Vive la France! Madam Tussaud delved right into the French Revolution through the perspective of a young wax figure maker, Marie. By focusing on the lives of her friends and family, including the notorious Robespierre, the author examined the political perspectives held by French people of different social stations at the onset of the Revolution. Through the vividly descriptive writing, I was surrounded by the gilded rooms of Versailles, the smelly streets of Paris, and the smoldering embers of the Bastille.
Since this was a historical fiction novel, I found myself eagerly researching Marie to see if the startling actions she took really happened. It seemed she actually made wax heads of the traitors beheaded in the Revolution! Marie was a strong woman for the times, which made her a great person to follow through the turmoil facing France. Even though the French Revolution was obviously a very serious period of history, for some reason I didn’t expect the book to be so heavy. There were points when I felt the writing was a little too fact driven, and the emphasis focused on reciting the details of the political decisions that culminated in dethroning Louis and Marie Antoinette rather than Marie’s experience in the Revolution as a young woman struggling to find love and earn a living.
The novel was extremely informative, but I would have liked this to be a little lighter.