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Bestselling author Marge Piercy celebrates the lives of the brave and dedicated women who changed the destiny of a nation in this novel set during the French Revolution

For Claire Lacombe and Pauline Leon, two poor women of eighteenth-century France, the lofty ideals of the coming revolution could not seem more abstract. But when Claire sees the gaping disparity between the poverty she has known and the lavish lives of aristocrats as her theater group performs in their homes, and Pauline witnesses the execution of local bread riot leaders, both are driven to join the uprising. They, along with upper-class women like Madame Manon Roland, who ghostwrites speeches for her politician husband and runs a Parisian salon where revolutionaries gather, will play critical roles in the French people’s bloody battle for liberty and equality.
Author Marge Piercy’s thrilling and scrupulously researched fictionalized account of these real women’s lives shines with emotional depth and strikingly animated action. By interweaving their tales with the exploits of men whose names have become synonymous with the revolution, like Robespierre and Danton, Piercy reveals how the contributions of these courageous women may be lesser known, but no less important. Rich in detail and broad in scope, City of Darkness, City of Light is a riveting portrayal of an extraordinary era and the women who helped shape an important chapter in history.

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