Friday, November 11, 2011

Review: Becoming Marie Antoinette, Juliet Grey

Publisher: Ballantine Books
Pages: 480
Genre: Historical fiction
Release: August 2011
Source: ARC from Netgalley
Nice to know: This is Grey's debut and the first book in a planned trilogy. The next book in the series Days of Splendor;Days of Sorrow is expected in 2012.

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.

Captivating and entertaining

Becoming Marie Antoinette is a captivating and wellresearched novel about a girl who became one of the most talked about queens in the history of the world.

From a very early age Marie Antoinette was destined for great things. Her mother, the empress of Austria, sought only the best possibilities for her daughters, and once she decided to try to get the dauphine of France, Louis, to marry Marie Antoinette, Marie Antoinette's destiny was sealed. In the palace at Schönnbrunn she was given countless hours of training to one day, maybe, become the queen of France.

The novel starts in 1766, when Marie Antoinette was still a young and carefree girl who liked to fool around with her sisters and play tricks on her governess. We follow Marie Antoinette through the years until the moment when she and Louis are about to be put on the throne of France.

Juliet Grey has written a great historical novel, and managed to bring Marie Antoinette to life. Through extensive research and details she shows us how Marie Antoinette transforms from a young and innocent girl, and to the woman that married the dauphine of France. We learn a lot about the history of Austria and that of France.

This was a time when marriage was a strategical maneuvre, and when love was not a part of the picture. A time when a lot of people succumbed to diseases like smallpox and not all children lived to grow up.

Becoming Marie Antoinette should be read by anyone who likes a good and entertaining historical read, and also would like to know more about the woman that became the queen of France. I am eager to read the next installment in this trilogy.

Other reviews:
Medieval Bookworm
Passages to the Past

Juliet Grey can be found at Goodreads here.


aLmYbNeNr said...

Great review! I can't wait to read the next installment either. You are right - this is definitely a well-researched novel.

The Musings of ALMYBNENR

Mari - Escape In A Book said...

Mary Antoinette has always fascinated me. I'm taking a note of this book.

Mari - Escape In A Book said...

Gee now that was embarrassing, I managed to call her Mary. I know it should be Marie, of course!

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