Hub City Bookshop welcomes Diana Giovinazzo for a virtual reading of and discussion about her new novel Antoinette's Sister. Based on the real-life figure Maria Carolina of Austria--sister to the infamous Marie Antoinette and an eighteenth century queen in her own right--the novel is a transporting adventure filled with political intrigue, sweeping romance, and riveting royalty. Giovinazzo will be in conversation with author Christina Baker Kline, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of eight novels, including The Exiles, Orphan Train, and A Piece of the World. This event will take place virtually via Crowdcast; it's open to all, but save your seat and your copy of the book via the link below!
As Marie Antoinette took her last breath as Queen of France in Paris, another formidable monarch—Antoinette’s dearly beloved sister, Charlotte—was hundreds of miles away, in Naples, fighting desperately to secure her release from the revolutionaries who would take her life. Little did Charlotte know, however, that her sister’s execution would change the course of history—and bring about the end of her own empire.
“You are the queen. You are the queen that Antoinette wanted to be.”
Austria 1767: Maria Carolina Charlotte—tenth daughter and one of sixteen children of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria—knows her position as a Habsburg archduchess will inevitably force her to leave her home, her family, and her cherished sister, Antoinette, whose companionship she values over all else. But not yet. The Habsburg family is celebrating a great triumph: Charlotte’s older sister, Josepha, has been promised to King Ferdinand IV of Naples and will soon take her place as queen. Before she can journey to her new home, however, tragedy strikes. After visiting the family crypt, Josepha contracts smallpox and dies. Shocked, Charlotte is forced to face an unthinkable new reality: she must now marry Ferdinand in her sister’s stead.
Bereft and alone, Charlotte finds that her life in Naples is more complicated than she could ever have imagined. Ferdinand is weak and feckless, and a disastrous wedding night plunges her into despair. Her husband’s regent, Tanucci, a controlling and power-hungry man, has pushed the country to the brink of ruin. Overwhelmed, she asks her brother Leopold, now the Holy Roman Emperor, to send help—which he does in the form of John Acton, a handsome military man twenty years Charlotte’s senior who is tasked with overseeing the Navy. Now, Charlotte must gather the strength to do what her mother did before her: take control of a country.
In a time of political uprisings and royal executions and with the increasingly desperate crisis her favorite sister, Queen Marie Antoinette, is facing in France, how is a young monarch to keep hold of everything—and everyone—she loves? Find out in this sweeping, luxurious tale of family, court intrigue, and power.
“Antoinette’s Sister is a feast of royal fiction, full of court politics, international intrigue, family loyalties, and power struggles. And at the center of it all is a determined and fascinating real-life historical woman. Diana Giovinazzo brings Queen Maria Carolina Charlotte to life, as well as the vibrant portion of Italy that she ruled. This book will absolutely sweep you away.”
— Alyssa Palombo
Diana Giovinazzo is the co-creator of Wine, Women and Words, a weekly literary podcast featuring interviews with authors over a glass of wine. Diana is active within her local literary community as the president of the Los Angeles chapter of the Women's National Book Association. For more information, please visit her website: dianagiovinazzo.com.
A #1 New York Times bestselling author of eight novels, including The Exiles, Orphan Train, and A Piece of the World, Christina Baker Kline is published in 40 countries. Her novels have received the New England Prize for Fiction, the Maine Literary Award, and a Barnes & Noble Discover Award, among other prizes, and have been chosen by hundreds of communities, universities and schools as “One Book, One Read” selections. Her essays, articles, and reviews have appeared in publications such as the New York Times and the NYT Book Review, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, LitHub, Psychology Today, and Slate.