Thursday, August 18, 2011

Becoming Marie Antoinette by Juliet Grey Review and GIVEAWAY!

Becoming Marie Antoinette is the first in a planned trilogy about the tragic French Queen, Marie Antoinette. This novel covers Antoinette (or Maria Antonia as she is known in her native Austria) from her girlhood and the planning of her marriage to the Dauphin of France to her marriage and ends when her and Louis become King and Queen of France.

Maria Antonia is the youngest daughter of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria’s sixteen children. Maria Theresa is a powerful figure and has determined to use her numerous children to make advantageous marriages to maintain peace in Austria. Due to her age, Antonia is chosen to marry the Dauphin of France. It takes awhile to totally convince the King of France of this idea and Antonia is forced to go through a total make over, including braces on her teeth (painful!), and changes to her hair, clothes, and education. Finally Antonia is formally engaged, married by proxy, and then married in France. Unfortunately, her new husband is more interested in hunting, eating, and making locks then he is in consummating the marriage. Now known as Marie Antoinette, she is forced to make her way through the treachery of the politics at Versailles and slowly finds herself falling in love with her husband.
Becoming Marie Antoinette is a straightforward look at Marie Antoinette’s rise to power. It’s a little sad at how optimistic both her and Louis are as they become the King and Queen of France knowing how it will all end. I’m very interested though on how this trilogy will continue in the future!

I like how this novel was a look at the early years of Marie Antoinette. So much is focused on the scandal and tragedy of her later years that it is almost forgotten that she was the daughter of such a powerful monarch. I would love to read a book on Empress Maria Theresa! She also had an interesting story about when a young Herr Mozart came to play at court when she was a child.

I was disturbed that she was forced to wear braces. I didn’t even know they had them at that point in time. It must have been so painful! I also thought it was strange with such a powerful mother that she neglected her daughters’ education so much. It makes one wonder if Marie Antoinette would have received a better education if it would have helped her out later in life.

I must say I was disturbed by one thing the most . . . that people were allowed freely go to the bathroom all over Versailles not in chamber pots. I can’t imagine how that must have smelled. That is terrible!!

Overall, I enjoyed Becoming Marie Antoinette and it left me wanting to read more about Marie Antoinette and her family!

I read this book as part of TLC Book Tours. The rest of the stops are at listed here.

Becoming Marie Antoinette is my seventeenth book in the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2011.

Book Source: Advance Review Copy from Random House. Thank-you!

Giveaway Details
Random House is going to send one lucky winner a copy of Becoming Marie Antoinette by Juliet Grey.

If you would like to win a copy of Becoming Marie Antoinette please leave a comment about what intrigues you about the novel.

As part of your comment, you must include an email address. If I can't find a way to contact you I will draw another winner.

For an additional entry, blog about this giveaway or post it on your sidebar. Provide a link to this post in your comment.

I will be using (or a monte carlo simulation in excel) to pick the winners from the comments.

This contest is only open to US and Canadian residents (Sorry!).

No P.O. Boxes.

The deadline for entry is midnight, Friday September 2nd.

Good luck!


  1. Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. Please enter me! I'm just intrigued by the topic in general because I don't know much about Marie Antoinette and I think it's neat that it will be covered over the course of three books. And the thing about "going" wherever... ew!!!


  3. What intrigues me the most about this book is that it deals with the early years of Marie Antoinette's life. What you usually hear about is her life as Queen but not what came first. Thanks for the giveaway!

  4. Marie Antoinette has always been a fascinating figure in history, however when I think about it, my knowledge of her personal life is limited. I'd definitely be interested in a closer look at who Marie was rather than what she was known for.

  5. It's fascinating how she was forced to change for the future King of France.

    Thank you for the giveaway.

  6. I have always been very curious about her. She was not originally intended for a King but ended up with one and who can not be curious about the hall of mirrors.


  7. i admittedly don't know much about MarieAntoinette.............just something about cakes & heads!! LOL!!!
    thank you for the giveaway!!!!

    will be sharing on my FB wall:


  8. I would love to read more about Marie Antoinette as a young girl and as a human being.
    tiredwkids at live dot com

  9. Don't enter me, as I reviewed it too. I loved this. And it kills me that we have to wait a year for the second one! It's so not fair. And the whole Versailles bathroom thing? That grossed me out. I've been to Versailles and I can't even imagine how it must have smelled during Marie Antoinette's time!

    2 Kids and Tired Books

  10. I just finished Madame Tussaud, and it got me interested in the story of Marie Antoinette. Please count me in. Thank you!


    nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

  11. I am looking forward to reading this book. I've read a number of non-fction books about Marie Antoinette and I too am always surprised by the way her mother neglected her educaiton. However, with 16 children and a country to run, Maria Theresa had a lot on her plate.

  12. I'd love to read this book! I love historical fiction, and I am looking forward to this series.

    Please enter me in the draw. My email address is darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  13. Thanks for the chance to win this historical book. I can add it to my collection which has Catherine the Great and Josephine.
    Leona Olson

  14. I haven't read anything about her childhood so I'm intrigued by this one.

    Thanks for being on the tour!

  15. Thanks for the awesome giveaway!


  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. i'm sure you have my email as we're required to give it to comment, but here it is again to be sure blstef1 at mts dot net
    luving the intro to her via her early years + that it's the first of a trilogy !!

  18. Marie Antoinette herself intrigues me,the time & setting everything thanks for sharing your thoughts which totally adds up even more to my curiosity BRACES? OMG! I also never even thought that braces was invented/even possible way back her time the pee everywhere you feel like it trust me is not the finest smell ever the stench that lingers in the air :)) thanks for posting this giveaway Good luck to everybody ^_^

    I love your family tree btw reminds me of my family plus drop by my blog check out my author interview with Patti Roberts and enter the giveaway get a chance to win a paperback/ebook of Paradox:The Angels are here..Thanks!Take care ^_^

  19. here's the link

  20. Hi, Laura!! I was just thinking about you today - thinking that I had not stopped by your blog in awhile! And then up comes your email! Funny how that kind of stuff happens!

    Maria Antonia!! One of 16 kids!! No wonder they peed in the street - the line up for their bathroom would have been ridiculous. I do know that was the norm for the time - men and women. Glad I live now!!

    Maria Antonia did intrigue me, I have never heard she had a name change - I wonder why? Does the book tell you? Guess I will have to win it and read it to find out!!

    My email:

    madley (AT) cogeco (DOT) ca

    Thank you, Laura, and Thank you, Random House for this Giveaway!


  21. The book looks amazing! I've always been amazed at how Marie Antoinette went from being this young queen to simultaneously idolized/hated in peoples minds so quickly.

    Thanks for the giveaway!
    Leigh Ann

  22. Marie Antoinette was a very interesting person. I would love to learn more about her.
    mittens0831 at aol dot com

  23. This book does sound fascinating. I like the rest have really only heard about her later years. Plus being a Regency type fan we usually only read about the English and very little about others in other countries....tho' I'm trying to change that and branch out. The European aristocracy has become so interesting to me. It was really far-reaching. I'd love to read this book and my e-mail is schafsue at gmail dot com (suzan)

  24. I would love to win this giveaway. Marie has always fascinated me. I really think history has given us a jilted view of her life. I can't imagine being in her situation as a queen and then eventually killed because of that circumstance.


  25. thanks for this fascinating historical giveaway. An intriguing woman whose influence was great. Anne. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  26. I've been intrigued by Marie Antoinette since I saw the Sofia Coppolla (however you spell it!) movie and this looks fascinating. Plus it has a fabulous cover! :)

    bethsbookreviewblog2 AT gmail DOT com

  27. I have wanted to read this book.

    Ntaylor228 at yahoo dot com

  28. This sounds really interesting! Thanks for the giveaway!
    mittens0831 at aol dot com

  29. Braces, huh? That is interesting, I think I'll have to research that now. Sounds like an engaging read.