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The Queen's Dollmaker

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  690 Ratings  ·  101 Reviews
A young woman, struggling to expand her London dollmaking trade, finds a surprising customer in Queen Marie Antoinette, an avid doll collector herself. This seemingly innocent exchange puts Claudette’s life in danger when she is lured to Paris under false pretenses. Money and jewels are being smuggled in dolls destined for the Queen, and have now been discovered by the fle ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published January 1st 2010 by Kensington (first published December 14th 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Dec 28, 2009 Tanzanite rated it really liked it
Entertaining story of a young woman in Paris whose life is forever changed by a fire and she builds a new life for herself in England. Using the skills as a dollmaker that she learned from her father, she finds herself making dolls for Marie Antoinette as France hovers on revolution. Full review:
Dec 29, 2009 Lauren rated it liked it
I had not considered the role of dolls in the 18th century until I received a very welcomed heads up from author Christine Trent who has done her own extensive research on the fascinating subject. I found her new book, The Queen's Dollmaker, an absolutely delightful read, both due to the plot and all the great information packed between the covers. From start to finish you will get a glimpse of both the domestic and business cultures of the 18th century. The book covers the intriguing process of ...more
Jan 11, 2010 Oriana rated it really liked it
Paris, France. Claudette Laurent, the young daughter of a renowned dollmaker, and her best friend, Jean-Philippe, join the French people in welcoming their new princess, Marie Antoinette of Austria. They are determined to see her or die trying if need be. Treated with kindness by this lovely and gentle princess, Claudette never really forgets this day.

Years later, the young girl loses all she has in a fire that ravages her neighborhood. Her beloved parents, the doll shop, her life, everything su
Jan 12, 2010 Heather rated it it was amazing
Claudette Laurent is a burgeoning apprentice to her father, a well known dollmaker in Paris and she has a secret betrothal with her young love, Jean Philippe. One day Claudette wakes up and finds that part of the city is on fire and it is heading their way! After the smoke has cleared, Claudette finds herself an orphan and on a ship to England – bye, bye Jean Philippe! In England, Claudette makes some great friends, butts heads with the upper class, and eventually opens her own doll shop. When Q ...more
Sep 03, 2012 Misfit marked it as did-not-finish
Good characters = very very good. Bad characters = very very bad. Book = not for me.

Jan 03, 2010 Nicole rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Half the fiction I read is historical fiction, although I have not yet read much on the French Revolution. For the past year I have promised myself to investigate more into the history of Marie Antoinette, purchasing the 2008 movie Marie Antoinette directed by Sofia Coppola, which I had not yet watched, as well as Antonia Fraser’s MTI version of Marie Antoinette: The Journey, which I have not yet read. Then I was given an opportunity to read The Queen’s Dollmaker on offer from the author Christi ...more
Jan 31, 2010 Elena rated it really liked it
The Queen's Dollmaker by fellow Marylander Christine Trent is an engaging novel about a young French craftswoman in the days before and during the French Revolution. Following several tragic incidents, Claudette Laurent, the daughter of a famous Parisian dollmaker, finds herself a penniless orphan in London. Through determination, creativity, and with the help of a colorful set of friends, Claudette struggles to establish herself as an artisan and recreate the masterworks of her father. The craf ...more
Feb 02, 2010 Donna rated it did not like it
Shelves: historical
After losing her home and family to a fire, Claudette Laurent seeks work in London. She makes a friend on the journey and the two are accepted as domestic servants in the home of a social climber, but Claudette wants to start her own business with the doll making skills learned from her late father. As she works towards her dream, France spirals into revolution and Claudette is torn between her past and the life she's made for herself.

The action scene at the beginning of the story was implausibl
Feb 17, 2010 Lucy rated it really liked it
If you’re in a mood for detailed period history in both France and England (the 18th c), weaved into a tale of one woman’s survival, struggle for independence, love, suspense, and an ever- fascinating career..boy do I have a book for you!
Oh, and did I mention this one also contains the Revolution-and our favourite French Queen, Marie Antoinette?

Let alone that The Queen’s Dollmaker is such an interesting read, I just couldn’t get enough of the whole doll making experience. Every bit of detail is
Mar 21, 2010 Amy rated it did not like it
There were so many adverbs and cliches that I nearly lost my mind!!!

Really, this was quite a rough read. It was not well-written in the least; the characters were nothing more than caricatures and not even cleverly written caricatures, at that. They remained stiff and one dimensional throughout the book. The author just didn't make me care about what happened to them either way.

Likewise, the narrative switched points of view with such a jolt that whatever small amount of flow the novel had beca
Christina (Reading Extensively)
Claudette is an admirable character. She faces a lot of sorrow and hardship but she remains strong and holds on to hope. Her attitude also helps those around her like her newfound friend Beatrice, a young widow with a little girl. Together Claudette, Beatrice, and her daughter Marguerite become a family of sorts as they work as servants for a British family and later on as they make dolls. Claudette is the strong one who keeps them motivated and comes up with creative ideas that lead to the succ ...more
Apr 26, 2010 Marie rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
Christine Trent's debut novel offers promises of many more intriguing stories to come, and she has easily gained many fans, including myself, who have now read The Queen's Dollmaker. This novel features a young woman who faces severe and sudden hardships and is forced to leave her native France and sail to England. At the same time, the narration switches to Marie Antoinette who has troubles of her own, concerning her husband and the country she is the new Queen of.

This is my first official read
May 23, 2010 Allie rated it it was amazing
Claudette Laurent is a young French woman who moves to England after a fire destroys her home in France, and sets up shop in London as a dollmaker. Her fashion dolls become the toast of British and French society, and she eventually becomes the official doll maker to the glamorous Queen of France, Marie Antoinette.

But before Claudette can gain the independence necessary to set her career plans in motion and become a successful dollmaker, she gains employment in England as a maid in the household
Jeannie Mancini
Jun 12, 2010 Jeannie Mancini rated it really liked it
Christine Trent's new historical novel titled The Queen's Dollmaker is the delightful story of one 18th century young woman's struggle for survival after a devastating Paris fire brings death to her family, leaving her home & father's workshop in ashes and ruin. Claudette Laurent is the daughter of an esteemed doll maker, a craftsman who created the most sought after finely detailed fashion dolls that every moneyed Parisian family coveted to delight and fancy their little girls with.

The terr
Jul 25, 2010 TheUnicorner rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 16, 2010 Taylor rated it it was amazing
Shelves: on-my-bookshelf
The Queen's Dollmaker by Christine Trent, takes place in 1765 - Paris, France. Claudette Laurent is the daughter of a highly recognized French doll maker in Paris, France. While growing up in her father’s work shop, Claudette inherited the same passion for doll making and she soon becomes her father’s apprentice. After a fire tragically destroys her home, and family, Claudette finds herself all alone in the world and unable to locate her betrothed (Jean-Philippe) and his family. She is forced to ...more
Jan 16, 2011 Chantelle rated it really liked it
Interesting. A part of history I was anxious to learn more about. I really enjoyed the characters, the narration, and the historical setting.
Apr 03, 2011 TC rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the books I picked up for 1 back during the "12 days of kindle" promotion and as I haven't read any historical fiction for a while I thought it was high time I took a look.

Claudette Laurent lives in a France in turmoil in the latter half of the 1700s. Fire destroys her home and her father's workshop and then her parents die in the aftermath. Young and alone, unable to find her betrothed, she finds herself on a boat to England to start a new life. She begins life in service but is
Jan 03, 2011 CS rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 09, 2011 GoldenjoyBazyll rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
WOW!!!!!! What a book! It was a historical fiction based in the late 1700's. The story begins when Marie Antoinette is arriving in France. A little girl and her best friend run to catch a glimpse and her cart stops and she visits with the children. Who would guess that thier pathes would cross again once adults. The little girl is the daughter of a well loved doll maker in France. Tragety strikes and their village burns down. Her father and mother are killed on the night of the fire and she is f ...more
Feb 01, 2011 Jenn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
I had zero expectations for this book going in. I had never heard of it or the author and chose it simply because it was available for free on my kindle. I was more than pleasantly surprised. I enjoy most historical fiction and this is no exception. I don't think I have ever read a book set in London and France during The Terror leading up to and during the French Revolution. Viewing it through lead character Claudette and Marie Antoinette proved informative and very interesting. I enjoyed the w ...more
Jan 31, 2011 April rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For the most part, I really liked this book. What I liked best was that, for once, the main character in a historical romance was an entrepreneur and not some pampered nobility or some downtrodden peasant-type. The heroine is in trade and really does make something of herself; I truly enjoyed watching Claudette taking a tiny opportunity and somehow growing it into a small business, and then from there growing it into a well-known business that catered especially to royalty and the rich. That, fo ...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Historical fiction is a genre I quite enjoy, but do not read all that often. Partially, I worry about getting real history and imagined history mixed up in my head. Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution are not amongst my historical interests either, so this is not a book I would have picked up under normal circumstances; I read this for a book club.

The Queen's Dollmaker was not a terrible book by any means, but it wasn't great either. The writing was good and the historical events in Franc
Oct 10, 2011 Josee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book because I felt there was some historical accuracy mixed in with fiction. It was fun to read and learn about the details of doll-making back in the 1700s. The love stories intertwined with the political turmoil of the French Revolution made for an interesting tale.

However, I felt like the story about Marie Antoinette was kind of out there and not really connected to the story of the main character, Claudette Laurent. It seemed that the author had to go a bit far to connect Cla
Rio (Lynne)
It just wasn't believable to me. First Marie Antoinette comes through the town as the new future Queen, gets out of her carriage and shares marzipan candy with the children (it was like a Disney scene.) Next up the fire scene began and the way the family and neighbors acted just seemed unreal. Your home, business and city are burning and you're speaking in terms like "very well then" please wife and daughter stand right here in the midst of the fire, oh let me stop and kiss you too. As good and ...more
Jun 24, 2012 Silver rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I was really on the fence about this book because I am not really into romance, and so I worried it might go too much in that direction, but I am fascinated by the French Revolution, and the story sounded intriguing so I decided to give it a chance and I am glad that I did. The romance aspect of the story I found do not really predominate the book too much, and seemed much more in the background, and so it did not interfere with the actual story for me.

One of the things I really have to give th
BonSue Brandvik
Oct 15, 2012 BonSue Brandvik rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 21, 2016 Dianne rated it it was ok
Sadly, this is a perfect example of the need of the warning to writers to "show, don't tell". The history is well-researched, and the story and characters seem generally good, but the storytelling keeps jumping between a few detailed scenes of the people interacting, and long stretches of describing, in summary form, what happened to them. In many ways it's like reading a very detailed synopsis of a book, with selected scenes inserted as examples. Sadly, I never felt like I was actually reading ...more
Aug 31, 2014 Honeypie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014

The Queen’s Dollmaker is a fictional story based on History. The queen is Marie Antoinette, one of France’s “most famous” queens (apparently). The dollmaker is obviously not a real person. Well, at least, there weren’t any records of a dollmaker who was close to the queen, and whose dolls were used for smuggling of jewels to aid the monarch’s escape from France.

I really like Fiction stories that give readers glimpses of History. For one, I would never pick up a history book unless it’s required

Nov 23, 2014 Clark rated it really liked it
I loved how the author made the heroine of the story, Claudette Laurent, into a strong and intelligent character instead of the hapless ingenue who is victimized by everyone around her. I am so tired on reading about weak women who doesn't know how to take care of themselves and reading about empowered ladies gives joy to my heart and soul.

As always, it was very pleasurable to me to read the life of the tragic queen, Marie Antoinette. I often find that she was merely a victim of circumstances si
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 06, 2015 08:29AM  
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