Saturday, 9 September 2017

#BookReview The Wardrobe Mistress by Meghan Masterson @StMartinsPress

The Wardrobe Mistress: A Novel of Marie Antoinette by Meghan Masterson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It's Giselle Aubry's first time at court in Versailles. At sixteen, she is one of Marie Antoinette's newest undertirewomen, and in awe of the glamorous queen and her opulent palace life. A budding designer, it's a dream come true to work with the beautiful fabrics and jewels in the queen's wardrobe. But every few weeks she returns home to visit her family in the Parisian countryside where rumors of revolution are growing stronger.

From her position working in the royal household, Giselle is poised to see both sides of the revolutionary tensions erupting throughout Paris. When her uncle, a retired member of the secret du roi, a spy ring that worked for the old King, Louis XV, suggests that she casually report the Queen s actions back to him as a game, she leaps at the chance. Spying seems like an adventure and an exciting way to privately support the revolution taking the countryside by storm. She also enjoys using her insight from Versailles in lively debates with Leon Gauvain, the handsome and idealistic revolutionary who courts her.

But as the revolution continues to gain momentum, and Giselle grows closer to the Queen, becoming one of the few trusted servants, she finds herself dangerously torn. Violence is escalating; she must choose where her loyalty truly lies, or risk losing everything...maybe even her head.


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I think that writing a book about a woman that worked at the Versailles and got to see firsthand the event's right before the French Revolution and during the revolution was a great idea. Giselle Aubry works as an untertirewoman for Marie Antoinette meant that she could both see how the people rose up against the royal family and at the same time she could also follow how the royal family dealt with it. This is the best part of the book, with Giselle being torn between being loyal to the royal family, but at the same time warming to the revolutionary ideas. I found the book great when it dealt with the actual historical events, like the failed escape plan, and the execution of the King and Queen.

However, it's the love story between Leon Gauvain and Giselle that just didn't work for me. I found myself quite uninterested in that side story, and to be honest, I skimmed through most of their "romance", especially when problems arise between them. But, towards the end did their relationship work a bit better for me, but that's probably because it coincided with the end of the monarchy. I did feel that the book ending was a bit abrupt. I would have loved an epilogue, because, despite me not being fond of the romance did I like Giselle and would have liked to know how her life turned out after the event at the end of the book.

The Wardrobe Mistress is a good book about the French revolution. You get to see both sides, Louis XV and Marie Antoinette's versus and the revolutionists and between them Giselle who, despite wanting a change still cared for the royal couple.

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

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