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Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran
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Madame Tussaud

by Michelle Moran

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7047913,474 (4.02)46
  1. 01
    Désirée by Annemarie Selinko (riofriotex)
    riofriotex: A fictional biography of the woman who was engaged to Napoleon (before Josephine) and later became Queen of Sweden, written in a similar style (chapters headed by dates) as Moran's book. It continues on with the history of France after Moran's book ends.… (more)
  2. 01
    The Confessions of Catherine de Medici by C. W. Gortner (bsiemens)
    bsiemens: This historical novel is about a strong, French woman during a period of civil unrest.
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Showing 1-5 of 77 (next | show all)
I enjoyed and learned a lot about the French Revolution that I didn't know before from this well researched and riveting historical novel. It makes me wish that I could visit the Madame Tussaud's waxworks in London. ( )
  Electablue | Apr 20, 2016 |
Excellent historical novel about the French Revolution and Reign of Terror told from the point of view of the famous business woman / artist. Entertaining, yet I feel like I have a much deeper understanding now of some of the lives and deaths of a number of famous figures. ( )
  sydsavvy | Apr 8, 2016 |
Marie is an ambitious and driven wax sculptress during the late 1700's in Paris, France. She is summoned to become the tutor for Madame Elizabeth, the sister of King Louis XVI. It is then during the French Revolution that she is asked to make "death masks" of those the National Assembly deems as traitors and people they consider a threat to the tyranny that Robespierre and his followers have put upon the people of France.

I can remember reading this and at one point thinking "O this is like the House of Wax place that does the celebrities", not realizing that it is in fact the same exact person.

I overall liked the book. I thought the beginning of the book was a little slow but I thought about the last half of the book was pretty good. I liked the relationship between Marie and Henri and the emotion that was conveyed by her when the people closest to her were killed. I thought this was a good representation of how things were back then and actually felt bad for the royal family compared to what we were taught in school about them during this time. ( )
  welkeral | Mar 20, 2016 |
great historical fiction - i knew very little of the french revolution before reading. ( )
  anglophile65 | Mar 8, 2016 |
I had some mixed feelings about Madame Tussaud. I was really excited when I won it from Goodreads First Reads, and I started it right away. The story was riveting, and I didn't want to put it down once I'd gotten into it; but to be honest, that was probably mostly because of the subject matter. The story of the French Revolution is fascinating and absolutely horrifying, and now that I've read it, this novel represents the bulk of my knowledge about that subject aside from watching Les Miserables. That was a pretty big draw for me.

But I wasn't a huge fan of the writing. Stylistically it's choppy with a lot of sentence fragments, and certain aspects of the story progress pretty abruptly. The story line of the revolution flows well because it's full of historical details, but Marie's love story happens in lurches--on one page he's just a neighbor to whom she's attracted, and then suddenly he's kissing her neck and telling her he wants to marry her. (Sorry, I should've warned you about spoilers, but that's not really even a spoiler so don't worry about it. There may be some mild ones later on, though, so now you may consider yourselves warned.) It felt like there were big gaps in the conversations, where things should have been said in order for it to make sense but weren't, which made much of the dialogue not very believable.

I also found Marie difficult to like, which is rough on any book. Since Madame Tussaud was a real person, I have to acknowledge that this may not be the author's fault--I don't know what she was like in real life, and it may be that Michelle Moran has simply described her as she was. But I find it hard to love a character whose primary concern in literally every single situation is the welfare of her business--and not because her business is struggling and she fears for its survival, but because she is obsessed with profits and her "ambition," which she talks about constantly. Her business is actually incredibly successful from the beginning and only gets more so as the revolution progresses, yet time after time, Marie makes painful sacrifices in her personal life because "the needs of the Salon come first." I found it hard to identify with a character who, when surrounded by such awful political turmoil and violence, still values her business above all else.

Complaints aside, I really did enjoy the book, and the story was truly incredible. Much of the historical information was accurate, according to the note in the back, which is something I value highly in historical fiction--but readers should be warned that this means there are several descriptions of pretty graphic violence. Overall I enjoyed the experience immensely, and I was thrilled to be able to read it before publication. If you're at all interested in historical fiction, I would definitely recommend it.
  mirikayla | Feb 8, 2016 |
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For my editors Heather Lazare, Matthew Carter, and Allison McCabe. A tout seigneur tout honneur
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When she walks through the door of my exhibition, everything disappears: the sound of the rain against the windows, the wax models, the customers, even the children.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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? 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.… (more)

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