for battlefield success, and no longer will she be just a French merchant's daughter. She could not have known the twisting path her role in history would take, nearly breaking her vibrant heart but sweeping her to a life rich in passion and desire.
A love story, but so much more, Desiree explores the landscape of a young heart torn in two, giving listeners a compelling true story of an ordinary girl whose unlikely brush with history leads to a throne no one would have expected.
An epic best seller that has earned both critical acclaim and mass adoration, Desiree is at once a novel of the rise and fall of empires, the blush and fade of love, and the heart and soul of a woman.

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What the Critics Say

"An epic love story...irresistible reading." (Chicago Tribune)
"This is a fascinating panorama, from the blood-and-sawdust reek of Robespierre's guillotine to the final collapse of the Hundred Days." (New York Times)
“Presented as a series of diary entries over the course of her eventful life, Désirée's story not only sheds light on the life of a fascinating woman but also captures in haunting detail some of the century's most extraordinary personalities. Quinn admirably captures Désirée's unique voice at each stage of her life, from teenage petulance and crushing heartbreak to the confident tones of her eventual rise to royalty in the heyday of Napoleon's reign.” (AudioFile)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Stunning telling of a riveting story.

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.


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- bookworm

Thoroughly entertaining

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.
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- Michael

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-28-2012
  • Publisher: BlueBarnProductions