Wednesday, May 29, 2013

To Be Loved

Becoming Marie Antoinette (Marie Antoinette #1) by Juliet Grey

Summary: 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 changeeverything 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.

Filled with smart history, treacherous rivalries, lavish clothes, and sparkling jewels, Becoming Marie Antoinette will utterly captivate fiction and history lovers alike.

Review: An enjoyable historical fiction novel with a very sympathetic, perhaps too sympathetic, Marie Antoinette.

I’ve read a few historical fiction novels about Marie Antoinette. I believe I’ve read one or two nonfiction books about her. I do want to read more about her and the French Revolution as well. The views on Marie Antoinette can fall into two extremes: an innocent woman caught up in events beyond her control or a woman who cared only for her own pleasures. From what I’ve learned so far, I believe it to be a bit of both. Of course, as long as the author does it well, I can read either perspective.

Becoming Marie Antoinette takes the perspective of Marie Antoinette being innocent of what is going on around her. I found her to be a sympathetic character that was forced into a role that no teaching could fully prepare her for. The difference between the French and Austrian courts seems to be incredibly vast (and I certainly plan to learn more about 18th century Europe). Marie Antoinette was being pulled between varying self-interests. As I said before, the author made her sympathetic, but at times I found her to be too good.


Recommendation: I would recommend this book to those that enjoy reading about Marie Antoinette.

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