top of page

The true story behind a beloved fairy tale


1547: Pedro Gonzales, a young boy living on the island of Tenerife, understands that he is different from the other children in his village. He is mercilessly ridiculed for the hair covering his body from head to toe. When he is kidnapped off the beach near his home, he finds himself delivered by a slave broker into the dangerous and glamorous world of France’s royal court. There “Monsieur Sauvage,” as he is known, learns French, literature, and sword fighting, becoming an attendant to the French King Henri II and a particular favorite of his queen, the formidable Catherine de’ Medici. Queen Catherine considers herself a collector of unusual people and is fascinated by Pedro…and determined to find him a bride.


Catherine Raffelin is a beautiful seventeen-year-old girl whose merchant father has fallen on hard times and offers up his daughter to Queen Catherine. The queen will pay his debts, and his daughter will marry Monsieur Sauvage.


Catherine meets Pedro for the first time on their wedding day. Barely recovered from the shock of her father’s betrayal, she soon finds herself christened “Madame Sauvage” by the royal courtiers, and must learn to navigate this strange new world, and the unusual man who is now her husband.


Gorgeously written, heartbreaking and hopeful, Marvelous is the portrait of a marriage, the story of a remarkable, resilient family, and an unforgettable reimagining of one of the world’s most beloved fairy tales.  


PRAISE FOR Marvelous

"In prose wrought with exquisite rhythm and infused with startling imagery, Greeley conjures compelling emotional depths for her characters. An immersive and rewarding read, unreservedly recommended."


"Enchanting. Molly Greeley has pulled off a piece of magic, traversing the 16th-century courts of Paris and Rome to tell a dazzling love story about the outcast's ache to be cared for and belong.

This book broke my heart and put it back together again."


author of A Tip for the Hangman

“One of the most moving novels I’ve read in years. Rich in compassion, wonder, and intimacy, Molly Greeley’s latest will break your heart open in the best possible way, proof that the best fairy tales are woven from the mysteries of human experience. Simply superb."


author of Unnatural Creatures and The Lost History of Dreams

"An extraordinary, grownup reimagining of the tale of an outcast longing for love."

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, Ten Best Books of February 2023 


"Richly detailed and imaginative. Readers will relish Greeley's emotionally potent tale."


"MARVELOUS is a tender, aching novel... a hard-to-forget delight that will break and fill your heart in equal measure."



"In MARVELOUS, Greeley bridges four hundred years and our own image-obsessed time with beautiful humanity, moving philosophy and spellbinding prose.

MARVELOUS proves how love is always what truly binds and saves us in the end."


bestselling author of Bloomsbury Girls


"One of the most perfectly told works of historical fiction I have ever read." 


author of The Mozart Code


"MARVELOUS will tear at your heart, especially knowing how historically accurate it is in many instances. Petrus and Catherine were real people with real issues and the author does a beautiful job presenting this to her readers. MARVELOUS is an amazing book."


"Molly Greeley's MARVELOUS is truly a tale as old as time, by turns melancholy and hopeful, exquisitely illuminating the only true forever in our lives: love, family, and the ties that bind us. One of the most purely beautiful books I've ever read." 


author of The Witch and the Tsar


"Greeley does a masterful job... It was a joy to read this novel."


bottom of page