Laurel Corona~~4 1/2 and 5 Star Reviews

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Finding Emilie

Laurel Corona


Trade Paperback




            Young Lili du Chatelet lost her mother, the notorious and brilliant Emilie du Chatelet, mere days after her birth. As she grows, she has two guardians: the strict and proper Baronne

Lomont, and Julie de Bercy, who has a daughter Delphine. The two girls are fast friends although they want different things from life. Delphine dreams the conventional dreams of aristocratic girls in mid‑eighteenth century France‑‑to marry well and have beautiful clothes. Lili puts more energy in expanding her mind, though reading certain banned philosophical works could get her in deep trouble.

            France as a nation is suffering from a tug‑of‑war between a complacent aristocracy and an increasingly desperate and miserable common population, and between the stranglehold of the

Church and the scandalous words of Voltaire and other voices of the Age of Reason. As Delphine and Lili struggle to gain love and knowledge, Lili also begins a journey that leads to knowing her mother.

            Laurel Corona crafts a brilliant tale that examines the roles of women and nobility in the 1760's, where the looming shadow of the revolution to come is easy to see. Meticulous research and a well‑meshed combination of real and fictional characters give this tale an authentic feel, and the inclusion of Lili's "Meadowlark and Tom" tales is a true delight.

Heather Nordahl Files