Sunday, March 11, 2012

Finding Emilie by Laurel Corona

With chateaus and salons and the gardens of Versailles, this is a wonderful work of escapist historical fiction. Set in the Age of Enlightenment in France in the 1700s, two young girls grow up trying to adhere to and navigate the rigid social norms for women of nobility. For Lili it is not enough, though, to just be married off to the best suitor; she knows there is more to the world if she could just be allowed to cultivate her mind as her unconventional mathematician mother had before her. Lili is intent on breaking free of the bonds of conformity and sets out seeking support from the one man her mother knew so well: the intellectual and controversial Voltaire.

Woman is born free, and everywhere she is in corsets . . . .

Lili du Chatelet yearns to know more about her mother, the brilliant French mathematician Emilie. But the shrouded details of Emilie's unconventional life - and her sudden death - are elusive. Caught between the confines of a convent upbringing and the intrigues of the Versailles court, Lili blossoms under the care of a Parisian salonniere as she absorbs the excitement of the Enlightenment, even as the scandalous shadows of her mother's past haunts her and puts her on her own path of self-discovery. Laurel Corona's breathtaking new novel, set on the eve of the French Revolution, vividly illuminates the tensions of the times, and the dangerous dance between the need to conform and the desire to chart one's own destiny and journey of the heart. (back cover)

On September 3, 1749, shortly before her forty-third birthday, Gabrielle-Emilie le Tonnelier de Breteuil, the Marquise du Chatelet, gave birth to a baby girl, Stanislas-Adelaide. Six days later, already back at her translation of and commentary on Newton's Principia Mathematica, Emilie du Chatelet complained of a headache, and within hours this charismatic and brilliant woman of letters was dead. This is a work of fiction about the daughter she left behind. (author's note)


Sam (Tiny Library) said...

Sounds like something I would very much enjoy, Trish!

Cassandra said...

This sounds like the perfect escape! Versaille, 18th century, Voltaire? Sounds fantastic! :)

On a different note: I tagged you,

Bookzilla said...

Ooh, what perfect timing. I just watched an episode of "Doctor Who" set during this time period, and was wondering what kind of books I should read to get more of that flavor. :) You're like a mind-reader!

I also wanted to swing by and let you know that I've given you the Kreativ Blogger award. Thanks for being so awesome!

Trish said...

Sam - Yes! I hope you can get this in the UK.

Cassandra - I know! Doesn't that all sound so great? It's a lovely read. Thanks for the tag I'll be over to check it out soon.

Bookzilla - Glad I could help you out lol. Thanks for the award!