Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran

Title: Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution
Author: Michelle Moran
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Acquired: Received free for an honest review
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 88% or B+

The world knows Madame Tussaud as a wax artist extraordinaire . . . but who was this woman who became one of the most famous sculptresses of all time? In these pages, her tumultuous and amazing story comes to life as only Michelle Moran can tell it. The year is 1788, and a revolution is about to begin.

Smart and ambitious, Marie Tussaud has learned the secrets of wax sculpting by working alongside her uncle in their celebrated wax museum, the Salon de Cire. From her popular model of the American ambassador, Thomas Jefferson, to her tableau of the royal family at dinner, Marie’s museum provides Parisians with the very latest news on fashion, gossip, and even politics.

Spanning five years, from the budding revolution to the Reign of Terror, Madame Tussaud brings us into the world of an incredible heroine whose talent for wax modeling saved her life and preserved the faces of a vanished kingdom.

My Thoughts::
It always takes me a little while to get into any historical read. I have to read at least 20 pages before I start to feel like I'm part of this old society. This is the second book by Michelle Moran that I read, and I'm glad that I did. I think what she does is magical. It's like getting a history lesson masked as a novel. I came out of this knowing so much more about the French Revolution. I had to go and rewatch Marie Antoinette because I was feeling nostalgic for these times that I didn't exist it.

I really enjoy how Moran wasn't afraid to show it like it was. She didn't skip around on the strong emotions or gory details. Which I appreciate and think it made the novel so much better. Since I live in the U.S and I'm not a big "map" person, it got a little confusing as too where she was talking about. Some of the dialect that was used I didn't understand either, thankfully there was a glossary. These small confusions were masked by the beauty of the novel. I always talk about how much I love dystopian reads, and while this is not dystopian, it gave me the same feeling. It transported me to a world that was nothing like the one I know, that was dealing was many big issues.

When most people write about the French Revolution, it mostly revolves around the royal family. It was fun to see an outsiders take of what was going on. Madame Tussaud had to think about every single choice wisely because she had to please both the revolutionaries, and the royalists so that her family could stay safe. When she wasn't focusing on the big issues at hand, we got to understand her complete love and devotion for making the wax models and the importance that she thought they had. She seemed like a really interesting person, and I'm glad that I got to experience her in some way.

Even though many conversations and details were made up so the story would flow well, the main events and focus points really happened. I find that amazing and it makes me love history so much more.

Overall I think that Madame Tussaud was an unsurprisingly shocking read. I would recommend it to anyone interested in history, or just a past that they never got to experience.

No comments: