In the Memoir Series about Napoleon that I have been broadcasting there just so happens to be one memoir that goes into detail on this very subject.
Napoleon’s eventual stepdaughter Hortense woke up one day and both her parents had been carried off to prison. She and her brother Eugene were put into training, where Hortense worked as a seamstress and her brother worked as a carpenter. They were cared for to a limited degree by the Princess of Hohenzollern who suddenly left France when her brother was executed and she wanted to get away from such horror.
Hortense’s father was executed and her mother narrowly escaped. After the terror was over, Hortense was shocked that her mother started hanging around such low down people as were running the Directory but her mother (who became known as Josephine) basically said she had to do what she had to do to get by.
This all happened before Hortense entered into the story of Napoleon.
If you’re interested in this amazing story, it’s here: