Tuesday, March 15, 2011

ARC Review: Madame Tussaud

Madame Tussaud
Michelle Moran

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone

Release Date: February 2011

Publisher: The Crown Publishing Group

Pages: 464 (Hardcover)

Author Site: http://www.michellemoran.com/

My Rating: 5/5

Source: Received for review from author


In this deft historical novel, Madame Tussaud (1761-1850) escapes the pages of trivia quizzes to become a real person far more arresting than even her waxwork sculptures. Who among us knew, for instance, that she moved freely through the royal court of Louis XVI, only to become a prisoner of the Reign of Terror? Her head was shaven for guillotining, but she escaped execution, though she was forced to make death masks for prominent victims. Novelist Michelle Moran covers this breathtaking period without losing the thread of its subject's singular story.


So I’m no history buff. I seriously never took a class in school that didn’t involve US History. I think in 10th grade I took World History, but that class was so vague. And honestly, I never paid attention to history for some reason. Granted I had pretty good grades when I was in school but I never really retained any information, even about US History. So the French Revolution and I have never been on speaking terms. I have no real knowledge of European History. I never even knew who Madame Tussaud was before Michelle Moran contacted me about her newest release. No idea about her amazing wax sculptures… Yeah, I know…you think I live under a rock, don’t you?

I might as well live under a rock because I seriously missed out on learning about European History. Now that I’m older and semi-smarter I’ve gained an interest and curiosity into the past. My interest really grows when I come across amazing stories like Madame Tussaud. When I read Cleopatra’s Daughter last year I fell in love with Moran’s writing. Madame Tussaud doesn’t disappoint in its breathtaking delivery about a very talented woman caught right in the middle of one of the bloodiest and chaotic time periods in history.

Personally, I was blown away. And while a lot of that had to do with the fact that I was just learning about the chaotic politics, the historical figures, and the horrible things that happened during the French Revolution I still give a lot of credit to Moran’s delivery. I was completely engrossed with the story. I loved how each character, even the crazies who went overboard with their belief in liberty, had such real personalities. I really felt that I personally got to know Marie, her family, the Royal Family (especially the King’s sister), and the political leaders. I had no idea how destructive the French Revolution was. I was shocked, scared, sad, and horrified while reading a lot of the passages. I couldn’t imagine being in France at a time of such chaos.

I think even if I had prior knowledge (like any normal, rational person would have) of the French Revolution, the King and Queen, or even Madame Tussaud I still would have enjoyed Moran’s ability to transport a reader into the past. It’s really amazing. I can only imagine the hard work and research Moran puts into her novels. I think any historical fan will enjoy reading Madame Tussaud, especially those interested in the French Revolution. History novices are definitely welcome as well, no previous knowledge required, I promise!

P.S. (cover talk)

My Uncorrected Proof is covered in the word Crown... It’s awesome! No but seriously, I think the hardcover is beautiful. The paperback cover (found here) is very pretty but I feel it’s a bit misleading. The cover model makes me think “young adult” and “Can love survive the Revolution?” is a bit random.


Mary (Bookfan) said...

I loved it too, Mishel! Leave it to Michelle Moran to pull me into a novel about a woman I'd never been interested in (or the wax models!). Just a wonderful book.

Blodeuedd said...

“Can love survive the Revolution?”
Does it say that somewhere? Ok, yes misleading.

Anyway, loved it

Michelle Moran said...

Mishel -- thank you so much for taking the time to post this!! I'm SO glad you liked the novel! And thank you Mary and Blodeudd!!! I agree, btw, with the UK subtitle. Strange choice (I didn't pick it!).

BTW, Mishel, I have an envelope with your hardcopy waiting, but no address for you for some reason :( If you get the chance, could you email it to me?

Unknown said...

I can currently be found with my nose in this NookBook and the Mad Scientist loves it thus far!! I'm still waiting for the bloody mess to come up but it is just making me love it even more because I know it is there!

Thanks for stopping by :)

Mad Scientist

~Enamored Soul~ said...

I've really been looking forward to reading this book. I'm actually a fan of historical fiction, and your review is a reaffirmation of the fact that this will make for a great historical fiction novel. If the author has such stellar ability to draw the reader into the past - it should be an impressive & interesting read! :D

Email: EnamoredsouL@gmail.com

Stacie said...

I love historical fiction. This book looks very interesting. The cover is stunning. I love when the book itself draws you in even before you start reading it.


Vivien said...

I absolutely loved this novel. It was perfect and I wish it could have gone on forever.

PiinkPoodle said...

I haven't read any historical novel yet. But, I do plan to read "Madame Tussaud By: Michelle Moran". Thank you so much for the review. I also need to grab "Cleopatra's Daughter
by Michelle Moran".

swttie at gmail dot com

Amy (ArtsyBookishGal) said...

I am interested in the French Revolution! This sounds like a great read. I mean, Madam Tussaud has a great wax museum.

Amy // artsyrockerchick at aim dot com

aurora M. said...

This looks FANTASTIC! Thanks for the review :)

Karielle Stephanie said...

Sounds like an awesome book :)

Carol L. said...

Loved the review. This has been on my TRL. I really look forward to reading this.Thanks.
Carol L

Lisa Richards/alterlisa said...

I love historical fiction but was curious why all of a sudden Madame Tussaud has become a favorite character. I have an series, trilogy I think, that she is featured in. Not complaining but just wondering.

I'm a new follower on GFC-Lisa Richards

Woohoo! To simple Giveaways!

alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

Bella said...

This book sounds good. I love historical stories! Thanks for the review.

BellaMarie @ tampabay . rr . com

Judy said...

This looks like a great read!! I will have to check it out


Laura H. said...

Thanks for the giveaway! I have been wanting to get my hands on this book for quite a while. And like you, I know little and nothing about the French Revolution but after reading your review it sounds as though I will gain a little more knowledge -- and in an entertaining way! Can't wait to read this and "Cleopatra's Daughter"!


Ammy Belle said...

Thanks for the review! I think I have to grab this book soon! :)

Unknown said...

I am definitely interested in reading this book! I have been to the Madame Tussuad wax museum in Europe but I was young and didn't understand the background. Thanks for a great review.


Kristi The Book Faery said...

I never used to read books like this but then I read Anastasia and it peaked my interest.

I've been watching this one as it keeps popping up on my Amazon list. I think I may give it a try after reading your review :o]

Kristi-The Book Faery

Jill the OWL said...

I love how the historical stuff if becoming popular. Glad to hear this one was done well.

Unknown said...

I finished Madame Tussaud and also loved this historical battle of fiction and blood revolution.

I hope you don't mind, I linked your review on my review. Let me know if you rather me removed it.

Mad Scientist

Mishel (P.S. I Love Books) said...

Mad Scientist - No I don't mind at all! Thank you for linking. I'm so glad you liked the book as well.

SiNn said...

wow what an awesome review this book sounnds so good im deff going to have to pick it up ty for the review

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