The year is 1811, the apex of Napoleon's empire. Two French travelers meet en route to Italy -- he playing truant from his official responsibilities, she bent on escaping her empty life. She opens his mind to the possibility of a woman as equal and friend; he urges her to defy convention and pursue her heart's desire. Their inner conflicts are echoed among the Italians they encounter. A Promise on the Horizon (Granville Island Publishing $24.95) by Ann Pearson is based on episodes in the youth of French writer Stendhal. The novel uses his Italian diary as the frame, interweaving it with fictional events and characters to create a nuanced portrayal of the Napoleonic era. Pearson grew up in Suffolk, England, did an Honours' degree in French at the University of London before moving to Vancouver where she completed a PhD in French literature. Subsequently, she taught French for a number of years before joining the Arts One programme at the University of British Columbia. She is currently working on a second Napoleonic era novel, set in Cornwall this time.

A Promise on the Horizon (Granville Island Publishing 2019) $24.95 9781989467022

[BCBW 2019]