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Becoming Marie Antoinette : a novel
Juliet Grey
Adult Fiction GREY

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From Publishers' Weekly:

The first book of a planned trilogy by Grey is another sympathetic take on the fascinating and doomed Marie Antoinette. Grey takes command early by giving Marie's most famous line to someone else and having Marie dismiss it as silly. "She should have gone out among the people and fed them," Marie says. Grey's Marie is kind to servants and close to her sister Charlotte, whose loveless marriage forces them apart. Marie's mother amasses power through her children's arranged marriages; Marie is 10 when promised to Louis Auguste of France. Grey chronicles the pains Marie goes through to become the dauphine, from intensive French lessons to mastering a ridiculously difficult walk. Grey's Marie is also a romantic: she longs for the love that her parents had. Once at Versailles, she commits a number of faux-pas as she grows into her title; her shy husband seems uninterested in her; the pressure to produce an heir is overwhelming. Grey's pseudo-antiquated style coupled with Marie's first-person perspective creates the occasional clunker ("and who would not prefer to caress the strings of a harp than dispose of someone else's urine?"), but the detailed litany of the young woman's travails makes for a good story, even if we all know how it ends. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

Grey's first entry in a new trilogy devoted to the life of the ill-fated Marie Antoinette details the exacting training the young Austrian archduchess underwent to be deemed worthy of the French crown. The novel carries readers from Marie's childhood when her mother ruled the Hapsburg Empire with an iron thumb and demanded perfection from her children, to her arrival at Versailles and her struggle to survive the French court's backstabbing politics and sneering courtiers. Grey's extensive research into European royal history shines through her incorporation of complex politics with the beauty of French court life. Her sympathetic portrait reveals Marie Antoinette as the woman many historians feel her to have been: a young girl caught in an ancient and outdated political regime that was impossible to change. Verdict A great read that is sure to be requested lovers of historical fiction, especially those who enjoyed Michelle Moran's Madame Tussaud and other novels about the French Revolution. [Library marketing.]-Audrey M. Jones, Arlington, VA (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Had to change everything about herself in order to be accepted as the wife of Louis XVI.

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