Monday, November 28, 2011

Review: Becoming Marie Antoinette by Juliet Grey

Becoming Marie Antoinette
Author: Juliet Grey
Published: August 9, 2011
Genre: historical fiction
Paperback: 453 pages
Source: borrowed from the library

My Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis (from GoodReads): 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.

My Thoughts: I find Marie Antoinette to be an interesting person and I often look for books about her life. When I heard about Juliet Grey's new trilogy about her, I was intrigued. After finishing this book, I can say that this is such a thorough explanation of Marie's life, with so much detail, that I was astounded and drawn into the story! This novel focuses on the time from Marie first learning of her engagement to the day that she becomes queen of France. Grey goes into so much detail about Marie's life, from her life in the Austrian palace to her preparations to become the dauphine, and yet the story never drags. I found it to be interesting and Grey's writing to be light, which, given the subject matter and knowing Marie's eventual fate, is quite nice.

There is a lot of depth in this book, with several pages talking about Marie Antoinette having braces placed on her teeth (can you imagine having braces put on during the 18th century?!? I couldn't even begin to imagine how primative they much have looked!) I really liked the pace of the novel and the depth. You are able to learn a lot about Marie and Louis. While it is a work of fiction, Grey has done a lot of research on her subject and it shines through.

I cannot wait until the second book in this series comes out (sometime in summer 2012). And even though I know what happens to Marie, reading Grey's take on it is refreshing. If you enjoy historical fiction, especially that during the French Revolution, then this is definitely a book that you should read! Just be careful ... it will leave you eagerly awaiting the next book in this series!


  1. Sounds really good! I am adding to the TBR list.

    Beth ^_^

  2. I was really intrigued by this book. I love that it concentrates on her youth instead of the story everyone knows!

    Can't wait to see what part 2 will bring!