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Bluebird, or the Invention of Happiness [Hardcover]

Sheila Kohler

RRP: 15.03
Price: 14.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

15 May 2007
Bluebird, or The Invention of Happiness is a radiant and artful novel based on the life of Lucy Dillon, an 18th-century French aristocrat. Her intelligence, beauty, and lack of pretension made Lucy a favorite of luminaries like Talleyrand and Germaine de Stael — and equipped her to survive the "Terror" that swept France in the wake of the Revolution. Possessed of considerable wit and practicality, Lucy manages to keep her beloved husband and small children safe while all her former circle, including King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette, are guillotined.

Eventually securing passage on a small ship bound for Boston, Lucy and her family settle in the Hudson Valley near Albany. Exhilarated by the personal and political freedom she finds in America, Lucy views her time there not as "exile," but rather as "opportunity" — and the former palace darling proudly turns dairymaid, establishing a successful farm and embracing all the challenges and adventures the New World presents her.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Other Press LLC; First Printing edition (15 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590512626
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590512623
  • Product Dimensions: 22 x 15.4 x 3.4 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,106,097 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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First Sentence
The captain has been at sea for twenty days, going north instead of west, in wild winds, flying light in sleet and snow and a terrific sea, to avoid the Algerian pirates. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read 12 Jun 2007
By Saskya Rosalinda - Published on Amazon.com
This is a wonderful book. I stayed up several nights reading this

historical novel. The author does a great job with the historical

details and the reader is transported to the times of Marie Antoinette.

The main character's courage and fortitude are inspiring and timeless.

I recommend this book highly to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.

Do not miss out on reading this book!!!!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Writing 7 Jun 2007
By P. Hays - Published on Amazon.com
When an author writes so seamlessly that you are no longer reading...you are there, it is rare and wonderful. Kohler is a terrific writer!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully written page turner set during French Revolution 4 Jun 2007
By The Discerning Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Bluebird and The Invention of Happiness is a beautifully written page turner set during the French Revolution. I could not put it down. The French Revolution, such an exciting period, is wonderfully rendered, and the historical details seamlessly interwoven into the narrative. Readers of historical fiction are bound to appreciate it especially, but you do not have to be a history buff to enjoy it. What I loved most was the heroine, Madame de La Tour de Pin, who was such a courageous woman, who overcame so many adversities. Not to read Bluebird is to deprive yourself of a wonderful treat. Anyone who has an appreciation for lyrical writing combined with a moving story will enjoy this novel. I highly recommend it.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kohler always does the unexpected ... 2 May 2010
By KatPanama - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Kohler always does the unexpected and her "Bluebird" is no exception. She has written (and exceptionally well) a particularly interesting rendition of the French Revolution and links that with the American Revolution in which the French who supported and fought for the rebellious Americans largely were aristocrats of one sort or another. Wonderful, succulent book. Does what good books should do: make you re-think what you think you know. Or, at least encourages readers to acknowledge complexity pretty much contaminates the purity of one side or another and more. That's a tough notion for some (such as I) to swallow. Kudos to Kohler.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating women in exciting times 15 Jun 2007
By Samia Serageldin - Published on Amazon.com
The French Revolution was the first great popular revolution, and the ideas it enshrined, including the equality of women, have forever marked the world in the two centuries since. The late eighteenth century also saw the rise of the woman of intellect "la femme de tete", as the French would put it.
Sheila Kohler is a masterful writer and a lover of both France and history who does justice to both in this eye-opening book.
Samia Serageldin
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