Confessions of Marie Antoinette

Confessions of Marie Antoinette

A Novel

Book - 2013
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The final years of Louis XVI's reign is told through the eyes of the legendary Austrian woman who became the French queen and never actually said, "Let them eat cake."
Publisher: New York :, Ballantine Books Trade Paperbacks,, 2013
ISBN: 9780345523907
Branch Call Number: F Grey
Characteristics: 445 pages ;,21 cm


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Oct 08, 2014

The ending was brilliantly written and brought me to tears, the novel itself was heartwrenching. The only thing that lowered my opinion of the book was the author's commentary at the end. Though she provided information on the fates of the people who surrounded Marie Antoinette during her lifetime, the author made some comments about how she wrote the books and her own personal thoughts that struck me as insulting to the reader. I don't think that it's ever good form for a writer to tell the reader what they should be thinking of their work.

When I read the author tell me to "Get a Kleenex and get over it. I won't have Marie Antoinette survive the French Revolution and live happily ever after with Axel and the kids in Stockholm just because you don't want to cry at the end of the novel" - I was like, really? Have a seat, Juliet Grey. If the trilogy were written as a modern take on Marie Antoinette's story or some alternate universe fantasy, such an ending might have been suitable. But I never expected a radically different ending from what really happened, and I think it was arrogant of the author to assume that 1) her writing would surely make readers cry, 2) readers actually didn't WANT to cry over Marie Antoinette, and 3) readers were expecting her to play with historical facts. That was just one comment the author made that made me subconsciously (or maybe consciously) aware of the parts where I thought her writing wasn't so great - like the redundant number of times she described how certain places and people stank. I get it. France circa 1789 smells really bad. Please describe something else, maybe how Marie's children look? I never had an idea of what to imagine about Mousseline, the princesse de Lamballe, and numerous Mesdames and Messieurs that were hard to keep straight without being a history aficionado.

Aside from the author's commentary which I personally think ruined the beautiful ending of the story, the novel was good and I would recommend the trilogy to historical fiction fans.

samdog123 Dec 04, 2013

This is the last in a trio of books by Juliet Grey about Marie Antoinette. The whole series is excellent, starting with "Being Marie Antoinette" to "Days of Splendor days of Sorrow" to this, the final book. This book is really a culmination of the previous two and they should be read in order to get the proper sequence of events as they happened. The indignities forced upon the monarchs are difficult to read about. All the events of the revolution seem to happen so quickly and you learn of excesses of the revolution as it begins to implode upon itself. Finally, we are left with a wonderful character here in Marie Antoinette, a much maligned monarch who was a dedicated wife, supporting her husband through all the difficulties of his reign and a devoted mother to her two children.


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