Author: Carolyn Meyer
Series: Young Royals
Published: April 2010 by Harcourt
Source: Net Galley ebook
Description: History paints her as a shallow party girl, a spoiled fashionista, a callous ruler. Perhaps no other royal has been so maligned--and so misunderstood--as Marie-Antoinette. From the moment she was betrothed to the dauphin of France at age fourteen, perfection was demanded of Marie-Antoinette. She tried to please everyone--courtiers, her young husband, the king, the French people--but often fell short of their expectations. Desperate for affection and subjected to constant scrutiny, this spirited young woman can't help but want to let loose with elaborate parties, scandalous fashions, and unimaginable luxuries. But as Marie-Antoinette's lifestyle gets ever more recklessly extravagant, the peasants of France are suffering from increasing poverty--and becoming outraged. They want to make the queen pay.
I Give This ...
I've only read one other book about Marie Antoinette, so when this one came up I thought I would give it a shot. Since, it seemed more of a young adult book, I thought maybe I might enjoy it more. While, I'm sure plenty of people (teens especially) might enjoy this book, I was surprised to find it didn't differ that much from the book I already read.
I'm having a hard time understanding Marie Antoinette as a person and this book doesn't help me much. I think this book focuses more on her youth which makes sense since it is a young adult novel. Being the youngest girl of 16 children, I get the feeling she didn't get much attention in her household. That is until her mother married her to the Dauphin of France. All of a sudden she's very much in the public eye. But, I don't think she was adequately taught on what the means. She tries to please too many people at first and doesn't know how to balance it all. And then she decides to focus on herself, with very little regard for the consequences. It's almost like she thought, "I'm royalty and I desire all of these things no matter what the cost."
Yet, I wonder if it didn't matter what she did. I wonder what might have happened had she listened to the advice her mother was constantly giving her. But, I think the French people were already disenchanted with royalty long before she was there. She could have lived like the rest of the people and the commoners probably would have still seen her as an outsider. It's heartbreaking to watch the people target her and the rest of the nobility. I think it would have be a terrifying to time to live in France.
I think you would enjoy this book if you haven't read anything else about Marie Antoinette. For me, it didn't add anything new to what I've already read. I would like a book that focuses more on her adult life. I've read that she cut household expenses and tried to do other things to ease the people's suffering. But neither of the books I've read touch on those things. I just feel like I'm missing something about her life.