Tuesday, March 8, 2011

"Madame Tussaud" Review

"Madame Tussaud"
by Michelle Moran

Publisher: Crown
Release Date: Feb 15, 2011

Source: ARC sent by the author

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:

In this deft historical novel, Madame Tussaud (1761-1850) escapes the pages of trivia quizzes to become a real person far more arresting than even her waxwork sculptures. Who among us knew, for instance, that she moved freely through the royal court of Louis XVI, only to become a prisoner of the Reign of Terror? Her head was shaven for guillotining, but she escaped execution, though she was forced to make death masks for prominent victims. Novelist Michelle Moran covers this breathtaking period without losing the thread of its subject's singular story.

My Review:

"Madame Tussaud" is another richly detailed historical epic from Michelle Moran. The author really knows how to transport the reader to another time and place. I could just see Marie Antionette's ornate gowns and I felt as if I were walking through Tussaud's carefully made wax tableaus. The writing is beautiful and Moran doesn't miss a single detail. The writing is never dry and the dialogue has a modern sensibility.

With Moran's previous book, "Cleopatra's Daughter" being one of my favorite books, I can't help but compare the two. This one didn't live up to Cleopatra Selene's story for me. Tussaud's story didn't seem as personal, the politics seemed to engulf the personal story. The violence and tragedy were overwhelming to me in this book. The time period didn't work quite as well for me, either. Maybe the biggest problem was that I loved the other book so much.

I would whole-heartedly recommend this to readers who are interested in the French Revolution. For the rest of us, and for the squeamish ones, it might be a little too bloody and political. But for those wanting to learn about the era, you'll get to meet most of the key political players and see many historic events unfold first hand. 

Main Characters: 4/5
Supporting Characters: 4/5

Setting: 4/5
Romance: 3/5

Uniqueness: 4/5
Cover: 5/5
Writing: 5/5

Bottom Line:
Michelle Moran continues to be one of my favorite authors and I think historical fiction readers who like a dose of politics with their stories are going to love Tussaud's story.

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