CAN'T-WAIT WEDNESDAY: I Can't Wait for Josephine's Garden by Stephanie Parkyn

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released. Find out more here.

This book caught my eye primarily because it is set during one of my favourite periods in history, but also its Australian connection: Tasmanian blue gums.


France, 1794. In the aftermath of the bloody end to the French Revolution, Rose de Beauharnais stumbles from prison on the day she is to be guillotined. Within a decade, she'll transform into the scandalous socialite who marries Napoleon Bonaparte, become Empress Josephine of France and build a garden of wonders with plants and animals she gathers from across the globe. But she must give Bonaparte an heir or she risks losing everything.

The lives of two other women from very different spheres are tied to the fate of the Empress Josephine. Marthes Desfriches has been widowed twice and is desperate to have a child as she enters a loveless marriage with an adversary of Josephine who despises her botanical ambitions. Anne Serreaux longs for a large family when she marries the man who becomes chief gardener for the Empress tasked with germinating the first Tasmanian blue gums in Europe. Each of these women faces obstacles in their relationships and in their quest to become mothers - experiencing trauma that will put all their lives at risk.

From the author of Into the World comes a richly imagined historical novel about obsession, love and marriage, and, ultimately, finding the courage to let go.

Release Date: December 2019
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Genre: Historical Fiction