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Throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, in the harem of the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, hundreds of women spent the long, lonely evenings reclining on silk pillows, smoking opium, eating gold-dipped almonds and entertaining themselves with stories. Their favorite stories were always about the women who had left their marks behind the guarded walls – the ones who had a lasting effect on the monarchy. But those whose legends reached out beyond the harem, became revered. One such story stood above them all; the little French convent girl abducted by pirates, who became the power behind the thrones of three Sultans and changed the Ottoman Empire forever.

The legend of Aimée Dubucq de Rivery, has survived on three continents for more than two hundred years. The Stolen Girl tells the first part of her extraordinary story, her adolescence on the Caribbean island of Martinique, and her voyage to Paris where her hopes of finding a husband are shattered. Resigned to live as an old maid at the ripe age of eighteen, she decides to become a nun and sets sail to visit her relatives on Martinique one last time. On the journey, she meets and falls in love with a dashing young Scotsman. But fate had other plans for Aimée, ones that were foretold by an African Obeah woman when she was fourteen years old.

Her closest friend and cousin, Rose Tascher de la Pagerie, also born in 1763 on Martinique, leaves the island for Paris one year after Aimée to marry a dashing young aristocrat, Alexander de Beauharnais. Married life proves to be a great disappointment, and none of her dreams come true until the French revolution changes everything.




The Stolen Girl The French Sultana