Love and war converge in this lush, epic story of a young woman’s struggle with life and love during and after the Second Empire (1852 - 1871), an era that was absinthe-soaked, fueled by railway money and prostitution, and transformed by cataclysmic social upheaval.
Eugénie R., born in foie gras country, follows the man she loves to Paris but soon finds herself marooned. An outcast, she charts the treacherous waters of sexual commerce on a journey through artists’ ateliers and pawnshops, zinc bars and luxurious bordellos.
Giving birth to a daughter she is forced to abandon, Eugénie spends the next 10 years fighting to get her back, falling in love along the way with an artist, a woman, and a revolutionary. Then, as the gates of the city close on the eve of the Siege of Paris, Eugénie comes face to face with her past. Drawn into a net of desire and need, promises and lies, she must make a choice and find her way to a life that she can call her own.
The Unruly Passions of Eugénie R. is a testament to the power of love, friendship, and the art of self-creation.
©2012 Carole DeSanti (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“I lost myself wholeheartedly in [Eugénie’s] story and would have followed her down any narrow alley into any candlelit room just to know what happened, to stay back there and to delay coming home.” (Sarah Blake, New York Times best-selling author )
“DeSanti’s debut novel paints an unflinching portrait of love and loss against a landscape of Parisian decadence.” (Deborah Harkness, New York Times best-selling author)
“The Unruly Passions is both sweeping in scope and painstaking in detail.…Makes for wonderful, suspenseful reading.” (Karen Joy Fowler, author of the The Jane Austen Book Club)
Reader & Wordsmith
I would rank this as one of the best books I've listened to.
The story kept my interest. The characters were well developed. The setting was very real. This story took me back to the time period, letting me see the details of the dresses, the smells and sounds of the streets ... every detail. I could close my eyes and truly see what the author was describing.
I got to know the characters intimately ... their feelings & emotions ... their suffering ... their ability to keep going despite the odds. I grew to respect Eugenie and a couple of the other characters.
Kate's French was flawless. The voice for each character was different. I was immediatley able to regognize who was speaking.
Listen to this book. It is educational and entertaining, all at the same time.
This novel has all my favorite ingredients. History, from the point of view of someone who has no control over events but struggles to do the best they can as they are dragged along. Characters that I can feel strongly about. Love them or hate them, DeSanti lets us see what makes them tick.
Committed to Reading
Someone who wants long descriptions and little plot.
The Name of the Wind. The author, Patrick Rothfuss, knows how to tell a story.
I really like her voice.
It seems to have been historically accurate. But, the action jumps forward in time somewhat jerkily.
I did not like the ending. In fact, because the very end is a timeline of the period 1848-1871 in France, read without being set off by a title from the rest of the book, I had to rewind several times to try to figure out how the book (I guess I mean the story) actually ended. After much overblown description, phrase piled upon phrase, thought upon thought, image upon image, the book ends rather abruptly, without a real sense of what happened to the title character. I was left thinking, what the heck just happened!
This is a beautifully written book and surprising in the history of Paris - a period of time that I didn't know about even after living there for 5 years. Plus just seeing the city from a very different vantage point was compelling. I really enjoyed the book and liked the reader as well.
Yes, and I plan to. It's a stunning story that weaves initiate portraits through historical events. The language is beautiful. the narration is spot on for multiple voices, without being campy. The story, my god, the story. This may be the single best book I've listened to.
Someone who could deal with the reading style and a story that travels unwell.
less stylized reading. felt too stilted.
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