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The Unruly Passions of Eugenie R. Summary and Reviews

The Unruly Passions of Eugenie R.

by Carole DeSanti

The Unruly Passions of Eugenie R. by Carole DeSanti X
The Unruly Passions of Eugenie R. by Carole DeSanti
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2012
    432 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

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Book Summary

Love and war converge in this lush, epic story of a young woman's coming of age during and after France's Second Empire (1860–1871), an era that was absinthe-soaked, fueled by railway money and prostitution, and transformed by cataclysmic social upheaval.

Eugénie R., born in foie gras country, follows the man she loves to Paris but soon finds herself marooned. An outcast, she charts the treacherous waters of sexual commerce on a journey through artists' ateliers and pawnshops, zinc bars and luxurious bordellos. Giving birth to a daughter she is forced to abandon, Eugénie spends the next ten years fighting to get her back, falling in love along the way with an artist, a woman, and a revolutionary. Then, as the gates of the city close on the eve of the Siege of Paris, Eugénie comes face to face with her past. Drawn into a net of desire and need, promises and lies, she must make a choice and find her way to a life that she can call her own.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Though it's hard to care for such a self-centered heroine, the sweeping, fascinating epic is full of drama and beauty." - Publishers Weekly

"Expect lush yet polished language from someone who's already a pro." - Library Journal

"Eugénie R.'s story drops us into the dark velvety centers of sex, sin, and political intrigue, and takes us along on her own instinctive journey to modern womanhood." - Lynn Hunt, Eugen Weber Professor of Modern European History, UCLA

"This astonishing debut is a panoramic story of war and peace, love and betrayal, innocence and hard-won wisdom." - Lauren Belfer, author of A Fierce Radiance

"As fiercely depicted as the paintings of Toulouse-Lautrec." - Stephanie Cowell, author of Claude and Camille

"Against a carefully recreated landscape of France and the City of Lights during the 1860s, with the Prussian army heading for Paris, DeSanti brings a 21st-century sensitivity for the plight and passions of women in her rendering of Eugénie and the women and men she comes to travel (and drink) among." - Mireille Guiliano, internationally best-selling author of French Women Don't Get Fat

"Lord! This is a great piece of work. The heroine, Eugénie Rigault, is completely maddening, of course - which makes for great plot. She lives up in her head even as her boots are in the mud of desperation, and her loves and lovers have layers on layers - just as does the society DeSanti makes on the page. How beautifully this is written. How rare that is to discover on the page." - Dorothy Allison, Bastard Out Of Carolina

"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 naive goosegirl to resilient survivor, makes for wonderful, suspenseful reading, but tumultuous Paris is equally compelling, laid out here by DeSanti in all her grisly or gorgeous glory. If you love a novel that brings a place and time alive again, this one is for you. If you love a novel of character and adversity, again, here it is." - Karen Joy Fowler, The Jane Austen Book Club

The information about The Unruly Passions of Eugenie R. shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Author Information

Carole DeSanti

Carole DeSanti, known for her championing of independent, high-quality voices in women's fiction as an editor at Penguin, has been clandestinely writing The Unruly Passions of Eugénie R. for over a decade. She has been profiled in Poets & Writers' Magazine, published in the Women's Review of Books, and awarded fellowships at the Five College Women's Studies Research Center and Hedgebrook. Find her online at www.caroledesanti.net.

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