Maia B.'s Reviews > Abundance

Abundance by Sena Jeter Naslund
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Jun 07, 2012

did not like it
bookshelves: historical, abominations, boring, could-not-finish, mediocre-writing, nothing-special, too-long
Read from May 28 to June 07, 2012

This was such a disappointment - especially because it could have been so good. SJN is a good writer on good days; Ahab's Wife is a very interesting book. Unfortunately, she wrote Abundance on a series of bad days.

The biggest problem with the novel is that it brings absolutely nothing new to Marie Antoinette. Not only is she herself kind of lame (she has very little strength of character, and I don't mean as in being strong, I mean as in drawn in very weak pencil on wet paper), but every other character has no more depth than she does. The King, Mercy, Maria Teresa, Fersen (a relationship so poorly presented that it makes Twilight look good), Yolande, the Princess de Lamballe...they are all cardboard cutouts, or worse, mere names with no characteristics at all. They are watery approximations of humans.

I can't believe I spent this amount of time on such a horrible book. SJN managed to present Marie Antoinette in the same light as countless other writers - the plot moves at the pace of a dead snail - not a single character holds any interest - the writing is overblown and very dull - in fact, I cannot think of a single positive thing in this entire novel. It's that bad.

Please, please don't waste your money - read Antonia Fraser's Marie Antoinette: The Journey instead, which is well-written, interesting, and far, far better than this empty piece of claptrap which Sena Jeter Naslund has so tediously stretched out into five hundred pages. Despite its (interminable) length, it is thinner and paler than a watery shadow. It is ghastly.

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