Friday, April 11, 2014

HFVBT: Ruth Hull Chatlien's The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte - Review

My thoughts
Historical fiction has done it again! Because of reading this novel, I have once again learned about an enigmatic historical figure. How did I not know of this strong and industrious woman?!

Elizabeth Patterson decided early on, after a strange foretelling by an African slave woman, that she would marry a man from Europe, perhaps even marry into royalty. She did just that. She met and married Jerome Bonaparte. Yes, the brother of the one and only Napoleon. As can be imagined, the marriage did not go over well. Napoleon's concern was to have his family make influential marriages that would benefit him politically. What follows is a lot of turmoil and upheaval in Elizabeth's life. However, not one to take things lying down, she perseveres.

I am absolutely delighted to have discovered this new author. Ruth Hull Chatlien has written a fantastic and meticulously researched historical novel about an American historical figure--a woman-- who should be known to all. Her life and experiences living as a strong and independent woman, during a time when very few women did so, are a credit to all women. I have already been looking around online for more information about Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte. I just can't wait to read more about her!

About the book
Publication Date: December 2, 2013
Amika Press
Paperback; 484p
ISBN: 978-1937484163

As a clever girl in stodgy, mercantile Baltimore, Betsy Patterson dreams of a marriage that will transport her to cultured Europe. When she falls in love with and marries Jerome Bonaparte, she believes her dream has come true—until Jerome’s older brother Napoleon becomes an implacable enemy.

Based on a true story, The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte is a historical novel that portrays this woman’s tumultuous life. Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte, known to history as Betsy Bonaparte, scandalized Washington with her daring French fashions; visited Niagara Falls when it was an unsettled wilderness; survived a shipwreck and run-ins with British and French warships; dined with presidents and danced with dukes; and lived through the 1814 Battle of Baltimore. Yet through it all, Betsy never lost sight of her primary goal—to win recognition of her marriage.

Watch the Book Trailer

Buy the Book
Amazon (Paperback)
Amazon (Kindle)
Barnes & Noble (Paperback)
Barnes & Noble (Nook)

About the Author
Ruth Hull Chatlien has been a writer and editor of educational materials for twenty-five years. Her specialty is U.S. and world history. She is the author of Modern American Indian Leaders and has published several short stories and poems in literary magazines. The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte is her first published novel.

She lives in northeastern Illinois with her husband, Michael, and a very pampered dog named Smokey. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found gardening, knitting, drawing, painting, or watching football.

Connect with Ruth Hull Chatlien at her website or on Facebook.

Visit other blogs on the tour--Tour Schedule
Twitter Hashtag: #MadameBonaparteTour

A copy of this book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for providing it.


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  1. I thoroughly enjoyed this book too!!

  2. Thank you for reviewing my book.

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