Releasing today, this conclusion to the Marie Antoinette trilogy has a well-known ending, but the journey to that end is riveting and rich with imagery. While essentially sympathetic to the oft-unsympathetic Queen, the story details a perspective that is often not shown in popular history: setting the characters and actions against the surroundings, described with lush phrasing that creates an easily visualized scene for readers.
This is my first encounter with both this author and series, although this book clearly is the later years of Marie Antoinette’s life, I did not find difficulty with storyline, characters or following the story. While ostensibly this story is about the nobility and the horrors they faced in the revolution and upheaval, it also brilliantly details the deleterious affects the revolution had on the common people, as well as those in active support of the uprising. This provided a balance of perspective that, while not providing a clear line of who was right or wrong, did illuminate the situation from both sides, providing background information that helped better understand the motives and affects.
Of course, reading this story is much like seeing the movie Titanic, you know it won’t end with a happily ever after, but the moments to the ending are moments to savor and appreciate, for the pure beauty of the writing, the characters that breathe forward from the story into your mind, and the descriptions that bring late 18th century France to life.
Title: Confessions of Marie Antoinette
Author: Juliet Grey
Genre: Biography / Memoir, Historical Non-Fiction, Literary Fiction
Published by: Ballantine Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
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A novel for fans of Philippa Gregory and Michelle Moran, Confessions of Marie Antoinetteblends rich historical detail with searing drama, bringing to life the first years of the French Revolution and the final days of the legendary French queen.
Versailles, 1789. As the burgeoning rebellion reaches the palace gates, Marie Antoinette finds her privileged and peaceful life swiftly upended by violence. Once her loyal subjects, the people of France now seek to overthrow the crown, placing the heirs of the Bourbon dynasty in mortal peril.
Displaced to the Tuileries Palace in Paris, the royal family is propelled into the heart of the Revolution. There, despite a few staunch allies, they are surrounded by cunning spies and vicious enemies. Yet despite the political and personal threats against her, Marie Antoinette remains, above all, a devoted wife and mother, standing steadfastly by her husband, Louis XVI, and protecting their young son and daughter. And though the queen secretly attempts to arrange her family’s rescue from the clutches of the rebels, she finds that they can neither outrun the dangers encircling them nor escape their shocking fate.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.