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Critical Praise

"Perhaps if her contemporary, Emma Bovary, had possessed the ingenuity, wit, and tenacity of Eugénie R., Madame B. wouldn’t have had to take that arsenic."

—Valerie Martin, author of Property

"This astonishing debut is a panoramic story of war and peace, love and betrayal, innocence and hard-won wisdom, told through the eyes of a compelling woman who kept me at her side through it all."

—Lauren Belfer, author of A Fierce Radiance

"A magnificent novel in scope and achievement, powerfully written yet delicately evocative. A girl becomes a woman in 19th-century France; Eugénie’s unruly passions both save her and curse her. This is a France we scarcely know, more famine, slaughter and savagery than feast, culminating in the Siege of Paris, blessed as ever with a loveliness of landscape, cursed with a conviction of belief. DeSanti’s undoubted literary skills bring the life and times to vivid life."

—Fay Weldon, CBE, author of The Life and Loves of a She-Devil

"Is there anything better than losing yourself in the underside of history’s carpet --- so convincingly imagined that when you finish, you think where am I? DeSanti has focused a powerful intelligence on Napoleon’s Codes of Conduct and brought to life the unknown, silent women caught in their net."

—Sarah Blake, author of The Postmistress

"Epic times make for epic books. The Unruly Passions of Eugénie R. is both sweeping in scope and painstaking in detail. Eugénie R.’s story, from naïve goose girl to resilient survivor, makes for wonderful, suspenseful reading."

—Karen Joy Fowler, author of The Jane Austen Book Club