Sandra Gulland · 448 pages
Rating: (14K votes)
“I play out the cards. They say: This is Heaven, this is Hell. It is one.”
“He calls me Josephine. He says I'm an angel, a saint, his good lucky star. I know I'm no angel, but in truth I have begun to like this Josephine he sees. She is intelligent; she amuses; she is pleasing. She is grace and charm and heart. Unlike Rose; scared, haunted and needy. Unlike Rose with her sad life.”
“A feeling of disquiet continues to haunt me. As a youth one dreams of love; by the time one wakes, it is too late.”
“The Queen has been guillotined, accused of crimes beyond imagining. Last night she appeared to me in a dream, handing me her head.”
“You are thinking of the past." I put my arms around her. She'd risen from childbed too soon. "We are the past," she said.”
“Daggers ever at the ready, I went about the day: children fed, linens mended, bedclothes aired. In little ways one conquers fear.”
“I lowered myself into an armchair. I was enveloped in a cloud of dust. All that remained of my life was in my lap. I sat for a time thus, as still as the mute objects that surrounded me. How little it all meant, in the end.”
“I kissed his cheek. "My King." I swooped into the courtly curtsy he'd taught me as a girl, regally kicking an imaginary train aside as I turned to go. He was laughing silently as I left. For a moment I saw that spark again. I did not say goodbye.”
“Now I have discovered where it is that she goes. It's the guillotine that draws her, across the river in the Place Louis Quinze- Place de la Revolution now-where daily crowds gather, the vendors selling lemonade, the children playing prisoner's base, the old ladies gossiping as the heads fall.”
“One leads, willing or not," Deputy Tallien answered. "It takes courage to face one's own death but even more so the death of others. We are learning this lesson well." The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B. by Sandra Gullan”
“I think the truth to living fully is to appreciate what we have, day by day, regardless of what we know might come our way.”
“Entonces el ruiseñor voló sobre el rosal que crecía alrededor del reloj de sol.”
“She was standing still, leaning against the moonlight.”
“I chose to follow you," he said, and his voice was deep and rich. "And I'll find you again.”
“He leaned in then and kissed me again, sweet and soft and tender, silencing my arguments and stealing my breath, making me wonder how one simple gesture could be so tragically lovely.”
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