New Historical Novel Chronicles Voyage of French Aristocratic Family During Civil War

Posted on January 17, 2013 by Bobby Bernshausen | 0 Comments

Set in the years surrounding the Civil War, Dianne Kirtley paints a picture of one girl’s journey of love, loss, and destruction in her new historical fiction novel Point of Departure. It is 1841, and fourteen-year-old Charlotte Mailliard should be concerned with French fashion, French tradition and her studies with her classmates, who just happen to be Napoleon Bonaparte’s nephews. Instead, her Papa has decided to move his family to America. Now all that consumes her thoughts are the rumors of “savages” and slave auctions. Charlotte could not foresee that her journey to the “New World” would take her up close and personal with the exact things she feared for so long. As Charlotte and her family mature through marriages, births, and deaths, the Civil War makes its way into their lives. It is the common theme of war that causes Charlotte to realize she is but one cog in the endless cycle of love and loss, the bane of a country where another Illinois native son will not abide “a house divided.” Dianne Kirtley taught English, Journalism and Creative Writing at Nazareth Academy in LaGrange Park, Illinois for twenty-five years. Point of Departure was inspired by the discovery of information about one of her husband’s ancestors whose family were personal attendants to the Bonapartes. Kirtley explains, “When I began the investigation of Charlotte Mailliard, reading her letters and visiting the places where she lived, I felt her story begged to be told. After seven years of work, I hope she would be pleased with my effort.”

Point of Departure is available in softcover (ISBN 978-1-62137-188-5) and eBook (ISBN 978-1-62137-189-2) from,, and This book can also be ordered from most bookstores around the United States and United Kingdom. More information can be found at the author’s website,

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