Captivating and Vividly Told: Read Our Review of The Natural History of Love by Caroline Petit

Captivating and Vividly Told: Read Our Review of The Natural History of Love by Caroline Petit

For fans of Elizabeth Gilbert’s The Signature of All Things and Pip Williams’ The Dictionary of Lost Words, The Natural History of Love is based upon the true story of 19th century French explorer, naturalist and diploma the Count de Castelnau and his lover Madame Fonçeca.

When Melbourne lawyer Nathan Smithson takes on the case of mad, wealthy Edward Fonçeca’s inheritance trial against his ruthless brother in 1902, he must unearth long-buried family secrets to have any chance of winning.

Brazil, 1852: François, the Count de Castelnau and French Consul to Bahia falls dangerously ill on a naturalist expedition and is delivered by a rainforest tribesman to the Fonçeca household. Carolina Fonçeca is sixteen years old and longs to leave the confines of her family’s remote Brazilian sugar plantation. With a head full of Balzac and dreams of Parisian life, she is instantly beguiled by the middle-aged Frenchman. What Carolina doesn’t know is that François has a wife and son back in France. Desperate for a new life, she makes a decision that will haunt her forever.

Melbourne-based author Caroline Petit says she was first inspired to write The Natural History of Love when she visited a decaying old mansion days before it was set to be demolished. The mansion was the former estate of Edward Fonçeca, the illegitimate son of Carolina and François, and it was this visit that set her on the path to writing this novel.

Petit states that her research into these real-life figures led her to uncover a story of “romance, infidelity, family resentment, madness and a couple’s shared passion for the science of evolution but what was missing from the archives entirely was the perspective of Carolina.” In The Natural History of Love, Petit seeks to rectify this absence by placing Carolina’s story front and centre. Here, she tells the story of a woman whose life is transformed when she falls for a man more than twenty years her senior.

Moving from the wilds of Brazil to the salons of Paris and the early days of Melbourne’s settlement, this novel is a sweeping historical tale brought to life through vivid detail and meticulous research.

Buy a copy of The Natural History of Love here.

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Your Preview Verdict: The Natural History of Love by Caroline Petit

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20 June 2022

Your Preview Verdict: The Natural History of Love by Caroline Petit

    A Sweeping Historical Tale: Read a Sample Chapter of The Natural History of Love by Caroline Petit

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    6 May 2022

    A Sweeping Historical Tale: Read a Sample Chapter of The Natural History of Love by Caroline Petit

      Better Reading Preview: The Natural History of Love by Caroline Petit

      Review | Preview

      6 April 2022

      Better Reading Preview: The Natural History of Love by Caroline Petit

        Publisher details

        The Natural History of Love
        Author
        Caroline Petit
        Publisher
        Affirm Press
        Genre
        Fiction
        Released
        26 April, 2022
        ISBN
        9781922711434

        Synopsis

        For fans of Elizabeth Gilbert’s The Signature of All Things and Pip Williams’ The Dictionary of Lost Words, The Natural History of Love is based upon the true story of 19th century French explorer, naturalist and diploma the Count de Castelnau and his lover Madame Fonçeca; a sweeping historical narrative set in the wilds of Brazil, salons of Paris and the early days of Melbourne’s settlement.

        When Melbourne lawyer Nathan Smithson takes on the case of mad, wealthy Edward Fonçeca’s inheritance trial against his ruthless brother in 1902, he must unearth long-buried family secrets to have any chance of winning.

        Brazil, 1852: François, the Count de Castelnau and French Consul to Bahia falls dangerously ill on a naturalist expedition and is delivered by a rainforest tribesman to the Fonçeca household. Carolina Fonçeca is 16 years old and longing to leave the confines of her family’s remote Brazilian sugar plantation. With a head full of Balzac and dreams of Parisian life, she is instantly beguiled by the middle-aged Frenchman. What Carolina doesn’t know is that François has a wife and son back in France. Desperate for a new life, she makes a decision that will haunt her forever.
        Caroline Petit
        About the author

        Caroline Petit

        Caroline Petit was born in Washington D.C., raised in Maryland and now lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband. She is a graduate of Chatham College in Pittsburgh and holds advance degrees from Johns Hopkins University, the London School of Economics, and the University of Melbourne’s School of Law. Her previous novels, The Fat Man’s Daughter and Deep Night were published in the US by Soho Press.

        Books by Caroline Petit

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