Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Madame Tussaud - Michelle Moran

Before I read this book, all I knew about Madame Tussaud was it was the name of a world famous wax museum. I didn't really have much knowledge of the French Revolution as well. But I have enjoyed all of Michelle Moran's previously novels depicting other historical time periods. Michelle Moran does a really good job depicting the French Revolution as well. This book shows the ignorance of the common people of that time, and the naivete of the Royals. Although some conversations and interactions may be imagined by the author, most of the events did take place. According to the Author, most of the facts are correct. She did change a couple of the facts to pertain to the novel, but most of it was true to the best of her knowledge.

Michelle Moran does a wonderful job bringing you back to that era. Making you understand exactly how the mood was during that time. I found myself wanting to know more about that era, and researching parts that were briefly depicted in the novel so I could understand it more thoroughly. The author sparks that fascination and brings the characters back to life in the horrific tale of the French Revolution.

Each chapter states the time frame and starts off with a Quote that was documented from that time period. The novel follows Madame Tussaud who was known at that time as Marie Grosholtz. She lived with her uncle Curtius and her mother at the Salon de Cire learning the art of wax. The salon was a great attraction for people of that time, to come and get the latest news of the time depicted through wax figurines made by Marie and Curtius.

To read about Marie Grosholtz and learning about all she had to endure during the French Revolution, was pretty emotional. Changing the wax figures and Tableau to correspond with the latest news whether she agreed with it or not, making death masks of recently decapitated prisoners, tolerating the rapid change of the government and not knowing if she would be the next they would take prisoner or not. Michelle Moran pulled out the emotion of the characters and really making you feel like you, yourself are there as well. It was hard not to feel for the characters as they suffered the worst.

At the end of the novel, the author, ties up all the loose end and briefly recaps the lives of the characters who futures were not told in the book. She also goes on to explain the history of the time and what was completely true in the book. There is a glossary at the end of the book as well to help with some of the French words along the way. Although, with a kindle it is kind of hard to go back and forth between the story and the glossary.

The novel was very easy to read and flowed really nicely. I can't wait to read Michelle Moran's next historical fiction!

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