Annette Vallon
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Annette Vallon

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  637 ratings  ·  109 reviews

For fans of Tracy Chevalier and Sarah Dunant comes this vibrant, alluring debut novel of a compelling, independent woman who would inspire one of the world's greatest poets and survive a nation's bloody transformation.

Set amid the terror and excitement of the French Revolution, James Tipton's evocative novel is the story of a woman who has for too long been relegated to th

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Paperback, 528 pages
Published November 4th 2008 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 2007)
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Katie
Annette Vallon by James Tipton is thoroughly delightful--start to finish. The story of Annette Vallon is one already wrapped in mystery and intrigue. One country wants to honor her efforts for the crown while the another wants to deny her very existance. She is the beautiful mistress of William Wordsworth, and an activist. And then James Tipton puts all of it into context. He fleshes out the heroine wonderfully, giving her a spirit that jumps off the pages.

The story takes place during the Revol...more
Amy (mrsAmy#s)
This book is really 3.5 stars for me. I liked it, but it didn't grab me. Annette is a very strong woman for her time period. She's captivating and fun to read about. But although the summary of the book might make you believe this is a love story with the poet William Wordsworth, it's really not- it's merely one part of Annette's adventurous and passionate life (although it actually did make me want to go read some Wordsworth poems). However, this might be a benefit and not a disadvantage- Annet...more
Christina
One of the problems with Annette Vallon is you care more about what’s going on around her rather than to her. The French Revolution was an interestingly volatile time, but Annette Vallon is written so that it’s hard to distinguish whether it’s just historical fiction or a romance novel placed in historical times. Whenever Wordsworth reappears, the true historical aspect of this novel, that is the action and details of the French Revolution, dry up. One must also have quite a bit of patience as t...more
Eric Shaffer
Read this book sentence by sentence with both eyes wide open for maximum pleasure. Savor the contemporary political subtext. Ah, delicious.
Jessica
This book was so good that I am going through withdrawls!! ...The same withdrawls as when I finished the Harry Potter series. After renting it from the library, this amazing historical novel is soon going to be added to my own library because I want to read it at least a few more times. I wanted to start it over again right when I finished it.
It takes place over 22 years of the French Revolution and although that sounds like an epic, it is not that drawn out. The fact that I learned so much cou...more
Kelly
4.5 stars. This is a very good piece of historical fiction. I heard one reviewer compare the writing to Phillippa Gregory's....I did not find that to be the case at all. I like her books, but don't feel they are nearly as historically meticulous as this one.

Annette Vallon was the lover of William Wordsworth during the French Revolution. I don't want to be a spoiler so I'll be vague here - Annette's activities over a period of a decade (or more) started to seem completely unbelievable to me as I...more
Anne
This historical fiction is about the relationship of William Wordsworth and Annette Vallon, the French woman he met on a stay there during the French Revolution and had a child with. I had always known her as a romantic footnote to this august poet's life. I am a big Wordsworth fan and enjoy reading the young Wordsworth. It was slow going at first, but I am now absorbed and eager to return to its pages tonight.
Jean Marie
I have absolutely no idea how to rate this since the story wasn't exactly what I was expecting. Given the blurb, I thought that this would be primarily a love story and while there is a love story within the plot it doesn't resonate to me as the main concept of the story. The story, in my opinion, is about a bourgeoisie caught in the chaos of the French Revolution. She has a lover, an English poet, but she, Annette is the story. Her relationship with William Woodsworth is a small component of th...more
Margaret
Annette Vallon has been marketed as a historical novel about English poet William Wordsworth’s youthful love affair. But Tipton’s book is about Annette, a remarkable woman who made of herself much more than a famous poet’s early muse. And it is about the French Revolution, including the Reign of Terror, which shaped her destiny.

Daughter of a respected physician from Blois, France, Marie Anne Vallon, known as Annette, spent her childhood in the final bloom of the French bourgeoisie. She wore sil...more
Mia
Historical fiction set in the French Revolution... based loosely upon the life of Wordsworth, a love story with a strong heroine.
Tracy Laverty
I loved Annette's strong character in this story of the French Revolution. Beautifully written
Daisy
Don't bother reading this. It was dreadful and I barely skimmed the end. What a waste of time.
Jess
Where the possibility of beauty existing in such terrifying, depraved times of the French Revolution seems quite impossible to us in this day and age, Annette Vallon conveys quite the contrary.

The historical backdrop is thrilling and tragic in a way you could never really read in a text book - as Tipton creates real, alive characters to meet these tumultuous times of unceasing wars and violence and suspicion and ideology bathed by the horrific blood of the Guillotine and the countless young men...more
Annette
Annette Vallon was the daughter of a physician. Her siblings were Marguerite, Etienne, and Angelique. The novel begins in 1785. Annette was sixteen and had just finished convent school. Her mother is in negotiations of arraigning a marriage. A music and dance instructor is hired for Annette. He is a rogue and Annette becomes a casualty. In 1789 Annette made a statement of belief that "the French Revolution began over bread". Rioting begins, uprisings, murders, looting, civil unrest. There are th...more
Kristin
Always a sucker for fictional accounts of the French Revolution, I picked this one up hoping it would contain sordid tales of various victims of the guillotine and general chaos of the time. Alas, no sordid tales- but I must admit that I was not at all disappointed. Usually not one for tales of the strong, independent female super-hero, I found myself totally drawn to Annette Vallon and the struggles of her and her family. While she faced a number of timeless and universal situations (young love...more
Carole C
Sep 25, 2011 Carole C rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: historical fiction fans, and those with an interest in the English Romantic poets
Recommended to Carole by: read a review
Now that I am finished with the book, I would certainly recommend it for several reasons. Even though I found some of the historical details to be a bit too involved and tedious, it is well written and perhaps finally gives a very courageous woman her moment. William Wordsworth's Victorian biographers understandably had difficulty with his affair and illegitimate child by the aristocratic French woman Annette Vallon, and she is not treated kindly by them, if she is even mentioned at all. As a p...more
Heather
Jan 15, 2012 Heather rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Heather by: My mom
I read this book on my epic plane rides to and from Carlsbad, NM this last week. Sometimes the right book happens to fall into your hands at the right time, and I'd say this was definitely the case for this book.

I mean, don't get me wrong, I love a good historical novel at just about any time. And a historical novel set during the French Revolution? Practically irrestible. A novel based around the secret romance of Annette Vallon and the famous poet Wordsworth? Delicious.

I will say, however, tha...more
Lisa
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jenna
This is the second novel I have reviewed set during the French Revolution and I offer the same high praise as Madame Tussaurd. This novel brought me the face of the revolution, perhaps even more so though than Madame Tussaurd. This wasn't the typical novel of royalty and the high born, but instead gave light to the fear and uncertainty common people faced during the revolution and for years after wards.

Annette Vallon is the women known in history as the mistress and muse of poet William Wordswor...more
Robin Brandt
I was given this book, and when I saw "a novel of the French Revolution" my heart sank. Not one more story of the horrors of prison and trial and guillotine! But this book is quite different and much more interesting. Annette Vallon is an historical character about whom we don't know a lot. She was a resistance fighter, clever and determined. Her story takes place away from Paris too, which provides a more nuanced picture of life in the rest of the country during turbulent times.
Debbie
I loved this novel of the French Revolution. It took me a long time to get through because I accidentally left it at the lovely Hacienda del Sol in Tucson on a recent weekend visit. Thankfully, they found it and sent it up to me. The story is beautifully written fiction based on the lives of William Wordsworth and his French lover and mother of his daughter, Annette Vallon. The author notes at the end of the book that we know about Annette Vallon only because a historian discovered two letters i...more
Princess
Annette Vallon is a historical novel based on the life of a French Woman who survived the Revolution and shared a romance with the English poet William Wordsworth. The book covers her life in its entirity and paints an image of a beautiful, brave and very loving character that I can not help but completely admire. Whether dancing in the ballrooms of pre-revolutionary France, defying her Mother by loving a foreigner, raising his child on her own, outwitting the tyrants who failed to run her count...more
Erika
Actually a 4.5.

There is something terribly decadent about spending a full Sunday just reading! This was a great book to lose myself into and the time just slipped past. I would love to know how much is true about Ms. Annette. She seemed like a remarkable woman. And was Wordsworth really such a flake? Maybe that is why he wrote such beautiful poetry. I had not read any historical fiction about the French Revolution. I think this would make a fabulous movie!
Lindsey
I loved this book. It is from the perspective of an upper middle-class girl growing up at the start of the French Revolution and how her life just can't become "normal" after it's over. She meets the English poet Wordsworth along the way so there's some interesting diversions into his poetry. I enjoyed seeing the Revolution from a perspective different from the fabulously wealthy or the dirt poor.
Amanda
I did not enjoy this book as much as I had hoped, especially since I am a big fan of both historical fiction and Wordsworth. While I understand the title of the book is Annette Vallon, and not William Wordsworth, it was just personally disappointing to see him as a background figure. Otherwise, I did enjoy the story of this woman's courage and convictions in a tumultuous time.
Persephone
I loved Annette's character, I loved the writing, I loved the setting, but there was one problem, though. What's happening around her was much more interesting and bigger - the French Revolution - and at times, I wanted to yell at the book saying 'I don't care about dances, tell me what's going on out there!'. It did get more interesting as the book progressed and Annette got older, mostly because the book's main events transformed from being a love story into Annette's intrigues involving the r...more
Sarah Wagner
In this novel set during the French Revolution, James Tipton fictionalizes the love affair between a young English poet William Wordsworth and Annette Vallon. Drawing from history, Tipton depicts the struggles and trials of these two lovers and the circumstances that kept them apart. I enjoyed the character of Annette, although I did feel she could have been stronger. I also felt that Annette, who bares an illegitimate child and actively opposes the tyranny of the French government by aiding tho...more
Egrrl
James Tipton brings you into the world of Annette Vallon, a woman of courage and passion. Annette's bravery, independence and ability to overcome loss is inspiring. A tragic love story during such a harsh war. William Wordsworth and Annette Vallon had a special love, regardless of time passing or significant change in their lives. Tipton's style of writing paints a clear picture, giving you a feeling as if you have traveled in time and watched the whole event. I didn't want the book to end. Anne...more
Erin
I liked this book but I found the background story of the French Revolution more interesting than the story of Annette Vallon and William Wordsworth. But in saying that It was still an interesting read. So little is known about Annette the woman who inspired Wordsworth that many liberties can be taken with the historical facts. At the end of the book I did feel a bit like I had read a Mills and Boon, as the ending was a bit typical of a standard romance novel with the usual question of will they...more
Caroline
This book certainly defied my expectations. With a cover showing the torso of a well-dressed, smiling woman, and an inside cover description touting Annette Vallon's passion and love for William Wordsworth, I was expecting a semi-fictional romance with a backdrop of French history. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the character of Annette Vallon is much more than the muse of a well-known poet, and that her affair with Wordsworth is an important part of her life, but certainly not...more
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“I reflected, not for the first or last time, that when you are reading, others think they can disturb you because you are not doing anything.” 1 likes
“Even the most honorable of men know nothing of what love means to a woman. They feel pleasure, and that is their aim. A woman believes that love itself is her whole aim and pleasure merely one branch of a vast tree, deeply rooted in her heart. She believes it is her profound duty to care for this tree, nourish it each day, and give all of its fruits exclusively to one man and to her children. This in itself demands a sacrifice that men cannot comprehend.” 1 likes
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