Today marks the release of BECOMING JOSEPHINE, a fabulous debut novel by Heather Webb.
BECOMING JOSEPHINE tells the story of Rose Tascher – better known to history as Josephine Bonaparte (Napoleon’s first wife).
I loved this book for many reasons. I’ll address them in more depth in my review (look for that a week from Friday) but the book is beautifully paced, tightly plotted, and takes a close, personal look at the life of an extraordinary and complicated woman.
People know Josephine as “Napoleon’s wife,” and many books on Josephine focus on her years at Napoleon’s side.
Heather’s Josephine starts out as a simple plantation girl with dreams of finding love in Paris. When her first (arranged) marriage goes badly wrong–just as France falls into the throes of revolution–Josephine finds herself penniless, jailed, divorced, and without an eclair’s chance in Paris of recovering her stability or her status.
At least, you’d think so–but you’d be wrong. (You’ll have to read the book to find out more.)
I also love this book for a reason that has nothing to do with the words on the page. Its author is one of my closest friends, and she deserves this book–and its success–far more than I have words to say. I’ve watched as she edited, queried, signed with an agent, obtained her deal, and rejoiced with her each hard-won step of the way. And yet, despite everything she needed to do to obtain this goal, she also invested her time and love in editing and critiquing dozens of other authors’ novels, raising her wonderful children, and encouraging others (myself included) who needed a helping hand. Heather isn’t only a talented author, she’s a wonderful person, too.
Heather’s release – like every debut – is a cause for celebration. It means another author has emerged from the publishing trenches, weary and bedraggled from the effort, but victorious. Each success should encourage every one of us–both pre-published and on the shelf–because her victory is our victory too.
So congratulations, Heather … and congratulations, Josephine. And if you’re looking for somewhere to spend those holiday cards and spending dollars, and you enjoy a vivid, passionate story about an intriguing woman … pick up BECOMING JOSEPHINE. You won’t regret it.