Sunday, August 14, 2011

Becoming Marie Antoinette

Becoming Marie Antoinette
Juliet Grey
398 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books

You can read the Goodreads summary here.

Becoming Marie Antoinette opens when Marie Antonia of Austria is just ten years old.  Her mother has announced that if all goes according to plan, she will marry the Dauphin of France, Louis, and thus someday become the Queen of France.  Princess lessons, for a lack of a better term, start right away - preparing Marie both mentally and physically.

I loved this book!  What drew me in the most was the character of Marie... Marie Antoinette was such a likable character; a very charming child that grew into a young wife determined to please her indifferent husband.  She had grace, humor, generosity, and style.  She didn't want to offend anyone and was acutely aware that she had it better than the commoners.

And when I read what happened to her immediately following her marriage, what her husband would not do, I couldn't help but have sympathy for her.  On her shoulders fell the great burden of providing an heir for France, but without the participation of her husband, that was impossible.  My favorite scenes in the novel were those between Marie and Louis as their admiration and love grew towards each other.

Aside from these things, which drew me in and had me clicking through the pages anytime I had a spare moment, the author's prose was simply beautiful.  Juliet Grey has a real talent for the written word and I'm looking forward to reading future novels by her.  On top of that, her research was impeccable.  This historical fiction is filled with historical fact and I enjoyed reading her blurb at the end of the book explaining where she took artistic license.

Like I said, I loved this book!  If you have any inclination at all towards historical fiction, I think you'll love it, too.  I am eagerly awaiting the second book in the trilogy, which is due next Spring.

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