"Scarlet" by Jen Geigle Johnson
Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Received to review
Book Description: The roads in and out of Paris are heavily guarded, but the dead have easy passage out of the city. A ragged old woman transports the coffins of the most recent victims of the guillotine and is waved on unimpeded. Later, the same crone watches five French aristocrats step out of their coffins unscathed. Not beheaded but spirited away to safety by that most elusive of spies: the Pimpernel. Or, as she's known in polite society, Lady Scarlet Cavendish.
When not assuming her secret identity as a hero of the French Revolution, Scarlet presents herself as a fashionable, featherbrained young widow flitting about London. In truth, this façade is merely a diversion designed to conceal her clandestine work in France. Among members of the doomed French aristocracy, the Pimpernel is renowned for her bravery and cunning. But when tasked with rescuing handsome Comte Matteo Durand, she faces an unprecedented challenge: she is falling in love with the man. If ever there were a time to keep her head, it is now— because in a world brimming with intrigue, she is not the only one harboring secrets. And if Scarlet doesn't take care, Madame la Guillotine may finally catch up with the Pimpernel.
My thoughts: I love history. It fascinates me. I wish that I had been a better student and taken the time to learn more when I was in school. Most of the history I read comes from historical fiction. I do google names and places and try to learn more as I read the book. This one had me visiting Google often. I wanted to know more about the non-fiction characters and their role in history.
This book is a retelling of the "Scarlet Pimpernel" by Baroness Orczy. I can't say that I read the original, but Google.... I was able to pick up immediately what sets this book apart from the original. The Pimpernel is a woman in this story, the original was a man. I am grateful for this twist, I love a strong female heroine. Lady Scarlet Cavendish is a paradox. To the ton, she appears a frivolous and selfish woman. But to the French nobility, she saves them. She is level headed when faced with danger and is selfless in so many ways.
I would love to know more about this time period. Maybe someday.... I may get the chance to learn more, I hope so. Until then, I'll just keep reading Jen Geigle Johnson books and let her research some fascinating time and people and ignite my imagination once again.
This book contains kissing and violence.
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About the Author: (Taken from Goodreads) Jen Geigle Johnson once greeted an ancient turtle under the water by grabbing her fin. Other vital things to know: the sound a water-ski makes on glassy water and how to fall down steep moguls with grace. No mountain is too steep for her to climb, yet. During a study break date in college, she sat on top of a jeep's roll bars up in the mountains and fell in love. She discovered her passion for England while kayaking on the Thames near London as a young teenager.
Now an award-winning author and mother of six, she loves to share bits of history that might otherwise be forgotten. Whether in Regency England, the French Revolution, or Colonial America, her romance novels are much like life is supposed to be: full of adventure. She is a member of the RWA, the SCBWI, and LDStorymakers. She is also the chair of the Lonestar.Ink writing conference.
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