Gracie and the Emperor
Allen and Unwin
Imagine an emperor coming to live on your lonely little island. Not just any emperor, but the scariest man in the world. People on St Helena said Napoleon ate children.
We called him Bonaparte, and he came as a prisoner. Thousands of soldiers were sent to our island to make sure he would never escape. I watched with the crowd around the jetty the evening he stepped ashore. I didn’t want to look at him.
‘Oh, Gracie,’ my friend Hester said when she saw him. ‘He’s just a man.’
I had no idea then what lay ahead for us all. No matter how I tried to avoid Bonaparte, I kept crossing his path and, though we never spoke, I know he saw me. I felt he knew me. And he changed my life.
What other people have said about this book:
After all the edgy modern novels around at the moment, Gracie and the Emperor is a welcome change of pace. Well-written and highly enjoyable. A sympathetic portrait of the great man in decline.
Kerry Foster, goodreading, April 2003
Thoroughly researched and wonderfully imagined, Gracie and the Emperor is a work of fiction but gives an excellent insight into this period of history and the island of St Helena itself. An engaging and gentle story about understanding, empathy and coming-of-age.JPa,
Viewpoint magazine, Spring, 2003
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