Before this book, I had never heard of Émilie du Châtelet, the controversial woman who was a brilliant mathematician of the 18th century who had many lovers, including Voltaire. Sadly, she passed away in her early forties just 6 days after giving birth to her youngest daughter Lili.
Although Lili herself died at the age of 2, the author, Laurel Corona, has brilliantly divined a creative storyline telling the story of Lili had she lived. In the story, after her mothers death, her father sends her to live with her mother's friend Julie de Bercy and her daughter Delphine. Julie lovingly raises Lili as her own and Delphine and Lili become the closest of friends.
This pageturner takes place during the time of Enlightenment and right before the French Revolution. Lili must face a conflicting battle within herself between what she has learned in her early years at the convent and the ideas she is exposed to in Julie's Parisan salon. She must choose between pleasing others and discovering who she truly is and where she comes from.
If you are a lover of 18th century historical fiction, as I am, I think you will really enjoy this book.
Lili du Châtelet yearns to know more about her mother, the brilliant French mathematician Emilie. But the shrouded details of Emilie's unconventional life -- and her sudden death -- are elusive.
Caught between the confines of a convent upbringing and the intrigues of the Versailles court, Lili blossoms under the care of a Parisian salonnières as she absorbs the excitement of the Enlightenment, even as the scandalous shadow of her mother's past haunts her and puts her on her own path of self-discovery.
Laurel Corona's breathtaking new novel, set on the eve of the French Revolution, vividly illuminates the tensions of the times, and the dangerous dance between the need to conform and the desire to chart one's own destiny and journey of the heart.
Disclaimer - I received this book for my honest opinion, no other compensation was received.