Sunday, May 13, 2012
MADAME TUSSAUD: A NOVEL OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION by MICHELLE MORAN
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Source: Publisher for review
More Info: Goodreads || Amazon || Book Depository
Other Blogger Reviews: The Lost Book Reports
In Paris, in the year 1788, there is whispered talk of revolution. While the aristocracy enjoys wealth and fortune, for the poor bread can only be had on the black market, and men sell their teeth to put food on their tables. Marie enjoys a comfortable life thanks to her skill creating wax figures. At her stepfather’s famed wax museum, the Salon de Cire, she has worked with some of the most influential people of her day—Desmoulins, Benjamin Franklin, and Robespierre—to craft their likenesses. Word of her gift travels quickly and soon the royal family comes to pay Marie a visit to the Salon. Impressed by her work, Marie is invited to court, where she tutors the king’s sister, Princesse Élisabeth, in wax sculpting. Living at Versailles, Marie experiences the opulence of King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette, but the fairy tale abruptly comes to a halt when the rumors of revolution quickly turn into all-out war. All over Paris, people are being sentenced to death by guillotine on ridiculous charges. For her relationship with the monarchy, Marie is on the list of “traitors,” but the revolutionaries allow her to live on one horrifying condition: that she use her gift to create the death masks of the beheaded aristocracy.
Spanning five years, MADAME TUSSAUD takes readers from the beginnings of the Revolution to its horrific end, as seen through the eyes of an incredible heroine whose talent for wax modeling saved her life and preserved the faces of a vanished kingdom. Rich with history and graceful prose, Moran has vibrantly re-created the glory—and the horrors—of eighteenth-century Paris through Marie’s incredible story.
Here's a little known fact about me: I absolutely adore anything that has to do with history. When I read the first line of the summary of MADAME TUSSAUD, I instantly knew I had to read this book. And the story that MICHELLE MORAN has written in this novel manages to be both fascinating and instructional all at the same. This is definitely a book that captivated me and has become one of my most interesting reads of 2012 so far.
Marie Grosholtz is based on the real Madame Tussaud, and I love the way that MICHELLE MORAN wrote her character. It's difficult to make a character both ruthless and emotional at the same time, but the author succeeds in this particular quest. I can admire Marie's nerves of steel and her serious business acumen, if only because it is perfectly balanced out with her love for her family, friends and her more empathetic and understanding side. She makes a great narrator for this particular account of the French Revolution, if only because the role she plays is quite unique.
MICHELLE MORAN turns historical figures and events into a novel that's quite easy to read. Any reader will be able to pick up this novel and enjoy it, even if they have no previous knowledge of the French Revolution. A few helpful bits are also given at the beginning and end of the novel.
The novel is an account of Marie's story, but also tells of the French Revolution and how that event changed many people's lives in France. This combination of the personal and the public was very well-balanced, so that the reader can get a pretty good understanding of what's going on in both aspects of Marie's life.
As I said earlier, the novel is also incredibly fascinating. Once I had picked it up and started it, I just had to know what was going to happen next. I went through many different emotions while reading this novel - and any book that can inspire me to actually feel things is incredible in my book.
I say you should...
Read this book, regardless of whether or not you're a fan of history like I am. MADAME TUSSAUD by MICHELLE MORAN was definitely a fun read, both intelligent and real, and I absolutely loved it.