Like much of historical fiction, this novel provides an interesting if not entirely accurate look into an important moment in history. Unlike some hisLike much of historical fiction, this novel provides an interesting if not entirely accurate look into an important moment in history. Unlike some historical fiction, however, the author fully acknowledges where she has taken liberties with the facts in her historical note at the end of the book, which really made me feel much better about the book as I'm typically so dubious about historical fiction.
This novel is the story of the French revolution as seen through the eyes of the amazing wax sculpture artist Marie Grosholtz (later Madame Tussaud). She saw the conflict from the both sides, spending time in her uncle's salon with radicals of the Third Estate and as a personal sculpture tutor to the king's sister. Throughout the revolution, from it's initiation at the Estates General to Robespierre's Reign of Terror, Marie and her uncle capture the latest events in wax, delivering news to the populace like no newspaper could.
While I understand that there was probably not much shortening that could have been done without taking away from the story, it was 400+ pages and it definitely felt like it. However, many of the characters are interesting (if not always full-bodied) and the events too terrible and historically relevant to be boring.
Giveaway note: it is just the slightest bit lame that the giveaway copy was an uncorrected proof even though the giveaway ended after publication of the final proof....more