Thursday, September 22, 2011

Book Review: Becoming Marie Antoinette by Juliet Grey

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.

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

This was the first fictionalized book of Marie Antoinette I have read, and it's been many years since I learned anything about her in school, so I was fortunate to read and enjoy with a "blank slate" mind-set.  So, I learned a lot.  The troubles she had with her mother believing she wasn't good enough really touched me.  I was astonished at the lengths they went to in order to make her a "suitable" bride for the French prince.

While reading other reviews, I noticed that a lot of readers noticed how Marie would constantly refer to herself as not educated, yet speak with a highly educated tongue.  This dichotomy can be over-looked; however, many words used in the book were either actually french, french-related, or referred to some obscure item/subject from that era.  This makes a book hard to read if you don't know what those things are. 

Overall, it was an enjoyable book.  A reader can learn a lot about the royal courts and Marie Antoinette's life before she was queen.  The book is rather long and not a particularly fast read, but well worth it.

*Disclaimer:  I received this book for free from the publisher, Random House, through NetGalley.  I was not required to write a positive review.

I give this book 3 Bookworms.

Paperback:  480 Pages
Publisher:  Ballantine Books; Original edition (August 9, 2011)
ISBN-10:  0345523865
ISBN-13:  978-0345523860

Ebook:  708 kb
Sold by:  Random House Digital, Inc.

1 comment:

  1. I love reading about royalty. As for using large words and not being educated - as my gramma used to say 'just because you are poor doesn't mean you have to look or sound poor.'