Caroline Petit

The Natural History of Love

The Natural History of Love is a historical novel loosely based on the 19th century lives of French explorer, naturalist and diplomat the Count de Castelnau and his lover Carolina Fonçeca. Only 16, Carolina’s life changes forever when the dangerously ill Count is left on her remote plantation. With a head full of Balzac and dreams of Parisian life, she is beguiled by the middle-aged Frenchman. What Carolina doesn’t know is that François has a wife and son back in France. Desperate for a new life, she makes a decision that will follow her in Brazil, the salons of Paris and the early days of Melbourne.

Praise for The Natural History of Love

‘A sweeping tale of love and an epic period of history.’

-Toni Jordan

A gripping tale of forbidden love, evolution and family inheritance that sinks in its claws and won’t let go.’

-Melissa Ashley

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About the Author

Caroline Petit was born in Washington D.C., raised in Maryland and now lives in Melbourne with her husband. She is a graduate of Chatham College in Pittsburgh and holds advance degrees from Johns Hopkins University, the London School of Economics, the University of Melbourne’s School of Law and a Graduate Arts Diploma in Professional Writing and Editing from RMIT. Her previous novels, The Fat Man’s Daughter and Deep Night, were published in the US by Soho Press.

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Events & Medias

Book Launch

Join Toni Jordan to launch Caroline Petit’s The Natural History of Love
Readings State Library — Woiworung Country, State Library Victoria, 285-321 Russell St, Melbourne 3000

This event is free to attend but bookings are essential.

Williamstown Literary Festival Saturday June 18 1.30pm - 2.30pm Vivid History

Caroline Petit (The Natural History of Love) and Suzanne McCourt (The Tulip Tree) delve into the upheaval of 20th century Poland and 19th century Brazil before their sweeping novels land in Australia.
Chair: Jane Sullivan
Venue: Committee Room


Reviews are coming

Other Books

“A terrific read that conveys the mystery, tension and historical significance of a pivotal period of Asian history.”

Historical Novel Society

The period atmosphere and dialogue are faultless, the suspense is palpable, the characters are finely drawn.”

Tennessee Advocate

“Close to perfection.” Chicago Tribune

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