Synopses & Reviews
This enthralling confection of a novel, the first in a new trilogy, follows the transformation of a coddled Austrian archduchess into the reckless, powerful, beautiful queen Marie Antoinette.
Why must it be me? I wondered. When I am so clearly inadequate to my destiny?
Raised alongside her numerous brothers and sisters by the formidable empress of Austria, ten-year-old Maria Antonia knew that her idyllic existence would one day be sacrificed to her mother’s political ambitions. What she never anticipated was that the day in question would come so soon.
Before she can journey from sunlit picnics with her sisters in Vienna to the glitter, glamour, and gossip of Versailles, Antonia must change everything about herself in order to be accepted as dauphine of France and the wife of the awkward teenage boy who will one day be Louis XVI. Yet nothing can prepare her for the ingenuity and influence it will take to become queen.
Filled with smart history, treacherous rivalries, lavish clothes, and sparkling jewels, Becoming Marie Antoinette will utterly captivate fiction and history lovers alike.
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"The first book of a planned trilogy by Grey is another sympathetic take on the fascinating and doomed Marie Antoinette. Grey takes command early by giving Marie's most famous line to someone else and having Marie dismiss it as silly. 'She should have gone out among the people and fed them,' Marie says. Grey's Marie is kind to servants and close to her sister Charlotte, whose loveless marriage forces them apart. Marie's mother amasses power through her children's arranged marriages; Marie is 10 when promised to Louis Auguste of France. Grey chronicles the pains Marie goes through to become the dauphine, from intensive French lessons to mastering a ridiculously difficult walk. Grey's Marie is also a romantic: she longs for the love that her parents had. Once at Versailles, she commits a number of faux-pas as she grows into her title; her shy husband seems uninterested in her; the pressure to produce an heir is overwhelming. Grey's pseudo-antiquated style coupled with Marie's first-person perspective creates the occasional clunker ('and who would not prefer to caress the strings of a harp than dispose of someone else's urine?'), but the detailed litany of the young woman's travails makes for a good story, even if we all know how it ends. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
JULIET GREY has extensively researched European royal history and is a particular devotee of Marie Antoinette. She and her husband divide their time between New York City and southern Vermont.