The Game of Hope by Sandra Gulland
Publication Date: June 26, 2018
Viking Books for Young Readers
Hardcover & eBook; 384 Pages
Genre: YA/Historical Fiction
Praise for The Game of Hope"Gulland, who’s clearly done her research, includes plenty of documented moments and people from Hortense’s life, which cultivates a rich sense of atmosphere . . . Teen fans of historical fiction fascinated by the period will find plenty to appreciate here." — Booklist "Gulland has built a career writing historical fiction for adults ... . Her pitch-perfect balance of lush period details and character-driven narrative shines again in The Game of Hope. — Quill & Quire “[The Game of Hope] captures the essence of the period. It is not just a story about a girl; it is about the time; it is about the people whose lives she touched and about the changes spurned from the revolution. That is what makes it so grand and captivating.” — Cyn’s Workshop Review “Sandra Gulland’s writing is enchanting and beautiful.” — Krimsuun Pages
Hortense de Beauharnais grew up during the unfortunate time of the French Revolution. During this time many members of the aristocracy were woken in the middle of the night, dragged away and then imprisoned or killed. Hortense's father was one of the many executed by guillotine and Hortense's mother, Josephine was one of the many imprisoned. Josephine is now married to Napoleon, who is rising to power. While Napoleon is fighting, Hortense attends The Institute, a boarding school for young women. Hortense is a good student, especially in the arts. Hortense prayis for the protection of her brother Eugene, while fighting with Napoleon's troops. She is also secretly pining for Christophe, a fellow officer with Eugene and dealing with Caroline, Napoleon's troublesome little sister. Hortense has many painful memories of the past and her future is quickly changing as Napoleon gains power.
The Game of Hope is the story of Hortense de Beauharnais' coming of age. Hortense would go on to become the Queen Consort of Holland; however, the events of her childhood help mold the adult she will become. Focusing on the years of 1798-1800, we get to see a few years of Hortense's life as the Revolution was shaping France, it's people and Napoleon's rise to power. Throughout everything that was going on with her country and her personal life, I felt that Hortense was very much captured as a regular young woman. Written with much historical detail, I was fascinated to learn about the effects of the Revolution on those who survived as well as details of Hortense's private life. I was amazed to know that Hortense was a composer, and that I am able to listen to her pieces being performed today. While the focus of the story was on Hortense, I also had many glimpses into the rest of her fascinating family including the relationship between Napoleon and Josephine as well as fascinating Caroline. Overall, an engrossing historical biography of an amazing woman in history that is filled with hope and strength.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.