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The Queen's Dollmaker

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3.66  ·  Rating details ·  730 Ratings  ·  107 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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Nenia *The Flagrant Liberal* Campbell

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When I was in college, I went through this phase of ritualistically devouring fluffy, chick-lit style historical fiction a la Philippa Gregory. It really didn't matter if they were good, bad, or downright awful - I read them all, and I read them with glee.



THE QUEEN'S DOLLMAKER felt like a throwback to that time. Without demeaning this book, THE QUEEN'S DOLLMAKER is a work of fiction that is very much intended with women in mind as the audie
...more
Misfit
Dec 30, 2009 marked it as did-not-finish
Good characters = very very good. Bad characters = very very bad. Book = not for me.

Lucy
Feb 17, 2010 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
...more
Lauren
Dec 01, 2009 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
Chris
Mar 24, 2017 rated it did not like it
I cannont buy the opening sequence. Sorry. (Not the bit with the children, but the bit with the fire).
Donna
Feb 02, 2010 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
...more
April
Jan 31, 2011 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
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
TheGuineaCat
Jul 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
CS
Jan 03, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
TC
Jan 03, 2011 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
...more
Oriana
Dec 21, 2009 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
...more
Elena
Jan 08, 2010 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
Silver
Feb 01, 2012 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
...more
Nicole
Jan 03, 2010 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
GoldenjoyBazyll
Jan 09, 2011 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
Amy
Mar 21, 2010 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
...more
Jenn
Jan 10, 2011 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
Dianne
Aug 15, 2014 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
Tanzanite
Oct 30, 2009 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: http://shelfandstuff.blogspot.com/200...
Chantelle
Dec 31, 2010 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.
Melanie Bridge
Interesting Story

I found this story and interesting take on the French Revolution from the side of the royals. I liked Claudette's character and found myself cheering for her. That said the book bogged down in descriptions sometimes and slowed with all the details of dollmaking.
Cena
Oct 01, 2017 rated it did not like it
Quite frankly, I stopped reading this book about 50 pages in. The dates and ages of Claudette do not match. In the prologue it says she was 5 years old on 1765. In chapter three, it says that she was 14 in 1779. Nope. If the author can’t pay attention to detail, I can’t pay attention to the story.
Madison
Jul 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a very well told story with many twists so that you could not predict where it was going to lead to.
Marie
Mar 25, 2010 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
...more
Allie
May 23, 2010 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
...more
Clark
Nov 21, 2014 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
...more
Jeannie Mancini
Jun 12, 2010 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
...more
BonSue Brandvik
Oct 01, 2012 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Taylor
Nov 16, 2010 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
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 06, 2015 08:29AM  
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  • The Middle Passage (Cat Royal, #5.5)
  • Annette Vallon: A Novel of the French Revolution
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Christine Trent is the author of the Lady of Ashes historical mystery series, about a Victorian-era undertaker, as well as the author of three other historical novels. The first book in her new Florence Nightingale Mysteries will release in May 2018. Christine’s novels have been translated into Turkish, Polish, and Czech. She writes from her two-story home library, where she lives with her husband ...more
More about Christine Trent...
“It was so lovely to be loved by others, even if perhaps your husband was less than amorous.” 0 likes
“My dear, don’t ever let any man make a fool of you.” 0 likes
More quotes…