Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution

Michelle Moran, Crown, $25 (464p) ISBN 978-0-307-58865-4
From Versailles to Boulevard du Temple, royalists to revolutionaries, art to science, Moran (Cleopatra's Daughter) returns with a new historical novel of fierce polarities. Set during the French Revolution, with an emphasis on the Reign of Terror, Moran's fourth deftly chronicles the consequences of seeking reversals in power–or liberty. Marie Grosholtz, the talented wax sculptress who would become Madame Tussaud, narrates with verve. She and her family are "survivalists" who "straddle both worlds until it's clear which side will be the victor…" but never come across as opportunists; they are resourceful, sympathetic individuals facing an unraveling nation and an increasingly angry mob mentality. Though readers may wince at the inevitable beheadings, the storming of the Bastille, and the actions of men like Robespierre, Moran tempers brutality with Marie's romance and passion for artistry; quiet moments in the family's atelier provide much needed respite. This is an unusually moving portrayal of families in distress, both common and noble. Marie Antoinette in particular becomes a surprisingly dimensional figure rather than the fashionplate, spendthrift caricature depicted in the pamphlets of her times. A feat for Francophiles and adventurers alike. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/14/2011
Release date: 02/01/2011
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-0-307-58867-8
Hardcover - 683 pages - 978-1-4104-3706-8
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-61707-450-9
Paperback - 462 pages - 978-0-307-58866-1
Paperback - 432 pages - 978-1-84916-138-1
Paperback - 432 pages - 978-1-84916-137-4
Compact Disc - 978-1-4001-4988-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-4001-1988-2
MP3 CD - 978-1-4001-6988-7
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