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The Unruly Passions of Eugenie R.

About the Book

The Unruly Passions of Eugenie R.

France’s Second Empire (1860–1871) was an absinthe-soaked era during which real estate speculation and railway money created untold fortunes, while prostitution was a state-regulated enterprise that touched every stratum of society. It was also a time of sweeping social upheaval, culminating in a crushing Prussian invasion that cut Paris off from its food supply. Transporting us to this tumultuous time through the eyes of a beautiful, world-wise survivor, The Unruly Passions of Eugénie R. provides lush territory for reading groups.

This captivating debut novel traces the transformation of Eugénie Rigault, a naïve seventeen-year-old girl who follows her first love to Paris, only to find herself abandoned, pregnant, and penniless. Over the years, Eugénie develops into a fiercely determined, influential woman who never loses sight of the power of loyal friends, and the art of self-creation. After she is forced to abandon her infant daughter, Eugénie spends the next decade fighting to get her back, making a meager living in the treacherous waters of sexual commerce. Along the way she falls in love with an artist, a woman, and a revolutionary. Paris, the gleaming center of art and civilization in Europe, is enjoying its final years of prosperity before galloping headlong into the Franco-Prussian War. For Eugénie it is an addictive landscape, even as her fortunes ebb and flow. But as the gates of the city close against the advancing army, Eugénie must confront a bitter discovery about the man who set her fate in motion all those years ago.

This guide is designed to enhance your experience of Carole DeSanti’s The Unruly Passions of Eugénie R. We hope it will enrich your reading group’s exploration of this extraordinary novel.

The Unruly Passions of Eugenie R.
by Carole DeSanti

  • Publication Date: March 26, 2013
  • Genres: Historical Fiction
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books
  • ISBN-10: 0547840217
  • ISBN-13: 9780547840215