Vanessa Riley

About Vanessa Riley

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Queen Charlotte, Black Queen, Black History, Queen of Haiti, Women's Empowerment, Black Royals, Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex Markle

Praise for Queen of Exile

"You may not know Marie-Louise Christophe but once you have met her, you won't forget her. Vanessa Riley's historical novel feels timely and relevant, commemorating a time when Black women were queens." - Jodi Picoult, #1 New York Times bestselling author
"A sweeping look at the political, social, and romantic intrigue surrounding Haiti's first and only queen. Riley's depiction is richly imagined and wholly original." - Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author of The Magnolia Palace

"Queen of Exiles is the riveting account of Marie-Louise Christophe, Haiti's first and only Queen. Bold, ambitious, historically sound and beautifully told." - Sadeqa Johnson, New York Times bestselling author of The House of Eve

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Passionate, regal Marie-Louise Christophe, wife and then widow of King Henry I, jointly ruled the newly liberated Kingdom of Hayti, guiding the nation's renaissance until it fell to a violent uprising.

In 1810 in a ceremony befitting European royalty, Louise is crowned queen, reigning over the first free Black nation in the Western Hemisphere. She must temper Henry's lust for power and honor against court intrigues and the indifference exhibited by former allies like Britain and the new United States that leave Hayti vulnerable to demands of French reparations, war, and recolonization. Louise desperately tries to steer her ambitious husband from ruin as King Henry descends into a mire of mental illness.

In 1820, the kingdom is overthrown. Henry dies by his own hand. Louise and her daughters manage to flee to Europe with their smuggled jewels. The resilient Louise recovers Henry's fortune and reestablishes herself as an equal to the kings of Europe. With newspapers and gossip tracking their every movement, she and her daughters tour Europe like other royals, complete with glittering balls and princes and marriage proposals. As they find their footing--and acceptance--they discover more about themselves, own their Blackness in elite spaces, and celebrate opportunities in a European and male-dominated world.  

Queen of Exiles is the tale of a remarkable Black woman of history--a canny and bold survivor who chooses the fire and ideals of political struggle and then is forced to rebuild her life on her own terms, forever a queen.



Sisters AARP

Duchess of York's Historical Book Club



Publisher: HarperCollins | Imprint: William Morrow |Hardcover
Release: July 2023