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The Princess Of Nowhere

af Lorenzo Borghese

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
9417229,619 (3.3)6
In a tale inspired by her life, Napoleon's sister, Pauline, marries Prince Camillo Borghese, a complicated relationship orchestrated by the ambitious Napoleon that soon becomes compromised by her scandalous behavior.
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Engelsk (18)  Italiensk (1)  Alle sprog (19)
Viser 1-5 af 19 (næste | vis alle)
Won through the GoodReads First Reads giveaway program. ( )
  mrsmarch | Nov 28, 2018 |
romanzesco, romanzato; non cè una bibliografia delle fonti, quindi non si sa quanto vi sia di autentico. un paio di ingiustificate e ingiustificabili sciatterie di traduzione. e sì che si tratterebbe del libro di un discendente da antica famiglia romana e italiana....
  ShanaPat | Jun 25, 2017 |
Quello di Lorenzo Borghese (reale discendente della famiglia Borghese, con la quale Paolina, dopo un primo matrimonio con un generale francese, si imparentò, sposando per questioni politiche Camillo Borghese) è in primo luogo un romanzo, come lo stesso autore ribadisce, ma un romanzo dalla ricostruzione storica apparentemente piuttosto accurata.

In effetti, riuscire a trovare il punto esatto dove la storia cessa di essere tale è molto difficile tanta è stata la maestria di Borghese nel ripercorrere la vita di questa donna così ribelle, anticonformista ma soprattutto appassionata come solo poche sanno essere.

"I Segreti di una Principessa" è un romanzo che narra il magnifico e tormentato amore fra la sorella di Napoleone Buonaparte, Paolina, e Camillo Borghese. E' un amore triste e complicato che racchiude una grande lezione sull'amore: amarsi significa comprendersi, accettarsi, comunicare ma, soprattutto, perdonare.

Paolina Boghese è una donna irrequieta, capricciosa e troppo impetuoso per essere frenato e tenuto sotto controllo, neppure per amore. Lei ama la libertà e scandalizzare la società abbandonandosi liberamente verso altre passioni e altri amori, ma è anche una donna che sopporta un fardello forse troppo grande per le sue fragili spalle e che contrasta con l'aggressiva arroganza di cui si riveste per proteggersi.

Il romanzo inizia proprio con un nuovo tradimento di Paolina, è Camillo il personaggio principale del primo capitolo. Menzogne, menzogne e ancora menzogne. Il pensiero di un uomo consapevole che, mentre in casa sua si stava tenendo un ballo, sua moglie si trovava chissà dove in compagnia di un altro uomo.

Le scenate di gelosia, le liti, le riconciliazioni e i tradimenti si susseguono con scioltezza mentre leggiamo la "storia d'amore/odio" di questi due magnifici personaggi.

L'autore è riuscito a dare uno spessore incredibile a tutti i personaggi di questo romanzo, tratteggiandoli con accuratezza ed eleganza. Paolina, nonostante i suoi mille difetti che ci portano a biasimarla e forse odiarla, riesce sempre a rientrare nelle simpatie del lettore proprio per quel suo essere capricciosa ma disperatamente infelice. Camillo, Sophie Leclerc (cugina del primo marito di Paolina Victor Emmanuel Leclerc e pupilla di Napoleone) e i vari "amanti" che Paolina prova a imporre a Sophie (da sempre innamorata di Camillo) o con i quali intreccia lei stessa appassionanti ma brevi storie d'amore... Tutti, a modo loro, affascinano e colpiscono in maniera indelebile.

Senza dubbio la figura di Paolina Borghese come "moglie" non ne esce bene, da questa versione romanzata, ma Lorenzo Borghese riesce lo stesso a tramutarla in una carismatica eroina romantica mentre narra la sua vita intensa e scandalosa. Una magnifica storia d'amore dal finale amaro e un po' struggente per questa coppia che, troppo tardi, comprese l'importanza e l'unicità della loro unione.
( )
  Nasreen44 | Jun 8, 2017 |
It's hard to choose a rating for this book. All of the characters were pretty one note, especially Sophie, and not particularly likable. On the other hand, the author did an excellent job redeeming Pauline and the entire last section was very emotional. In the end, I did like it and I'll probably remember the last chapter long after the rest has faded. ( )
  golden_lily | Mar 29, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
When Prince Camillo Borghese meets Napoleon's sister Pauline, he is at once mesmerized and intrigued, but although he is considering marriage, Pauline is not the woman he would choose. After hearing rumors of her scandalous behavior, Camillo decides against Pauline, but when he one day spies her unaware, he realizes that she is a beautiful woman that he could one day love and decides to marry her and make her a princess. Pauline brings to the marriage one young son named Dermide and a young girl named Sophie who has been placed in Pauline’s care by her brother Napoleon. As Camillo and Pauline begin their marriage, things are almost immediately rocky between them, for Pauline doesn’t wish to conduct herself in a ladylike manner and begins having affairs with several other suitors, a fact she doesn’t hide from her husband. Aside from this, Pauline also spends extravagantly and often neglects her son and her charge, spending countless hours doing what pleases her. All these things lead Camillo into a dance of betrayal and forgiveness that spans several years of their marriage. Sophie also is having difficulty with Pauline, for although she idolizes and loves her, Pauline neglects her and uses her as a pawn in her power struggles with Camillo. In this historical fiction debut, readers come face to face with the manipulative and selfish Pauline Borghese, a princess who only looks out for herself, no matter what the consequences are.

Though I’ve read a little about Napoleon and knew he had siblings, I didn’t have the faintest clue about what their lives were like or what kind of people they were. When I picked up this book, I hadn’t even read the jacket copy, so it was all a very big surprise to me. This isn’t your typical historical fiction read for a lot of reasons that I’ll go into, but mainly because it centered more around character development than any historical event or period. As the author explains in the afterword, his motivation for writing this book was to chronicle the life story of one of his most famous and maligned ancestors. While I think he succeeded with the story of the ever ostentatious Pauline, the book left a little to be desired in its scope and execution.

Pauline was not a very likable person, in my opinion. She was extremely vain and manipulative, and so much of a vixen that she would coax any available man into compromising situations in order to frustrate and enrage her husband. It was frustrating to me to read about this, so I can only imagine how frustrating it must have been for Camillo to live with it. Camillo was a loving and attentive man, wishing to give Pauline happiness and pleasure, but Pauline never recognized his efforts and repeatedly chose to stray from him and then to defend her right to do so. She made a cuckold of her husband very early on in the marriage and continued to do so, even though it embarrassed herself and her brother Napoleon. Though at times she tries to behave, it never seems convenient enough for her to do so for very long, and soon she reverts back to past sins and indiscretions. As the story progresses, Camillo and Pauline engage in a back and forth see-saw of attraction and repulsion.

The relationship between Pauline and Camillo was sad to watch, but I felt more sorrow at the relationship between Pauline and Sophie. Sophie loved Pauline and was continually debased and taken advantage of because she left her heart open to her guardian. Though she would do anything for the princess, Pauline cruelly uses her and subverts the love she has for her. At times Pauline is unimaginably cruel to her charge and puts her very life in danger to satisfy her whims, and though she tries to be a mentor to the young girl at times, she only succeeds in being vulgar and inappropriate when attempting to teach the young girl the ways of love. Like her relationships with the other people in her life, Pauline can be cruel and vindictive to Sophie, and when her mind fastens on a goal, she thinks nothing of putting the young girl in harm’s way. Through it all, Sophie stays loyal and true to Pauline and, in the end, even Camillo finds a way to forgive her for her transgressions, which made me a little mad to tell you the truth.

One of the things that I found very surprising was that it was filled with graphic sex scenes. Now, I am no prude, but these scenes just seemed a little out of place in a historical fiction novel, and thinking back on it, I’m quite sure this is the only historical fiction novel I’ve read that utilizes this concept. I also got a little bored with Pauline’s excessive and poor behavior and wanted the story to focus more on the events that were happening in the world during that particular time, instead of on the bad behavior of Pauline. In the conclusion of the book, Pauline is forced to make her apologies to everyone around her, and comes to regret the way that she acted in the past. Though these sections were believable, they came a little too late for me and I couldn’t forgive the princess as easily as those in her life did. I’m almost certain the ending of the book was meant to elicit a few tears from its audience, but I remained staunchly dry-eyed because these sections felt a tiny bit contrived and orchestrated.

My feelings on this book are a bit muddied. Though princess Pauline was indeed a retched character whom I grew very tired of reading about, there was also a sort of train-wreck quality to her life that I couldn’t seem to look away from, and it was interesting to see how those around her dealt with the messes that she so expertly created. This isn’t historical fiction at its best, and that is mainly because it’s so tightly focused on people instead of events, but it is a book that might just give you a character that you will love to hate. I think readers who are looking for something that is well rounded and more historically involved would be disappointed with this book, but those who love troubled characters could possibly fall right into Pauline Borghese’s life and find it riveting. A mixed bag of a book. ( )
  zibilee | May 6, 2011 |
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In a tale inspired by her life, Napoleon's sister, Pauline, marries Prince Camillo Borghese, a complicated relationship orchestrated by the ambitious Napoleon that soon becomes compromised by her scandalous behavior.

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