The Unruly Passions of Eugénie RBook - 2012
"As fiercely depicted as the paintings of Toulouse-Lautrec." -- Stephanie Cowell, author of Claude and Camille
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.
Eug#65533;nie 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, Eug#65533;nie 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 cityclose on the eve of the Siege of Paris, Eug#65533;nie 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.
"Eug#65533;nie 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