Review: Madame Tussaud – Michelle Moran

Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 464
Published: February 15th 2011 Crown Publishing

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.
My thoughts: 
Michelle Moran does not disappoint, because once more she brings history to life in an amazing novel.
Where to start, so much is going on here. Marie Grosholtz works with her Uncle making wax sculptures and she is good at it. The year is 1788 and Paris is growing restless. In her uncles Salon men like Robespierre, The Duc d’ Orleans and other revolutionaries meet and discuss the state, and the need for a new government. Revolution is in the air and is just gets worse and worse, until the Reign of Terror. But Marie is always on that line in between. She is a tutor to Princess Elizabeth, the king’s sister, and at the same time she knows the leaders of the revolution. Her family is good at staying alive. She even makes masks of people she dislike, just to stay alive. She lives through those horrible years and when it end the book ends. So for the most of this book she is not Madame Tussaud at all, but she is working towards that fame she has now.
The book is amazing. The horror is so real, and I can say that France during that time is not a place I would have wanted to visit. At one time an angry mob goes crazy killing prisoners, women, and children, 14000 people dead just like that. And at this time the guillotine has not even started taking its victims, that comes later. In the afterwords Moran also explains that up to 80% that died by the guillotine were in fact commoners, and not nobles at all. Everyone got accused, innocent commoner s and nobles alike.
I am there with Marie when she tries to find fame and fortune, when she grows closer with her neighbour and when she watches the Terror at hand. The book does make it easier to understand that time, all the changes, but also about the King and Queen. They were so clueless because no one told them anything, and they could not do anything either because it would either make the people or the nobility angry. Moran works her magic well there with this horrible and confusing time.
A great book about a woman we all have heard about, but who most know nothing about.
Recommendation and final thoughts:
A big yes to all who like historical fiction, or those who just want to read a great book. Moran becomes with this one my favourite historical writer, I have read 3 wonderful novels by her. And with each she captures her audience better and better. I can’t wait to see what she does next, because I will read it.

A 4,5 to this book. Everything is flawless, the writing, the story, the building.

Reason for reading:
Like I said, she is the best.

42 thoughts on “Review: Madame Tussaud – Michelle Moran

  1. anachronist says:

    Now this is a book I will definitely read as soon as I find it. Great era, an interesting heroine and all that jazz – really something out of ordinary. Thanks for your review!

  2. Blodeuedd says:

    @VivienneIt is great, do read it. She is such a wonderful writer.@DiaryThey have all been wonderful, I truly must read The heretic Queen too. I am sure you will love this one too@AnaYes read it πŸ™‚ I love all her books, and I am sure you would like them too. And the era was great, in all its horror

  3. Blodeuedd says:

    @AlmybI hope you like it, she is the best!@TributeYou will not regret it. She is a wonderful writer@irenaSo good, I mean I was there. She is an amazing writer. How does she do it?@BermudaSo true, everyone seem to love her books, and no wonder why, because she is very good at what she does

  4. Simcha says:

    I haven't read a historical fiction in a long time but this does sound like a fascinating book. If I see it at the bookstore I think I will probably pick it up.

  5. Nina says:

    This is def. a must read for me. I only read one book written by Michelle Moran, but I really loved it. And this book sounds amazing, and I do love historical fiction!!!

  6. Blodeuedd says:

    CarolShe is just that good, very talented at creating that feeling that you are thereBLHI am glad it did, and I hope you will enjoy itSimchaI always liked his fic, kind of like fantasy…ok not, but still you get the idea, lol

  7. Blodeuedd says:

    Jo-JoI read that one this summer, so happy to find it at the library…I mean my friend's library, and then I read all night since I was visiting her ;)DarleneI tend to do that too when i am sure I am gonna read a book, or start one soon. No spoilers for me then.ChrisQuΓ©?CarrieI hope she will write many more about fascinating women. There are certainly plenty out there

  8. Blodeuedd says:

    @JennieI saw that you had read one book about the French R you really need another one too ;)@JennyI am glad to hear that, and if you liked C's D, then I am pretty sure you will enjoy this one too@NinaMe too πŸ˜€ I always have, and I always will love it. So go ahead and read

  9. Blodeuedd says:

    ElysiumI thought like that at first too when I head about the book, but since she is a wonderful writer the book had to be read :)StaciI hope you read it soon, I promise you, so good!

  10. Blodeuedd says:

    VVShe is so good, her books have to be read :DAartiShe might just be that good πŸ™‚ Cos she has this ease with history, it's near, and one can relateVFGI am glad it did. Because this is just historical fiction at its best

  11. deannalynnc says:

    This is that review you were talking about wasn't it? The one that you just wanted to say "Go get it and read! End of review." LOL. If not I'd be damn surprised! I'll have to make sure this one is on my list of books to read! πŸ™‚

  12. Mishel (P.S. I Love Books) says:

    I haven't started my galley yet. *sigh* I'm a bit backed up. But I'm super excited to get started. I admit I have never heard of Madame Tussaud before this book. I'm looking forward to learning about her through Michelle's eyes =)

  13. Blodeuedd says:

    JennyThat is exactly how I feel too! πŸ˜€ She is truly an amazing authorMishelThe only thing I knew that she started M Tussauds…yup that was it.I hope you enjoy it

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