Thursday, October 9, 2014

Becoming Marie Antoinette by Juliet Grey

This enthralling confection of a novel, the first in a new trilogy, follows the transformation of a coddled Austrian archduchess into the reckless, powerful, beautiful queen Marie Antoinette.
"Why must it be me?" I wondered. "When I am so clearly inadequate to my destiny?" 

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. 

Paperback, 453 pages
Published August 9th 2011 by Ballantine Books
(ebook copy provided by netgalley for honest review, 
audio version from personal library)

My first foray into the world of Maria Antonia, later to become Maria Antoinette.  This is the first book in a new trilogy which begins when still a young girl and her marriage to the future King Louis is being arranged.    I knew next to nothing about Marie Antoinette, other than her ending, so this book was a chance to get to know her.  

Just like in England women (girls) are political pawns to be married off and sent where ever meets their parents ambitions.  Told in first person by Maria herself it was easy to connect with her, to feel her fears and apprehension.  She is still young when her journey from Austria to France begins.  This book is full of rich details and painted a vivid picture of her new life.  

This was my first book by Juliet Grey, she has shown herself to be quite knowledgeable of this time period and  I look forward to continuing with this series.

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