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Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow: A Novel of Marie Antoinette

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Posted May 28, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow by Juliet Grey is the second no

    Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow by Juliet Grey is the second novel of a trilogy based on the life of Marie Antoinette. The first book in the series was entitled Becoming Marie Antoinette. This second book focuses on the early years of Marie Antoinette’s reign as Queen of France and spans fifteen years of her life. It explores the development and evolvement of the French people’s animosity towards their monarch in the years leading up to the French Revolution.

    When it comes to Marie Antoinette, I continue to be fascinated by her story. There have been numerous novels written about the life of this fascinating woman. What makes this book different than the others is that it portrays Marie Antoinette in neither a good light nor bad. Juliet Grey has done a marvellous job of showing us her faults and errors, as well as her naïveté and inexperience in a non-judgmental way. And because her life story is presented in a trilogy format, readers are able to understand this heroine in a deeper, more meaningful way. An example of this is how the author dealt with Marie’s affair with Axel Ferson – she portrayed the passion, guilt, and shame intricately and in a way that truly makes the young, unhappy queen seem real and vulnerable. Her foolishness in relentlessly gambling away money was portrayed very well – the losses were truly astounding – and her lack of remorse or worry truly shows us many of her less desirable qualities. Her frivolous spending was depicted as well as some of the queen’s more generous acts of charity or kindness. The novel is told in first person narrative in Marie’s voice. This engaging voice, coupled with vibrant descriptions of clothing, palaces, masques, and dinners, really thrusts the reader into the story.

    Although I did not have the opportunity to read the first book in the series, I was able to follow the story easily without having to struggle to remember characters and situations. Power and great wealth can truly corrupt, especially in the hands of a very young woman thrust into the role of queen. For those wishing an indepth interpretation of Marie Antoinette’s life, this trilogy is perfect. Exceptionally well done!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2013

    Very good book

    This book was very good... I ddnt know it was part of a series when i got it so i will need to read the first one now but i cant wait to read the last one, though we know how it ends.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2012

    Very interesting book about this time in history

    I found this book fascinating. It gave you a different picture of Marie Antoinette than you were led to believe. Her husband seemed to be weak, unable to make changes that would benefit the people of France, and not perceptive to what they were going through and I felt that she was more aware of her surroundings and what needed to be done. I can't wait for the third book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2012

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    Posted September 1, 2014

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