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I received my copy in the mail with a mixture of excitement and, to be honest, nervousness! Because Marie Antoinette is probably my deepest historical interest, I'm always antsy when reading a new book about her, especially a novel. Before beginning to read, I decided that I wanted to get through 50 pages a day and finish the book in little over a week. The book arrived on June 17th - and I couldn't help but eat up the entire novel as swiftly as I could manage, and finished it on June 20th!

The length of this book allows for a much greater development of character than, in my opinion, any previous novel about the queen. In a typical Marie Antoinette narrative, she's in Versailles by page 20 - it's close to pages before Marie Antoinette steps foot on French soil, and the connection to her character is all the stronger for it. The story enjoys a slower pace but a much better sense of personality, setting, and overall story.

It feels like a historical fiction novel, not a biography with some dialogue and flowery phrases tacked on. I've heard Becoming Marie Antoinette described as a 'confection' of a novel, and the term is a pretty apt description for Juliet Grey's writing.

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The colorful descriptions of faces, palaces, dresses, and odors both pleasant and horrid are vivid and imaginative, without sounding like the same tired cliches commonly found in historical fiction. Speaking of historical fiction Any changes or tweaks on history are done for the smoothness of the narrative, and nothing that really detracts from the characters of Marie Antoinette or her family. To sum up, I loved this book. It's uncommon that I will literally say: If the rest of the trilogy lives up to this first installment, I think Juliet Grey's "Marie Antoinette" trilogy will be a treasured set on many bookshelves.

Jun 06, Danielle rated it really liked it Shelves: I won a copy of this through Goodreads first reads and I'm grateful because it's a book out of my normal realm of reading. The story was interesting and enchanting. It was eye opening to see what life was like back when Marie Antoinette lived! The language was difficult at times switching from Austrian to French to English and back again. Strangely enough stumbling through the language didn't make me toss this book aside. In fact I was left wanting more! Thank you, Juliet and Goodreads - it was m I won a copy of this through Goodreads first reads and I'm grateful because it's a book out of my normal realm of reading.

Thank you, Juliet and Goodreads - it was my honor to read this novel! Enjoyable and fun history romp. Becoming Marie Antoinette is the first of the author's planned trilogy about the woman baptized as Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna of Austria, but remembered and historically vilified as Queen Marie Antoinette of France. Chronicling her all-too-short years from adolescence to her ascension to the throne of France in , a well-rounded, human version of the woman emerges from the pages of this easy-to-read historical fiction.

The later books in t Enjoyable and fun history romp. The later books in the series Days of Sorrow, Days of Splendor is the tentative title of book two will focus more on the time Marie reigned alongside her doomed husband, Louis XVI. Beginning when the petite archduchess is only ten, the novel chronicles several tense years as she tries to cement with marriage an alliance the Empress Maria Theresa desperately needs. Thrust between two all-powerful monarchs the aforementioned Maria Theresa of the Holy Roman Empire and Louis XV of France in a then-prevalent way of forging peace between warring European states, Marie has to please her mother and honor Austria all the while making France her country's ally.

By trying to remain true to Austria all the while attempting to win the unfriendly French to her side shows the sheer impossibility of Marie's position in life. Amid impossible goals, treacherous relatives, scheming courtiers and her own impossible husband, it was remarkably easy for me to feel quite sympathetic for this character.

Using this constant national game tug-of-war between the powers frequently creates a great deal of tension and pressure for the young girl for the entire novel. While she might be dauphine and first woman of France, Marie never is free or independent, nor truly, exuberantly happy. Marie, coming from a huge family of fifteen siblings and parents who married for love, is understandably upset by his lack of feeling and thus isolates herself from her one true ally for much of the novel.

I've not read many Marie Antoinette historical fictions, or even ones centering on the Gallic world. Winning this novel on goodreads. Happily, in this novel of hers, Ms.

Becoming Marie Antoinette

Grey does not immediately launch into the salacious and popular tales of the archduchess. By showing Marie at her most charming and vivacious in her young carefree years at home in Austria, a subtle foreshadowing of her tumultuous life in France is immediately brought to mind. I was very interested in her large, fractious Hapsburg family fifteen siblings! Maria Theresa was a woman emperor -- in her own right! Another thing this novel does well is dispense interesting facts and tidbits without interrupting or displacing the flow of the plot or Marie's development. Contrasting sharply with the long-held opinion of this Queen, Marie is shown to care for her Austrian subjects and even her French ones when their own King does not!

Grey conveys the thoughts of the noblewoman better when she subtly alludes to Marie's less appealing traits. However, in the world of France, which was governed by the strict Salic law of its time, Marie does quite well in claiming what power she can and using it, all while doing what she can to influence her husband, to future king-to-be and thus a very strong potential ally for her family and home. The extreme disparity of life in the Hofburg, where the royal Hapsburg family was far more relaxed, dressing in far less formal clothing and even playing with 'common' children, the strict and rigid way of life in Bourbon Versailles is a constant reminder of just how out of place Marie feels for most of her teenage and early twenties in France.

Constant reminders of how she does not fit in "l'Autruchienne" being a clever if vulgar pun on the French words for ostrich [Austria] and for bitch help to keep her off-balance and thus constantly caught between monarchs. In the end, the novel boiled down to this single question for me: Is this a Marie Antoinette I liked enough to read about for three novels and if the second two are as large as their page predecessor and pages only to have her die at the end?

And that answer is a loud YES. While it is not perfect, it IS an enjoyable and new look into one of history's most maligned women. Grey's writing is original and clever enough with familiar material from historical class to make it less learning and more experiencing life as Marie navigates through her life with Louis -- what she has of it left.

View all 5 comments. Aug 02, Carol rated it really liked it Shelves: My rating should actually be 4. I have decided to read the whole set because of the tremendous amount of research and uncovering the truth that the author, Juliet Grey has put into it. The writing is clear, never bogs down or gets boring. This first book covers the time that Marie Antoinette was a child of eleven to when her father-law, "Papa Roi" My rating should actually be 4.

For those, who love to learn about the fashion of the royalty, this book is rich in detail about the panniers and uncomfortable corsets and gorgeous materials of the gowns and sparkling beauty of the gems. Austria was so ahead of France, fashion wise.


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Now, I am interested in finding the answer to why that was so. For those, who love to learn the truth behind the myths that grew about Marie Antoinette, Juliet Grey does an excellent job of straightening out false history. At one point of the book, I was so wrapped in Marie Antoinette's situation that I wanted to grab her out of the book and drag her to our time period!

I felt so bad about her destiny. My mother instincts wanted me to rescue her from all the mistreatment she was receiving and the impossible demands. I wanted let her play with her little pug, Mog and be the child that she could have been. But there is no way to change what she went through so I had to sit back and watch her life move forward. I also wanted her future husband to have a better life. The description of her actions made me interested in knowing more. I am now planning to read a book about Louis XV's mistresses.

The portrait of Marie Antoinette is very compelling and makes me hungry for the next book of the trilogy, 'Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow. It should be out in the summer of I recommend this book to all historical fiction fans. I received this book as a part of the Amazon Vine program but that in no way influenced the content of my review. Sep 28, Juliet-Camille rated it liked it Shelves: First off, whoever designed this cover needs to be fired because they obviously have no idea how repugnant a cover like this would be to a majority of the people who would normally be attracted to this book.

Seriously, Publishers, the people who will read this genre, have probably already read at least one book about Antoinette, and will be seriously turned off by that image. Plus, this book only covers the first twenty or so years of Antoinette's life, and the woman on the cover looks like a mid First off, whoever designed this cover needs to be fired because they obviously have no idea how repugnant a cover like this would be to a majority of the people who would normally be attracted to this book.

Plus, this book only covers the first twenty or so years of Antoinette's life, and the woman on the cover looks like a middle aged soccer mom playing dress up in the privacy of her minivan. Okay, on to the novel itself- The whole thing was very "blah" it was readable; very slowwwwww but not necessarily boring. It's an interesting time period, and Grey handles it, but the Antoinette she crafted here was annoying, never moving beyond this scope of ninny and idiot. The world still believes she said " Let them eat cake As you can see, I was disappointed, however the atmosphere of the novel was strong.

It was only with the exception of a few historical hiccups - Marie's family endearingly call her "Toinette" even though she was always Antonia until her marriage - that stood apart for me as pet peeves. As I wrote this review I kept asking myself if I would recommend this novel to others, and I think I would, but maybe with a disclaimer that the novel itself will probably not be what you're be expecting it to be. Jun 04, Audra Unabridged Chick rated it really liked it Shelves: I love novels that humanize notorious figures so I was eager for Grey's take on Marie Antoinette.

From the first page, I immediately liked our famously despised heroine. Starting with her childhood, Grey introduces us to the pretty, jubilant young girl who is sacrificed to her mother's political aims. There's a staggering amount of research in this novel -- and it shows. The novel is written in first person, as Maria Antonia as she's known in Austria is polished and shaped and improved for her I love novels that humanize notorious figures so I was eager for Grey's take on Marie Antoinette. The novel is written in first person, as Maria Antonia as she's known in Austria is polished and shaped and improved for her politically expedient marriage to the dauphin of France, and as she learns, we the reader learn.

From the torturous gold braces required to straighten her smile to the ponderous, painful, ridiculous traditions of the French court, I was mesmerized. The novel ends just as Louis becomes king and Marie Antoinette queen; she's eighteen. What I appreciated the most about Grey's writing is that I never forgot our heroine was a child, essentially, and yet, I didn't find the story childish or young.

Marie Antoinette's behavior -- recorded and memorialized by numerous courtiers and writers -- is made human, realistic, and believable in Grey's hands. I felt deeply sympathetic toward most of the characters in this novel, even the villains especially the infamous Madame du Barry , because Grey provided such great context and grounding for their behavior. I'm excited for the second novel this is a trilogy and eager to see how Grey humanizes Marie Antoinette during some of France's most notorious historical moments. Another marvelous historical escape for the summer!

Para quem quer conhecer um pouco sobre esta escandalosa rainha, este livro afigura-se o ideal. Simply wasn't for me. I found the writing to be be eloquent and well done, but the story too drawn out for my taste and boring. Really, I guess there isn't much you can do with this particular woman in history though. Her character, in other books, as well as this one is ditzy and frivolous.

I thought this was a YA novel when I first heard of it so was expecting more action. Not sure how I had gotten that impression.

A Simple Story

Perhaps all the pink on the cover. View all 39 comments. Aug 18, Christy English rated it really liked it. A charming portrayal of the doomed Marie Antoinette long before her fate came to claim her. A lovely novel written in lovely prose. The young Marie Antoinette speaks in a clear voice, never losing her sweetness as she navigates the wilds of Versailles and the French court. Nov 09, Glen Stott rated it really liked it Shelves: This is a biography written as a novel. It is the first of a trilogy that will take Marie Antoinette to her unfortunate execution.

Marie is born to the Royal Family of Austria and is engaged to the Prince of France at the age of It is an arranged wedding — she will not meet her husband to be until the day of the wedding. From the engagement forward, her life revolves around preparations to be become Queen of France.

A good deal of the book is driven by letters and other formal communications This is a biography written as a novel. A good deal of the book is driven by letters and other formal communications between the characters who were involved with Marie, including letters she authored. Finally, Marie is old enough to be sent to France for the wedding. The connubial success of a wedding involving a prince who will become king is very important and is watched for closely. Marie was 13 years old and had not physically matured. Months go by with no consummation and it is surmised by many that Marie is the cause.

The Queen then sends letters to Marie chastising her over her behavior. This leads her to some grief. Marie is now 18 and is a fully developed young woman, but still a virgin. Marie likes to go to balls, masquerade parties, and play cards. One night she meets the Swedish Count Von Fersen and is very taken with him. Then the King dies of smallpox and Marie will now become Queen of France.

It gives a comprehensive description of eighteenth century Europe, mostly from the point of view of the royal families and the relationships between the members of the families and the countries they rule. One gains a certain amount of empathy for Marie as a young girl thrust early into intrigues of her world. The letters and other documents lend an air of veracity to the book and a look into the thoughts and feelings of the historical figures surrounding Marie. Aug 02, Michele rated it liked it Shelves: This is the first novel I've read by this author who has written books under different names and I was really excited about the subject since I'm an admittedly huge fan of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI.

They have always had my sympathy for being caught in a horrible situation not really of their making and I think this novel does justice to them. The first of a proposed trilogy, Becoming Marie Antoinette follows the young archduchess of Austria through her childhood as the youngest daughter of This is the first novel I've read by this author who has written books under different names and I was really excited about the subject since I'm an admittedly huge fan of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI.

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The first of a proposed trilogy, Becoming Marie Antoinette follows the young archduchess of Austria through her childhood as the youngest daughter of the Empress Maria Theresa. We get to witness her relationship with the siblings she was closest to as well as her interesting relationship with her mother, who was quite eager to use all of her children as diplomatic pawns for Austria something to be quite expected in royal families.

As a character, I liked Marie Antoinette here, as well as most of the supporting characters. The use of the nickname "Toinette" might be an exception to this I'd like to be able to give the novel 3. Mostly this is because there were some things about the novel that prevented me from losing myself in the story. Firstly, the author has gone to great pains to emphasize Marie Antoinette's lackluster education. And she's absolutely correct. But the novel is told in first person narrative from MA's point of view and throughout the narrative, MA continually uses a vocabulary that is completely inconsistent with her education or lack thereof.

Phrases in the narrative not dialog include things like: It tends to pull the reader out of the narrative. There is also a lot of repetition throughout the novel. For example, we are told over and over that the Hapsburg family motto, 'Others wage wars to succeed, but you, fortunate Hapsburg, marry! Sex, violence or language are practically non-existent which would make this a good selection for a young adult audience, too.

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If you're looking for an in-depth, historically convoluted treatment of these characters, you might be disappointed. But if you're just looking for a light, fun read that includes tons of fashion and interior design descriptions which are sumptuous, by the way then you'll probably really enjoy this novel. The execution of the novel could have been better, but that's certainly just one person's opinion and I'm certain you can judge for yourself whether or not you'd enjoy this book. Aug 22, Margo Tanenbaum rated it really liked it Shelves: I am a bit obsessed with the tragic tale of Marie Antoinette, the epitome of the doomed Queen, and I'm clearly not the only one; her fascinating life continues to inspire novels, movies, and more.

The newest novel about her is the first in a planned trilogy by debut novelist Juliet Grey. The first novel begins in at the court of Maria Theresa of Austria, the Hapsburg empress who was Marie Antoinette's mother, and ends in with the ascension to the throne of France of two teenagers, Mari I am a bit obsessed with the tragic tale of Marie Antoinette, the epitome of the doomed Queen, and I'm clearly not the only one; her fascinating life continues to inspire novels, movies, and more. The first novel begins in at the court of Maria Theresa of Austria, the Hapsburg empress who was Marie Antoinette's mother, and ends in with the ascension to the throne of France of two teenagers, Marie Antoinette and her husband, Louis Auguste.

The next book, "Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow," is due out in , with the third part appearing in Grey establishes then Maria Antonia's happy childhood, frolicking with her many siblings at the Austrian court, which was much less formal than the etiquette-dominated splendors of Versailles. When Marie Antoinette is matched up with Louis XV's grandson, her life changes even before her marriage; she is expected to be completely transformed in order to be suitable as the Dauphine and future queen of France, from her education to her hairline to her teeth she was even given braces, which in the 18th century sounds like some kind of torture!

Grey paints a very sympathetic portrait of the young Marie Antoinette, totally naive and unprepared for the intrigue of the French court, where she soon becomes a pawn in a game played by the king's maiden daughters the "aunts" who conspire against the king's low-born mistress, Madame Du Barry.

Librairie generale francaise January 1, Language: Related Video Shorts 0 Upload your video. Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase. Great book, intriging plots, very good writer. If I had more time, I would have "swollowed" this book in 2, 3 days because it is so well written.

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