A sweeping historical debut about the Creole socialite who transformed herself into an empress.
Rose sails from Martinique to Paris to trade her plantation ways and Creole black magic culture for love and adventure. But her haughty Parisian husband dashes her hopes when he abandons her amid the tumult of the French Revolution. Through her savoir faire, Rose secures her footing in high society, reveling in handsome men and glitzy balls—until the heads of her friends begin to roll.
After narrowly escaping death in the blood-drenched cells of Les Carmes prison, she reinvents herself as Josephine, a socialite of status and power. Yet her youth is fading, and Josephine must choose between a precarious independence and the unwelcome love of an awkward suitor. Little does she know, he would become the most powerful man of his century—Napoleon Bonaparte.
BECOMING JOSEPHINE is a novel of one woman’s journey to find eternal love and stability, and ultimately to find herself.
*** NATIONAL PRAISE ***
BECOMING JOSEPHINE was featured in a Wall Street Journal piece and has also sold to international publisher DeFontein books in the Netherlands, and will release Sept 16, 2014.
“Webb’s portrayal of the range of Josephine’s experience—narrow escapes from bloodshed and disease, dinner-table diplomacy, and her helpless love for Napoleon, her children and a small dog—is exceptionally concise and colorful. A worthy fictional primer on Empress Josephine.”–Kirkus Reviews
“Webb holds up a light into the inner recesses of a fascinating and contradictory woman . . . Becoming Josephine is an accomplished debut.” — New York Journal of Books
“A brilliant debut novel. Exquisite detail…with the completion of this book Ms. Webb has made her name as a novelist and historian.”–Portland Book Review
“Heather Webb’s epic novel captivates from its opening in a turbulent plantation society in the Caribbean, to the dramatic rise of one of France’s most fascinating women: Josephine Bonaparte. Perfectly balancing history and story, character and setting, detail and pathos, Becoming Josephine marks a debut as bewitching as its protagonist.” –Erika Robuck, author of Hemingway’s Girl
“With vivid characters and rich historical detail, Heather Webb has portrayed in Josephine a true heroine of great heart, admirable strength, and inspiring courage whose quest is that of women everywhere: to find, and claim, oneself.” —Sherry Jones, bestselling author of The Jewel of the Medina
“Josephine’s warmth and complexity comes to vibrant life in this fascinating novel rich with vivid historical detail.”—Teresa Grant, Author of The Paris Affair
“Vivid and passionate, BECOMING JOSEPHINE captures the fiery spirit of the woman who stole Napoleon’s heart and enchanted an empire.” –Susan Spann, author of The Shinobi Mysteries
“A fast-paced, riveting journey, BECOMING JOSEPHINE captures the volatile mood of one of the most intense periods of history—libertine France, Caribbean slave revolts, the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars—from the point of a view of one of its key witnesses, Josephine Bonaparte.” –Dana Gynther, author of Crossing on the Paris
“Spellbinding . . . Heather Webb’s novel takes us behind the mask of the Josephine we thought we knew.” –Christy English, author of How to Tame a Willful Wife and To Be Queen
“Enchanting prose takes the reader on an unforgettable journey . . . Captivating young Rose springs from the lush beauty of her family’s sugar plantation in Martinique to shine in the eighteenth century elegance of Parisian salon society. When France is torn by revolution, not even the blood-bathed terror of imprisonment can break her spirit.” –Marci Jefferson, author of Girl on the Golden Coin
New! Author’s Notes for BECOMING JOSEPHINE