Sara's Reviews > The Bad Queen: Rules and Instructions for Marie-Antoinette

The Bad Queen by Carolyn Meyer
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's review
Mar 04, 10

Read from February 28 to March 04, 2010

Meyer imagines the life of Marie-Antoinette as a young girl through her death giving us a Queen who was not entirely rotten but self absorbed, shallow, and inept at public relations. All of the chapters begin from a rule that was likely given to the monarch, and the bulk of the rules refer to her rampant unchecked spending. Which Meyer details and then lets the young monarch rationalize. Meyer clearly went out of her way to give an impartial view if the notorious Queen. She does play to Antoinette's spoiled and thoughtless reputation, but balances those fatal flaws with the struggles of young girl trying to fit in amongst the anti-Austrian climate and furthermore portrays Antoinette a loving mother her mother and a dutiful wife. My only complaint is that Meyer shifts the narration from Maire to her daughter, Maire Therese, over the last hundred pages, and I am not sure why. I can only guess that she wanted to keep the narration flowing from a youthful perspective. It only serves to alienate the reader from our narrator during the most critical events of her life. Otherwise, though much of the historical details are fashion and court custom based, readers are also given insights into the American and French Revolutions. Plus the author gives a historical note and a bibliography which many of my "adult" fictionalized novels of actual historical figures do not even bother with. The story is an instantly engrossing choice with a tragic appeal that young ladies should devour like cake.
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Reading Progress

02/28/2010 page 75

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