“This novel about Sarah Bernhardt, the iconic French actress, is a luscious historical novel full of period detail as well as a riveting portrait of the artist as a passionate young woman.”—Melanie Benjamin, New York Times bestselling author of Mistress of the Ritz and The Aviator's Wife
Sarah Bernhardt is brought to life by an internationally bestselling author known for his historical novels featuring famous women, from her beginnings as the daughter of a courtesan to her extraordinary transformation into the most celebrated actress of her era.
Sarah's tumultuous life begins when she returns to Paris after completing her convent education and is confronted by her mother's demand that she join the family business as a courtesan. To avoid this fate, Sarah pursues a career onstage at the prestigious Comédie-Française, until her scandalous dismissal due to her rebellious acting style. Sarah, who is only nineteen years old and unemployed, is forced to comply with her mother's wishes. When she finds out she's pregnant, her seductive ease as a courtesan comes to an end. Sarah defies social expectations by refusing to give up her child and is left penniless and alone.
Sarah catapults to unexpected success with her striking beauty and innovative performances in a bohemian theater; audiences clamor to see this controversial young actress. The brutal 1870 siege of Paris, however, shatters her world. Sarah refuses to leave the devastated city, risking her life by tending to wounded soldiers.
Sarah's return to the Comédie and her stormy relationship with her leading man propel her into a fierce fight for independence. Unafraid, she puts everything on the line to become France's most acclaimed actress, enthralling audiences with her shocking portrayals of both female and male characters. Sarah's daring talent and outlandish London engagement catapult her to international fame, with sold-out tours across Europe and America.
This is Sarah Bernhardt's incandescent story, told in her own voice—a fascinating, intimate portrait of a woman whose unrivaled talent and indomitable spirit have cemented her place in history as the Divine Sarah.... Read More