Ribbons of Scarlet: A Novel of the French Revolution's Women

· Sold by HarperCollins
3 reviews

About this ebook

“The French Revolution comes alive through the eyes of six diverse and complex women, in the skilled hands of these amazing authors.”--Martha Hall Kelly, New York Times bestselling author of Lilac Girls

A breathtaking, epic novel illuminating the hopes, desires, and destinies of princesses and peasants, harlots and wives, fanatics and philosophers—seven unforgettable women whose paths cross during one of the most tumultuous and transformative events in history: the French Revolution.

Ribbons of Scarlet is a timely story of the power of women to start a revolution—and change the world.

In late eighteenth-century France, women do not have a place in politics. But as the tide of revolution rises, women from gilded salons to the streets of Paris decide otherwise—upending a world order that has long oppressed them.

Blue-blooded Sophie de Grouchy believes in democracy, education, and equal rights for women, and marries the only man in Paris who agrees. Emboldened to fight the injustices of King Louis XVI, Sophie aims to prove that an educated populace can govern itself--but one of her students, fruit-seller Louise Audu, is hungrier for bread and vengeance than learning. When the Bastille falls and Louise leads a women’s march to Versailles, the monarchy is forced to bend, but not without a fight. The king’s pious sister Princess Elisabeth takes a stand to defend her brother, spirit her family to safety, and restore the old order, even at the risk of her head.

But when fanatics use the newspapers to twist the revolution’s ideals into a new tyranny, even the women who toppled the monarchy are threatened by the guillotine. Putting her faith in the pen, brilliant political wife Manon Roland tries to write a way out of France’s blood-soaked Reign of Terror while pike-bearing Pauline Leon and steely Charlotte Corday embrace violence as the only way to save the nation. With justice corrupted by revenge, all the women must make impossible choices to survive--unless unlikely heroine and courtesan’s daughter Emilie de Sainte-Amaranthe can sway the man who controls France’s fate: the fearsome Robespierre.


Ratings and reviews

3 reviews
Trudy Dowling
October 1, 2019
I was trying to figure out how to give this book the justice/review that it deserves. There are six different authors dealing with 7 different main characters that are interlinked by the French Revolution. As I was reading I kept thinking this is similar to the six degrees of Kevin Bacon. They are all intertwined in some way. The education system failed us. Classes barely touched on the French Revolution. I cannot thank the authors enough for making me think, making me want to know more. Ribbons of Scarlet give a fresh prospective. It isn't the "It was bloody and terrible" that we studied in school. It gives details. It creates empathy for some of the people involved. I developed an understanding that I didn't think possible. I am gutted. My heart weeps. To give the authors the credit they deserve I am going to make a few comments about each section. Part I, The Philosopher by Stephanie Dray brings to the forefront the cruelty that was part of everyday life in France at the beginning of the French Revolution through the eyes of Sophie de Grouchy. The author has the ability to paint a vivid picture with words that had me nauseous as Sophie witnessed someone being punished on the wheel. The reader sees the challenges of females during that time period and that with proper support even they can influence others. Part II, The Revolutionary by Heather Webb centers around Louise a fruit cart seller who sees life from the eyes of the lesser class. She makes extra money delivering messages to those impowered to take action. This part also concentrates on Pauline who is much more vocal in the beginning, someone who Louise aspires to be. The reader gets a clear picture of the life of the less fortunate. T The suffering continues to worsen developing more and more anger. Part III, The Princess by Sophie Perinot gives us a different perspective through the eyes of King Louis' sister, Madame Elisabeth. In a world where family comes first she stands by the King. The readers gets a better understanding of everything that was going on. There are two sides to every story. Elisabeth's journey is frightful. Part IV, The Politician by Kate Quinn shows us the influence of Manon Roland, wife of the Minister of the Interior the power behind the pen. Politics keep changing. Those in charge are deciding who lives or dies. With a rumor, Manon Roland can be crushed, her husband destroyed. Her self sacrifice gained my respect. Part V, The Assassin by E. Knight I am speechless after reading this section. It illustrated the different factions, the turmoil, the anguish, the challenges. The French Revolution was dirty and it touched everyone. Charlotte Corday travels from Caen with one goal-to save France. Through her eyes we see how Paris has been destroyed by those that know best. People are starving. People are dying and she blames one man, Marat. Part VI, The Beauty by Laura Kamoie was not full of beauty but it was the story of the Beauty of Paris, Emilie de Sartine. In better days she stood by her mother, running a gambling salon, living the life. As the revolution has no end in sight; the blood of so many innocents drip down the blades of the guillotine. Emilie, her mother, her brother and her husband are no longer accepted and soon live in fear of everything and everyone. If you live in fear long enough fear will control you. With the banging on the door those fears come to fruition.
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Ann Moore
February 11, 2020
The concept for this book was excellent. All the stories needed to be told. Unfortunately, I found the writing to be sub par. It was at a bodice ripper level that did not match with the importance of the topic. I became weary of blood freezing with fear, and a narrator describing her own legendary beauty and golden cascades of curls. The writing did not do the subject justice.
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About the author

Kate Quinn is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of historical fiction. A native of Southern California, she attended Boston University, where she earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in classical voice. A lifelong history buff, she has written four novels in the Empress of Rome Saga and two books set in the Italian Renaissance before turning to the 20th century with The Alice Network, The Huntress, The Rose Code, and The Diamond Eye. All have been translated into multiple languages. She and her husband now live in California with three black rescue dogs.

Stephanie Dray is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal & USA Today bestselling author of historical women’s fiction. Her award-winning work has been translated into eight languages and tops lists for the most anticipated reads of the year. Before she became a novelist, she was a lawyer and a teacher. Now she lives near the nation’s capital with her husband, cats, and history books.

Laura Kamoie is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of historical fiction. She holds a doctoral degree in early American history from The College of William and Mary, published two non-fiction books on early America, and most recently held the position of Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Naval Academy before transitioning to a full-time career writing fiction. Laura lives among the colonial charm of Annapolis, Maryland, with her husband and two daughters.

Heather Webb is the award-winning and USA Today bestselling author of ten historical novels, including her most recent The Next Ship Home, Queens of London, and Strangers in the Night. To date, her books have been translated to eighteen languages. She lives in Connecticut with her family and two mischievous cats.

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