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History Group Reads > Madame Tussaud: Ch. 38 - End

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message 1: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (sarawesq) | 2153 comments Please discuss Chapters 38 to the End of Madame Tussaud here.

message 2: by Angelica (last edited Aug 11, 2011 11:55AM) (new)

Angelica (angelica221) *There's spoilers in this post.*

I generally don't post on discussion boards much. Writing is not my strength, but I just wanted to share how much I enjoyed this book. When Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were executed, there was not a smooth transition to power. I was amazed at how radical the new group was and it seemed that every day there was a new change. Within the group, people turned on each other- childhood friends even. A person had to be careful with what they said and did or what colors they chose to wear.

I couldn't believe how primal they became. The crowds brought the heads of dead people for Marie to sculpt or made her go to the cemetery to sculpt the recently deceased. In order for her and her family to survive, she had to do it or she and her family would be seen as a traitors to the new cause. It seemed there were many things that people had to do in order to survive under the new regime. I just couldn't imagine it. It would have been a frightening to live in this time period.

The new calendar idea was a new change France began to utilize during this chaotic time. I went online to read up on it. Apparently, this calendar was in use for 12 years. I think it would be a challenge to memorize the new calendar for only 12 years. The author showed this portion in the dialogue between- Anne, Isabel and Paschal (I think that was the son's name). I found it interesting that in the midst of death and chaos, there was time to create a new calendar.

By the time I reached Chapter 38-End, I couldn't put the book down. The author did a great job of research for this novel and her writing was well done. It gave me more of an appreciation for French history. So thanks to the group for the recommendation.

message 3: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (sarawesq) | 2153 comments Petunia wrote: "*There's spoilers in this post.*

**Also potential spoilers below**

I agree with everything you said Petunia (except for the part about writing not being a strength! I think what you wrote was great!). I could not believe it when they brought the first heads to Marie. That would have been completely horrifying. And then to have to go to the cemetery night after night to sort through bodies and heads! I think I would have been so sick at the thought that I never could have done it. She was such a strong woman.

I thought the author did a great job portraying a lot of the main players involved at the time. I was pretty indifferent to French history before this book (all my knowledge of the French Revolution came in high school or my first year of college), but this book really brought home to me what happened (the slaughter of so many innocent people). I felt horrible when character after character was killed (and such pity for Madame du Barry begging someone to help her).

message 4: by Denise (new)

Denise (drbetteridge) It was a very good book. To bring me out of my British only history fetish, was something I didn't think would happen. I knew nothing of French history, and worse, I didn't care. Reading this was more like a thriller for me; learning that Madame Tussaud was real, finding out who Marie Antoinette was (other than the "let them eat cake" queen), and most importantly, discovering why the French Revolution was so important. The author pulls you into the action and makes you care about or hate the people that you meet. I agree with what's been said, what the people went through was horrific and I can't imagine living in a country in that kind of turmoil. As bad as things seem now, it still makes you appreciate the present. I'm now looking for suggestions on books about the American Revolution, since there seems to be a link and I may just learn more about both. Very well written book that I'll be recommending.

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