Author: Lenny Bartulin
Publisher: Allen and Unwin
Publication Date: 1 July 2019
Genre: Historical Fiction/Literary Fiction
Source: ARC from Publisher
In 1806 Napoleon Bonaparte conquered Prussia. Beginning on the very day he leads his triumphant Grande Armee into Berlin through the Brandenburg Gate, Fortune traces the fates of a handful of souls whose lives briefly touch on that momentous day and then diverge across the globe.
Spanning more than a century, the novel moves from the Napoleonic Wars to South America, and from the early penal settlement of Van Diemen's Land to the cannons of the First World War, mapping the reverberations of history on ordinary people. Some lives are willed into action and others are merely endured, but all are subject to the unpredictable whims of chance. Fortune is a historical novel like no other, a perfect jewel of epic and intense brilliance.
Fortune presents an interesting concept, and the book certainly caught and held my attention from start to finish. The way the story weaves from character and character and year to year works well. Once or twice I felt I would have liked to have spent a little more time with certain people and gotten to know them better, but overall there was sufficient detail sketched into the characters and situations for the reader to relate to them and follow clearly what was happening, to whom, and why. The prose style was simply yet engaging, and I would certainly been keen to read further works from this author in the future. I recommend Fortune to fans of historical fiction with a literary fiction bent, or historical fiction readers looking for something a little different from the usual fare.