Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Book Review: Becoming Marie Antoinette

Author: Juliet Grey
Title: Becoming Marie Antoinette
Publisher: Ballentine Books
Publish Date: August 2011
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: Net Galley
Book Blurb: 
This enthralling confection of a novel, the first in a new trilogy, follows the transformation of a coddled Austrian archduchess into the reckless, powerful, beautiful queen Marie Antoinette.

Why must it be me? I wondered. When I am so clearly inadequate to my destiny?

Raised alongside her numerous brothers and sisters by the formidable empress of Austria, ten-year-old Maria Antonia knew that her idyllic existence would one day be sacrificed to her mother’s political ambitions. What she never anticipated was that the day in question would come so soon.

Before she can journey from sunlit picnics with her sisters in Vienna to the glitter, glamour, and gossip of Versailles, Antonia must change everything about herself in order to be accepted as dauphine of France and the wife of the awkward teenage boy who will one day be Louis XVI. Yet nothing can prepare her for the ingenuity and influence it will take to become queen.

Review: This is the second novel about Marie Antoinette that I've read this year. I have to say, of the two, I liked this one better, though it only focused on her young life, up until the time she became Queen of France.  There will be 2 more books that will continue her life story.

This book really makes Marie human, rather than the flighty woman who says "let them eat cake." It is true that she wasn't a very intelligent girl, but she wasn't evil or really a bad queen. For the most part, she was a young girl who wanted things that young girls want, pretty clothes and shiny things! Plus you must understand, this girl was shipped off to become dauphine at 14!! She was Queen of France before she was 20 years old. It is no wonder she had the problems she had! She was just a child.

Juliet Grey does a wonderful job bringing Marie, Louis and Maria Theresa to life on the pages. Marie's mother is a formidable woman, who would probably make the Tiger Mom's of today pale in comparison.

There isn't much new to be said in this novel. There are countless books written about Marie Antoinette, so why read this one?

The reason is in the simplicity. This novel doesn't bog you down with lots of history. It is a novel, not a history book. It is a fun read, and a good introduction into the life of a queen that history will not forget. I'm looking forward to reading the next two books in this series.

Rating: 4 flowers


Blog Design by Use Your Imagination Designs using images from the Tea Time kit and the Saturday Night kit by MK-Designs