Dunant's clearly done her research, and I appreciate an accurate and sympathetic fictional account of the family. But I feel like this book fails as a work of fiction. That same historical research gets in the way of story, and large swathes of the book read as the straight listing of historical events. (Which isn't to say historical accuracy and good storytelling are mutually exclusive, just that they fail to combine here.) None of the characters come off the page with any real vibrancy, everyone is curiously flat, which is a shame when you're dealing with such interesting historical figures. I want to give it more stars, because Dunant has many a lovely turn of phrase and I appreciate the obvious love she has for the family, but although by no means unpleasant or difficult to get through, it just wasn't a very engaging or effective read for me.