The Game Of Hope by Sandra GullandThe Game Of Hope by Sandra Gulland

The Game Of Hope

bySandra Gulland

Hardcover | May 1, 2018

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For Napoleon's stepdaughter, nothing is simple -- especially love.

Paris, 1798. Hortense de Beauharnais is engrossed in her studies at a boarding school for aristocratic girls, most of whom suffered tragic losses during the tumultuous days of the French Revolution. She loves to play and compose music, read and paint, and daydream about Christophe, her brother's dashing fellow officer. But Hortense is not an ordinary girl. Her beautiful, charming mother Josephine has married Napoleon Bonaparte, soon to become the most powerful man in France, but viewed by Hortense as a coarse, unworthy successor to her elegant father, who was guillotined during the Terror.
     Where will Hortense's future lie?
     Inspired by Hortense's real-life autobiography with charming glimpses of teen life long ago, this is the story of a girl chosen by fate to play a role she didn't choose.
SANDRA GULLAND is an American-born Canadian novelist. She is the author of the internationally bestselling trilogy of novels based on the life of Josephine Bonaparte: The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine B.; Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe, which was a finalist for the Trillium Award; The Last Great Dance on Earth, as well as tw...
Title:The Game Of HopeFormat:HardcoverDimensions:384 pages, 8.56 × 5.81 × 1.23 inPublished:May 1, 2018Publisher:PRH Canada Young ReadersLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0670067024

ISBN - 13:9780670067022


Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Game of Hope The Game of Hope follows Hortense, stepdaughter of Napoleon, during his rise to power. This novel gives a look into the family's life and Hortense's life at school with her friends. We get a great look at France in 1800. What this book did best was its historical accuracy. There was great detail, and obviously there's liberties taken to create the novel, but overall it remains quite true and keeps many facts accurate to history. Along with its accuracy, it was well-written and had many enjoyable parts of writing. Hortense develops so much over the book and we get a really complex look at the characters. I really appreciated the writing. What this book didn't excel at, though, was it's storytelling and continuity. While we get great events from this time, we don't get much of an overarching story that I would expect from a novel. I understand that it's sticking true to the characters' events in real life, but I'd rather it a bit more fictionalized to create a polished story. Many of the storylines weren't wrapped up within the book, and characters were introduced never to be heard from again other than in the "Afterward." It felt really anticlimactic. Aspects that I felt the book had been leading up to were never even included in the story. Reading all this concluding details in the Afterward felt like a big cop out. After 350 pages of detailed life of Hortense, all the storylines were suddenly wrapped up in like 5 pages. I feel the book just ended, it didn't conclude. Along with the story, I never really connected with the characters. I appreciated how developed everything was and the detail in the writing, but it felt like there was just a disconnect between the words and me having any emotional reaction. Would I recommend this book? Depends on what you're looking for. If you're looking to learn more about this time period, absoutely, I was 100% recommend this book because it's a strong historical novel. However, if you're looking for an overarching story, this might not be for you.
Date published: 2018-08-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Game Of Hope This has a lot going on, illness, rumors, loss, composing music, etc., so perhaps that’s why some things, like the romance felt a bit underdeveloped, still, it’s an interesting story even if it doesn’t always feel as emotional as I might have preferred. #plumreview I received this through a giveaway.
Date published: 2018-08-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from An Average Historical Fiction As much as I love historical fiction, this novel did not hit the mark for me. It was an okay read but nothing more beyond that. The story barely graded on events going on at the time and instead mainly focused on the character of Hortense. This is understandable as she is the main character and the novel is marketed being about her story. However, I found she was somewhat of a boring and bland character. Adding on to that, she did not come across as being a teenager and seemed to be more relatable to a 10-12 year old in maturity. Overall, it was an okay and average read but I wish that there was more of a plot. There didn’t seem to be anything happening and read more similar to a daily diary from a young girl. ***Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review***
Date published: 2018-07-04

Read from the Book

I saw a man approaching. Cloaked and hooded, he moved with grace in the flickering candlelight. My heart soared. Father! He put out one hand, gloved in white leather. Hope was aglow all around him. But then—as always—his hood fell back, and there was only a bloody stump where his head should have been. I screamed, gasping for air, my heart pounding.Mouse and Ém tried to calm me, but I only wept all the harder. What did my father want? Why was he haunting me? Maîtresse rushed into our room in rumpled nightclothes, a shawl thrown haphazardly over her shoulders. “Such screaming, angel! You’ll terrify the Little Geniuses,” she said, putting down her candle. The shadows made her face look like that of a ghoul. “I’m sorry,” I sobbed, slipping the miniature enamel portrait of my father from under my pillow. Father: so handsome, so elegant, to have died like that, the crowd cheering as his head fell into a basket of wood shavings. “It’s that same night-fright she always has,” Mouse told her aunt, her voice tremulous. “That scary dream of her father,” my cousin Ém said. I looked into Maîtresse’s eyes. She was mistress of our boarding school, quite strict and demanding, yet we all loved her. “With his—” I winced, making a slashing motion across my neck. “Come here, my sweets,” Maîtresse said, opening her arms. Dragging their blankets, Ém and Mouse huddled in close. I could feel Mouse trembling. We called ourselves the Fearsome Threesome, but in the dead of night, Fearful Threesome might have been more apt. “Repeat after me,” Maîtresse said, pulling the blankets snugly around us. She smelled deliciously of vanilla. “We are safe now.” “We are safe now,” we whispered in unison. Safe now, safe now, safe now. But were we? It had been four years since the tyrant Robespierre had been executed, bringing an end to the Terror—but what if it were to happen again? Practically every girl in our school was of the nobility. What was to keep us from being hunted down, having our heads cut off?

Editorial Reviews

Selection – OLA Forest Teen Committee’s 2018 Summer Reading List

"[G]uaranteed to find fans among bookish youth. . . . The coming-of-age tale that follows — inspired by the historical figure’s autobiography — offers a window into another world." --Toronto Star

“[Gulland’s] Pitch perfect balance of lush period details and character-driven narrative shines again in the game of hope.” -- Quill and Quire