Ribbons of Scarlet

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Published by: William Morrow
Release Date: October 1, 2019
Pages: 560
ISBN13: 978-0062916075


Six bestselling and award-winning authors bring to life a breathtaking epic novel illuminating the hopes, desires, and destinies of princesses and peasants, harlots and wives, fanatics and philosophers—six unforgettable women whose paths cross during one of the most tumultuous and transformative events in history: the French Revolution.

Ribbons of Scarlet is a timely story of the power of women to start a revolution—and change the world.

In late eighteenth-century France, women do not have a place in politics. But as the tide of revolution rises, women from gilded salons to the streets of Paris decide otherwise—upending a world order that has long oppressed them.

Blue-blooded Sophie de Grouchy believes in democracy, education, and equal rights for women, and marries the only man in Paris who agrees. Emboldened to fight the injustices of King Louis XVI, Sophie aims to prove that an educated populace can govern itself--but one of her students, fruit-seller Louise Audu, is hungrier for bread and vengeance than learning. When the Bastille falls and Louise leads a women’s march to Versailles, the monarchy is forced to bend, but not without a fight. The king’s pious sister Princess Elisabeth takes a stand to defend her brother, spirit her family to safety, and restore the old order, even at the risk of her head.

But when fanatics use the newspapers to twist the revolution’s ideals into a new tyranny, even the women who toppled the monarchy are threatened by the guillotine. Putting her faith in the pen, brilliant political wife Manon Roland tries to write a way out of France’s blood-soaked Reign of Terror while pike-bearing Pauline Leon and steely Charlotte Corday embrace violence as the only way to save the nation. With justice corrupted by revenge, all the women must make impossible choices to survive--unless unlikely heroine and courtesan’s daughter Emilie de Sainte-Amaranthe can sway the man who controls France’s fate: the fearsome Robespierre.

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“An excellent choice for a lively book discussion and readers of historical fiction will appreciate this unique take on an era not often covered in English-language popular fiction.”
Booklist, Starred Review

“This would be an amazing book at any time, but given this moment in time, it is especially perfect. Read it for the entertainment value, read it for the history, read it for the wonderful tales about these strong, unrelenting, powerful, committed woman. But most of all read it to be inspired. To be reminded of what mere mortals can do when we are determined.”
M.J. Rose, New York Times bestselling author of Tiffany Blues

“HERstory at its finest; this novel of the French Revolution, collaboratively written by titans of Historical Fiction, brings women to the forefront of the time known as The Terror. This novel has it all; the ability to move, entertain, educate, and inspire. We cannot forget these women, now that we’ve discovered them anew through this powerfully written book.”
Melanie Benjamin, New York Times bestselling author of The Aviator's Wife

“The French Revolution comes alive through the eyes of six diverse and complex women, in the skilled hands of these amazing authors.”
Martha Hall Kelly, New York Times bestselling author of Lilac Girls

“Ambition. Heartache. Scandal. Brilliantly executed portrayal of women’s participation in the French Revolution. When the characters crossed paths, the page sparked with tension. Six of your favorite writers writing about six fascinating women. I cannot think of a better way for you to spend your time than reading this book.”
Dolen Perkins-Valdez, New York Times bestselling author of Wench

“Seamlessly interwoven by a dream team of historical authors, Ribbons of Scarlet vividly transported me to the tumultuous days of the French Revolution... this timely masterpiece is sure to inspire both courage and caution. A spellbinding read from beginning to end.”
Kristina McMorris, New York Times bestselling author of Sold on a Monday

“The French Revolution as you've never read it before–fast-paced, gut-wrenching, and told through the eyes of women who fought and lived it. Ribbons of Scarlet manages to do what few other novels set against this complicated backdrop have–make Revolutionary France both completely accessible and utterly compelling. This is historical fiction at its absolute best!”
Michelle Moran, author of Madame Tussaud

“A deeply moving pageturner... Ribbons of Scarlet offers a potent feminist reminder that the more things change, the more they remain the same. Highly recommended.”
Kris Waldherr, author of Lost History of Dreams

“This skillfully crafted novel of the French Revolution by well-known historical fiction authors Quinn, Stephanie Dray, Laura Kamoie, Sophie Perinot, Heather Webb, and E. Knight tells of singular women during tumultuous times. Sure to appeal to devotees of historical fiction, feminists, and those looking for a stirring #metoo read.”
Library Journal


Part V: The Assassin

Not a sensitive or generous heart beats that does not shed tears of blood.
—Charlotte Corday

Paris, July 7, 1793

The nightmare was always the same.

Being dragged into the alley outside my family’s chocolat café. I had been walking home just after dark from a night of dinner with friends when they jumped me. Neighborhood ruffians. Beaten until bloodied and limp by too many meaty male fists. Robbed of the last coin in my purse—not even enough to buy a loaf of bread, if there were any to be found—and threatened with worse.

And I awakened from it as I always did—sweating, gasping, heart galloping out of my chest. Involuntary reactions to the terror some part of me could not let go, and which quickly gave way to a gut-deep conviction—I would never be defenseless again.