Gracie's simple life on St. Helena dramatically changes when Napoleon Bonaparte is brought to the island as a prisoner.
As long as Gracie could remember, she had been told stories of Napoleon Bonaparte, who would stop at nothing to rule the world. Now defeated, the most famous and dreaded man alive has been banished to the very island where she lives.
Like a small ship stuck fast in the ocean, St. Helena is far from anywhere. Gracie wants to run away, but there is nowhere to go. Circumstances grow worse when her work places her in direct proximity to the man she regards as a monster.
Set in a pivotal historical period, the story of Gracie reveals the grinding hardship and daily dramas of an eleven-year-old girl of the time. Though she and Napoleon never meet, the Emperor takes an interest in her and suddenly aspects of Gracie's life are mysteriously made easier. It soon becomes clear to her that only one person could be responsible.
This is historical fiction at its best. With masterly writing Errol Broome imaginatively recounts the extraordinary story of a broken emperor and a spirited, compassionate young girl.