Customer Reviews for

Becoming Marie Antoinette

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  • Posted October 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Infectious confection

    Becoming Marie Antoinette starts at the beginning where Marie Antoinette is still balancing her courtly lessons with her desire to chase after butterflies. She hardly seems ready to reign and dance through the political webs of French court, especially with a husband equally ill-prepared. Juliet Grey brings this young woman to life and captures her voice so vividly that one cannot help but to love her. I especially enjoyed the moments when Marie tries to capture Louis's attention - their relationship seems so beautiful in its awkwardness. The only downside that I noticed was the ending. Granted, Becoming Marie Antoinette is simply Book 1 in a series, but I had wished it had continued a little bit longer just when the story starts to take off.

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  • Posted September 28, 2011

    history that is never boring...

    The most I know of Marie Antoinette is that she was a worldly queen who got beheaded for her extravagance. Reading Becoming Marie Antoinette has not only proven me wrong, but has also given me enough interesting views of her life and true character to keep me yearning for more. Was she really as complacent and uncaring as popular history had depicted her, or had she simply been misunderstood, falling prey to the blaming fingers of her French subordinates, being a foreign queen and all?

    Maria Antonia, youngest archduchess of Austria, was a typical young girl who loved to play and frolic instead of burying her nose in books and lessons of import. Her life changed drastically when she was forced to mature beyond her years to marry the dauphin of France, Louis Auguste, therefore sealing a most important alliance between two countries previously at war with each other. Becoming Marie Antoinette is about this young girl's transformation from a frolicking hoyden with not much womanhood to speak of into the most charmingly delightful woman in the French court. The journey was never easy, and even as her formal lessons were over, she found out she still had so much to learn, so much to become, before she could finally fit into her new home in Versailles, France. The fact that her husband didn't seem to want to touch her was only making matters worse. And with elders constantly telling her to do this and that, sometimes even contradicting themselves, Maria Antonia felt like a helpless pawn in the chessboard of politics and royalty.

    But she managed to remain resilient and idealistic of her role as the future queen of France, although a few missteps could not have been prevented. Becoming Marie Antoinette provides its readers with an extensive look at the routines and habits of two different courts, and how their very contrasting values will help shape the morals and ideals of the last queen of France-reputed to be one of the most misunderstood royalties in history.

    Reading this novel felt easy, although at times I couldn't help feeling annoyed at whole French sentences suddenly springing out of nowhere. I understand they are supposed to help give sort of a genuine feel to the story, but they really have a way of throwing off non-French speaking readers like me. Aside from that, the narrative was fairly accessible, the narrator's plight wholly relatable, and the story interesting enough to warrant a sequel or two.

    After all, any story about Marie Antoinette never ends until the heads start rolling-for which I intend to know the real reasons why...

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