Fast-paced with a multitude of characters.
As a triumphant Napoleon rides into Berlin, the crowds gather. In the crowd are a number of people whose paths cross, both on the day, and throughout their lives as the story moves from Germany to Brazil to Australia.
“The sun was the whole sky. Intense tropical heat poured down onto the ship, enough to spoil the beef in the brine barrels, melt the pitch in the deck timbers. It dripped down, hot and scalding, onto the prisoners below.”
“The day was already hot and humid. Every day was the same, every day was hot and humid; every day the heat pressed down and the buildings and trees in Cayenne shimmered in the light.”
“On the horizon, a black speck sailed across the white line of sky and sea, …”
“Johannes looked into Wolfie’s eyes, which were the colour of rain clouds. And then his friend smiled and his face broke into a thousand granite lines and crevices and crags. And there in all that stone, in all those sharp planes and weathered edges, Johannes saw the kindest face that had ever been shown him before.”~Quotes from the book.
- Queensland Reviewers Collective: “This is an exhilarating and very entertaining novel. It is unusual to find poetic prose, evocative descriptions and fast pace writing in the same novel. But here it is – Fortune.”
- Readings: “An extraordinary performance by Lenny Bartulin, this thrilling historical novel jumps, skitters and clatters across the page under your eyes. A vaudevillian juggling act of entertainment, history and intrigue, the story is as much declaimed as written.”
- The Sydney Morning Herald: “The fast-paced novel carries us to prisons and plantations; into palaces and across the Pacific. There’s crime and grime, murder and mystery, love is found and love is lost, as the lives of the characters criss and cross in unexpected ways against the backdrop of a momentous century in world history.”