An action-packed and often funny historical novel. The chapters are alternately narrated by 18 year old Constance and her younger brother Pier. As the oldest daughter of a downwardly mobile family in Ghent, Constance has no option but to marry a wealthy, much older man, right? Well, she chooses to dress as a man and join Napoleon’s army. Meanwhile, Pier needs to escape the clutches of a crooked customs officer and get their father out of debtor’s prison. Squeamish readers might disagree, but the historical details - especially of life in the army, battle (Aspern-Essling in 1809) and treatment of the wounded in the Napoleonic wars - are absolutely fascinating.