Empress Josephine of France, wife of Napoleon Bonaparte, at one stage faced the guillotine before her famous marriage. She also created a garden filled with plants and animals she gathered from across the globe.
From her home in a bush-clad valley in Coromandel Peninsula, Stephanie Parkyn has written a novel about this woman who survived certain death to face an uncertain future with her Emperor husband, who was desperate for an heir.
Two other women from very different spheres are tied to the fate of the Empress Josephine - Marthe Desfriches and Anne Serreaux. Their lives are put at risk as they each face confronting obstacles in their relationships and in their desire to become mothers.
Stephanie Parkyn tells Lynn Freeman that Josephine's Garden is her second novel. Her first, Into the World, was published in 2017 also by Allen and Unwin