Jody's Reviews > The Last Great Dance on Earth

The Last Great Dance on Earth by Sandra Gulland
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Feb 11, 2011

really liked it

** spoiler alert ** This is the third and final book in the Josephine Bonaparte diary series. Again, I regretted for a few minutes not reading it sooner to reading the others, but was reminded of the key points from the other books as needed. This I have to say... at the end I was pining for 'My Josephine.' Her saga continues: she loves this man desperately but feels some obligation to produce an heir. I did not sense any desperation to be a mother again, only to produce an heir, in support of which she goes through multiple treatments. She is absolutely devoted to her children and sees each of them off in marriage, and both she and Napoleon thrive in grand-parenthood. She continues to be under constant attack by her in-laws and has the growing burden of Napoleon's constantly increasing royalty status. Which takes us back to the whole heir thing. Napoleon is not faithful in his marriage which causes Josephine understandable distress, and nearly tears them apart. Yet, I think they would have stayed together had there been an heir, and, had they stayed together, would Napoleon's fate been what it was? (I don't subscribe to the whole magic or luck thing, but there is a stability in a strong relationship that could have helped him, no?) The divorce scenes were unbearably heart-wrenching for me. I can't imagine either of them making that sacrifice, but I also didn't see how a biological heir could 'save the nation' if Napoleon died. An infant with Napoleon's blood could not rule a nation as he did. I suppose, though, it was a mindset of the people which was centuries deep. Regardless, at the end of the book, I was in mourning, and I'm not sure if it was because she died or if it was because the book was over!
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