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Napoleon's Rosebud Kindle Edition
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Without giving away the story, just know it is filled with twists and turns, it is engaging and ripe with characters that amuse, delight, disgust and touch the reader's heart.
I was surprised to find out after the novel's end, the author is related to Charlotte-it made the story more compelling just to know she was real- such a great character! I wanted to know her...and I suppose in a way, I do.
The ending is wonderful. I was worried Daniel might not accept Charlotte's....I can't give it away, just read the book for yourself!
Set on the island of Saint Helena, England and Italy, beginning in 1815, it tells the story of Charlotte Knipe, raised on the island, which sits in the Atlantic between South America and Africa. Charlotte is supposedly in love with a botanist named Daniel, who she has not seen for seven years (since she was 12), but with whom she corresponds on a regular basis, sending him island plants to catalog.
Napoleon, who has just been defeated at Waterloo, arrives on the sleepy island to much hullabaloo. Soon after he arrives, it appears to the locals that Napoleon plans to escape. He begins to weave his plots and plans, full of treachery and betrayal. Early on, he enlists the aid of Charlotte, to whom he is attracted and who he nicknames “Rosebud”.
Knipe paints a vivid picture of island life, including the local dialect the “Yamstocks” speak. He also introduces us to the island’s many characters: Charlotte’s wise old uncle, her best friend (a plain girl but a loyal friend), Gaspard, Napoleon’s loyal general who is arrogant but dashing, and Napoleon’s jail keeper, Governor Lowe, just to name a few.
Charlotte is fascinated with every handsome man she meets, including the gone-but-not-forgotten Daniel (whose escapades with Polly in London besmirch his otherwise noble image), Napoleon’s dashing general, Lord Byron (who she meets in Venice on an assignment for Napoleon), and even Napoleon himself. Since Charlotte is beautiful and intelligent, all the men are fascinated with her.
The author’s portrayal of Napoleon is clever and convincing. A brilliant strategist, one can imagine him occupying his time on the “dung heap” of an island with a last challenge.
I won’t give away the ending, but romance fans might find it improbable (as I did) and disappointing. Did Charlotte love any of those men? One has to wonder.
Secrets, mayhem, adventure, treason and deception was in high fashion when Napoleon landed on the island of St Helena. When he met Charlotte Knipe the intriguing story got life all its own and you are pulled into the lives of Rosebud, her family and her love for Daniel, a local Botanist that studied in Kew, England.
Charlotte grew up very sheltered on the dreadful Rock as a Yamhock waiting for her fiancee to return after 7 years in England but when she met the Emperor her entire life changed and she became Rosebud, confidant and spy extraordinaire.
Picked for her beauty she became tangled in the web of espionage that traveled to London and Venice all to save the Emperor from boredom.
Lies and treason followed as you follow the story of Charlotte wondering if she and Daniel will ever have a happy ending.
But deception has a way to work out all on its own flavoring the characters lives with more than they bargained for.
At the end a good story that captured your imagination and you get lost in the time of Emperors, wealth and the all mighty want for power. A great book I can recommend to historical readers.
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