The Passion


By Jeanette Winterson

cover image of The Passion

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The New York Times–bestselling author interweaves the destinies of Napoleon’s cook and an enigmatic Venetian woman in this “arresting, elegant novel” (Publishers Weekly).
A faithful soldier of the Grande Armée, Henri is given the honor of serving meals to Napoleon himself. After all, Henri is short—and no one over five-foot-two ever serves the emperor. But when following his revered leader brings him to near-starvation in Russia’s frozen winter, Henri is disillusioned and desperate for escape.
The web-footed daughter of a Venetian boatman, Villanelle has long been acquainted with the advantages of dishonesty. Trust hasn’t been her strong suit since her heart was stolen—literally—by a noblewoman she once loved.
Soon these two will meet their shared destiny in the chaotic carnival that is early 19th century Venice. In The Passion, Whitbread Award-winning author Jeanette Winterson delivers a “historical novel quite different from any other” (Vanity Fair).
“Recalls García Márquez . . . Magical touches dance like highlights over the brilliance of this fairy tale about passion, gambling, madness, and androgynous ecstasy.” —Edmund White
The Passion