Marie Louise, Archduchess of Austria lives a happy life. Napoleon, eager to marry into a Royal Family after divorcing his beloved Josephine for lack of an heir, chooses Marie Louise. Unhappy at the prospect of becoming France's Second Empress, Marie Louise agrees, knowing that her decision will give Austria peace. Marie Louise finds the French Court haunted by the ghostly presence of the disgraced but beloved Josephine. She also finds herself battling Pauline, Napoleon's sister who wants to rule France as the Ancient Egyptians did with Brother-Sister marriages. Pauline employs Paul, a Haitian who enjoys the confidence of Napoleon. Napoleon seems pleased with the prestige of his new wife, but his mercurial temperament can cause problems. Though Napoleon seems to be triumphant, his downfall is near. After several military blunders, war is coming to France. If Napoleon falls, where will Marie Louise and her son land?
The Second Empress tells the story of Marie Louise, someone I was unfamiliar with. Great niece to Marie Antoinette, Marie Louise wasn't fond of France, but made the sacrifice to marry Napoleon despite this fact.Marie Louise also leaves behind a lover, a younger brother and a beloved father and step mother. While the French Court was no picnic and Pauline is definitely crazy, I wish that Napoleon would have be more prominently featured. While not my favorite Michelle Moran novel, I enjoyed this book.
I received this book from Netgalley.