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On a cloudless summer afternoon in 1789, labourers working in the fields around Montsignac, a village in Gascony, saw a man fall out of the sky.

On a cloudless summer afternoon in 1789, labourers working in the fields around Montsignac, a village in Gascony, saw a man fall out of the sky.

The balloon had drifted over a wooded ridge and into their valley. The farmworkers, straightening up one by one, shaded their eyes against the dazzle of the sun on crimson and blue silk. The thing hung in the sky - sumptuous, menacing - like a sign from God or the devil. Then there was thunder and fire, and a man plummeting earthwards. It was the 14th of July. The world was about to change.

The timeless story of Sophie nursing the ambition to create a repeat-flowering crimson rose, the like of which has never been seen in Europe. Then Stephen, the American balloonist falling out of the sky and into Sophie's life - a love story that unfolds against the sensuous green landscape of Gascony. It is the 14th of July, the year is 1789 and revolution hangs in the air closing in on the private world of the Saint-Pierre family and threatening to change their world forever. Michelle de Krester's gripping tale of love, roses and the French revolution is seductive, moving and beautifully written. The popularity of this book has made it a bestseller in Australia and the UK and the US.

Reviews

Witty, clever and intriguing ... satisfying, seductive ... slyly elegant, wry and humourous ... she writes so tenderly of rose growing and so ironically of revolution.

The Sydney Morning Herald

Deservedly praised ... Written with panache and humour ... evocative and intelligent.

The Weekend Australian

A beautiful piece of work. Behold a canvas crammed with broad streaks and fingerprints of red - of roses, blushes and blood.

The Age

Remarkably detailed, fresh and surprising ... a moving yet restrained love story ... absorbing and tragic ... accessible and compelling.

The Eye

Builds quietly and skilfully ... The writing is fluent, by turns gently ironical and lyrical, places and moments vivid ... an admirable novel, operating effortlessly on many levels, from witty romance to social critique.

The Courier-Mail

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780091842048

    April 7, 2000

    Vintage Australia

    320 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9781742749426

    November 1, 2012

    Random House Australia

    303 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo

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