The world knows Madame Tussaud as a wax artist extraordinaire . . . but who was this woman who became one of the most famous sculptresses of all time? In these pages, her tumultuous and amazing story comes to life as only Michelle Moran can tell it. The year is 1788, and a revolution is about to begin.
For those that have read my “Down the TBR Hole” posts, you’ll recognise this as one of the books I chose to request from the library in order to finally get it off my TBR list (it’d been on there since 2011!). I’m super grateful that I started doing that challenge as I ended up loving this book and I probably would never have got around to reading it if not for that.
So as is very obvious, this is a historical fiction novel focusing on that of Madame Tussaud, or Marie Grosholtz as she is known for the majority of the novel. The main focus however is less on Marie and more on that of the French Revolution. Marie’s story is entwined with that of the revolution as her family straddle both sides for as long as possible and Marie’s main focus is less on the revolution and more on her wax models.
Marie is a fun character to read as I’m not actually a huge fan of her and found myself disliking a lot of the decisions she made but to me, that is a mark of good characterisation as I still wanted to read more about her. This novel is also very informative and I feel I’ve learnt a lot about the French Revolution that I didn’t know before. There are a lot of historical notes at the end and it also mentions aspects that weren’t included too so although it’s not strictly accurate, it’s still accurate enough to give me a very brief overview of the events as this is a period of history I’ve not studied that much.
Reading this novel also really made me want to go to Paris and to visit Versailles as the descriptions are just fascinating. I’ve been to Paris before and so was able to picture quite a few of the settings which I feel greatly helped my enjoyment of the novel.
I’m a big fan of Michelle Moran’s books and so would definitely recommend this to fans of historical fiction. I’m really glad I finally read it, and now I plan on getting some non-fiction about the French Revolution because of how fascinating I found it.