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Review | Born Of No Woman

by Franck Bouysse

Published : 21st October 2021

Publisher : W&

Format : Kindle, Hardback

Genre : Historical Fiction

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* All words highlighted in Grey are affiliate links to either purchase from a range of sellers or links to the authors sites. Where ever possible I will try and provide different versions of the book on all purchase sites.


Nineteenth-century rural France.

Before he is called to bless the body of a woman at the nearby asylum, Father Gabriel receives a strange, troubling confession: hidden under the woman's dress he will find the notebooks in which she confided the abuses she suffered and the twisted motivations behind them.

And so Rose's terrible story comes to light: sold as a teenage girl to a rich man, hidden away in a old manor house deep in the woods and caught in a perverse web, manipulated by those society considers her betters.

A girl whose only escape is to capture her life - in all its devastation and hope - in the pages of her diary...

My Review

Firstly I want to start this review off by stating that this book was my book of the month pick for October and is also my Book Of The Year choice so far!

Itโ€™s intense, disturbing, heartbreakingly sad yet at the same time a love story that is beautiful in places.

Told over multiple narratives set in rural Nineteenth-century France, the story opens with Gabriel, he is a priest and has been serving in his village for many years. One day during confession a young lady who he doesnโ€™t recognise asks him to bless a womanโ€™s dead body the next day at the local asylum. What makes it a strange request is the notebooks she insists he takes to read as she can no longer be the only other person to shoulder this womanโ€™s secrets of a past that was full of abuse at a young age.

This is where Rose's terrible story begins. Sold at the age of fourteen by her father to a rich older man, Rose is taken to an old manor house deep in the woods and is kept a prisoner by the master and his mother. Being made to cook during the day and be brutally raped at night all so Rose can get pregnant and the master and mother take the baby away to raise as their heir.

A short while later Rose is eventually sent to the asylum by the mother to give birth. She is left to rot after they have what they want, after befriending a nurse who sneaks in notebooks Rose finds her only escape is to write down her tortured life within the pages of her diary.

I absolutely loved this story, ita extremely harrowing to read and my heart broke for how Rose was treated.

Why I Loved It

Originally translated from French this novel has received many awards and itโ€™s clear to see why.

I loved how i read from multiple POV, giving a deeper sense of how lives are lived and the different way were torture each other. Finally coming full circle at the end with some shocking twists I didnโ€™t see coming.

The author has written an extremely powerful piece of fiction.

The details throughout give you a clear picture of what you are reading in exquisite detail and I believe this is a must for any avid readers shelf.




Buy from

๐Ÿ›’ Waterstones

๐Ÿ›’ Amazon


I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on this review, if you have read this book why not drop me a line telling me your thoughts?


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