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The Queen's Dollmaker

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3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  581 ratings  ·  98 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 of 1,826)
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Misfit
Sep 03, 2012 Misfit marked it as did-not-finish
Good characters = very very good. Bad characters = very very bad. Book = not for me.

Lucy
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
...more
Lauren
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
April
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
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
Silver
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
...more
CS
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
GoldenjoyBazyll
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
TheUnicorner
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Donna
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
...more
Elena
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
Oriana
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
...more
Jenn
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
Honeypie

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

...more
Clark
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
...more
Tanzanite
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: http://shelfandstuff.blogspot.com/200...
Chantelle
Interesting. A part of history I was anxious to learn more about. I really enjoyed the characters, the narration, and the historical setting.
Nora Peevy
This is the first French historical novel I've read and I enjoyed it immensely. Trent delivers an engaging, believable France, set during The French Revolution. Her writing is so skilled; I found myself adoring and then loathing Claudette's childhood lover and Monsieur Greycliffe is an intriguing love interest. And his proposal to Claudette later in the book is one of the most romantic I've ever read and I'm not a sappy girly girl. Lol

My one suggestion would be to hurry along the opening chapter
...more
Dianne
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
Laura
Author Christine Trent easily and deftly transported me back to Paris and London in the late 1700s when France was on the brink of the Revolution. I love stories—especially if they are well told—whose main character goes from rags to riches despite almost impossible odds.

Claudette Laurent is left penniless and alone after tragically losing her home and parents, but she prevails using her wit, talent and kindness. She experiences hardship, adventure, danger, romance and royal intrigue that keep
...more
Allie
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
...more
Jeannie Mancini
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
...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
...more
Anaïs
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tara Chevrestt
This was a very enjoyable read. The heroine, Claudette is very likable. (Almost a bit too much so. A little too good and kind.) She is orphaned thanks to a very large fire that devastates her entire neighborhood. A spur of the moment decision puts her on a boat to England sailing away from her beloved France, her dead father's doll shop, and her betrothed, Jean Phillipe.

In England, she makes friends and enemies, undergoes unpleasant employment, falls in love with a married man, and against all t
...more
TC
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
...more
Josee
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
...more
Taylor
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
Kyrsta
http://bookchateau.blogspot.ca/2011/0...

Looking for an 18th century historical drama? Pick up The Queen’s Dollmaker by Christine Trent. The novel is set both in France and England and tells the story of one woman’s survival and her struggle for independence, love and life. The heroine, Claudette Laurent, loses everything when a tragic fire sweeps through Paris killing her family and destroying her house and the family business. Penniless and alone Claudette decides to take her chances in England
...more
Heather
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
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 06, 2015 08:29AM  
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