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Review: Madame Tussaud

August 6, 2013

Madame Tussaud

Wax modeler Marie Grosholtz lived in eighteenth century France.  She was excellent at her trade and made models of well known people for her family’s museum.  She was excited when the royal family paid a visit to the museum because she knew it would bring more customers to her family’s struggling business.  The royal family was very impressed with her work and hired her to tutor the king’s sister in wax modeling, putting her in the position of not only knowing those who led the French revolution but the royal family as well. In her book Madame TussaudMichelle Moran tells the story of the French revolution from Marie’s unique perspective.

I’m generally not a fan of historical fiction (except for the twentieth century) so I wasn’t all that happy when my book club chose Madame Tussaud for our July meeting.  I tried to go into the book with a good attitude but have to admit that it just wasn’t for me.  I know part of it was the material – I’m just not drawn to that time period for some reason – and I think part of it was the fact that it’s written in present tense.  I also felt like I needed more background on Marie and wax modeling to fully appreciate her story.

I am not a good judge for books like this, though, so you shouldn’t go by me.  When I tweeted that I was reading this book, I bet I got at least half a dozen replies that said things like, “I loved that book!”  I did appreciate the After the Revolution and Historical Notes sections in the back of the book.  All but one other member of my book club loved this book.  I can’t attest to its historical accuracy but one member said that it is.  If you enjoy historical fiction set during the eighteenth century, you should definitely pick Madame Tussaud up!

Review copy provided by Random House.  I am an Indiebound Affliate.
34 Comments leave one →
  1. August 6, 2013 6:11 am

    I definitely think one is either a historical fiction person or one isn’t, if you know what I mean!

  2. August 6, 2013 7:07 am

    I don’t think I would enjoy this one — just not my kind of story:(

  3. August 6, 2013 9:12 am

    I started this book and found it wasn’t my cup of tea, but gave it to my mother and she loved it!

  4. capriciousreader permalink
    August 6, 2013 9:17 am

    I find myself curious about the wax model aspect (I had no idea the practice was that old!), I’m not too sure I would enjoy it either. I haven’t been able to get into a Michelle Moran book that I’ve tried yet. I used to love historical fiction, but I’m afraid I’ve outgrown it.

  5. Patty permalink
    August 6, 2013 9:22 am

    I agree with you about this period…I find the over not so appealing, too!

  6. Patty permalink
    August 6, 2013 9:22 am

    Over is cover!

  7. Jennifer @ The Relentless Reader permalink
    August 6, 2013 9:23 am

    I really liked this one, I found it absolutely fascinating 🙂 I love books that teach me and this one taught me a lot!

  8. August 6, 2013 10:17 am

    Sounds more up my alley — in fact, it’s on my TBR list!

  9. August 6, 2013 10:19 am

    I totally understand about historical ficiton, it really never does it for me either. There have been a few exceptions but they normally don’t take place further back than the World Wars, or they tend to be mysteries.

  10. August 6, 2013 10:51 am

    I love historical fiction so I know this is for me, and I’m sure I have a copy on my shelves.

  11. August 6, 2013 11:36 am

    I was surprised to see this on your blog!! Not your cup of tea. I read this a long time ago and yes I did love it!! You must have read this out of obligation. LOL

  12. August 6, 2013 11:41 am

    So the Wax museums that I see all over are based on this person?? I just thought it was a made-up name. LOL.

  13. August 6, 2013 12:30 pm

    I want to read this — although I hadn’t realized it was in present tense — ugh! that always drives me bonkers.

  14. August 6, 2013 1:03 pm

    Thank you for sharing your honest thoughts, Kathy. Not every book is for every person (duh!). 🙂

  15. August 6, 2013 1:55 pm

    Book clubs do take you out of your comfort zone sometimes don’t they? I hope you get to choose the next book!

  16. Jennifer permalink
    August 6, 2013 2:01 pm

    I really enjoy historical fiction. I find it can be a great way to spark an interest in a time period I don’t know much about. Unfortunately for me, that is most areas and time periods outside of the United States. This sounds interesting and might be something I pick up in the future.

  17. August 6, 2013 3:08 pm

    I liked it 🙂 But then I love these kind of books

  18. Literary Feline permalink
    August 6, 2013 3:12 pm

    I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read by Michelle Moran, but then, I do enjoy historical fiction. I haven’t read this one yet. I do understand though. There are some time periods I really don’t find all that interesting.

  19. sandynawrot permalink
    August 6, 2013 4:23 pm

    I never did pick this one up for that very reason. I have appreciated Historical Fiction before, but it just doesn’t automatically draw me in.

  20. August 6, 2013 6:07 pm

    I do love this genre, Madame Tussaud sounds like a good read. Thanks sharing the review even if it’s not your fav genre!

  21. August 6, 2013 6:25 pm

    Probably not for me either. Anything earlier that the 20th century is more a miss than a hit with me.

  22. August 6, 2013 6:31 pm

    I used to avoid historical fiction, but am growing more interested as I get older, especially those set in France, so this does sound interesting for me. Sorry you didn’t like it.

  23. August 6, 2013 10:26 pm

    I love Michelle Moran’s books but Madame Tussaud didn’t work that well for me either. It was too slow and the details just weren’t enough. But you should read Nefertiti, I am sure you will like it.

  24. stacybuckeye permalink
    August 6, 2013 10:37 pm

    I there’s too much historical and not enough fiction for me.

  25. August 6, 2013 11:23 pm

    I read this a while ago and since I like historical fiction this worked for me. The era in which the book was set was an intriguing one as well.

  26. August 7, 2013 12:06 pm

    I love Michelle Moran’s books but I also love historical fiction. I think it helps to have a hankering for books like that to really appreciate them and Michelle’s books are well researched so I can see it wouldn’t be your cup of tea but it sure is mine. Lol.

  27. August 7, 2013 4:06 pm

    I haven’t tried anything by this author, but I am curious about this book. We’ll see if I stumble across an affordable copy. 🙂

  28. Beth F permalink
    August 8, 2013 8:06 am

    I love historical fiction but I’m not really interested in Madame Tussaud or wax museums, so I haven’t read this one. I didn’t figure this would be for you.

  29. August 8, 2013 10:58 am

    I’m sure I would love this, but I’m swamped with ARCs at the moment and I just went to a great book sale. Time is precious.

  30. bookingmama permalink
    August 8, 2013 2:07 pm

    You just need to stop reading historical fiction!!!! It’s not your thing and that’s a-ok!

  31. Staci@LifeintheThumb permalink
    August 8, 2013 10:28 pm

    I love historical fiction and I’m pretty sure that I would enjoy this one. In fact, I think I have a copy of this one! 🙂

  32. August 9, 2013 7:57 pm

    I’ve been dying to read this one and really need to make time for it. I knew you weren’t into historical fiction, so I was surprised to see a review of this book on your blog. 😉

  33. August 9, 2013 10:57 pm

    Too bad about this one not really being your thing. Sounds like it is just an issue with genre preference, which I can relate to. I have been curious about it for awhile and will probably read it at some point.

  34. August 15, 2013 9:30 pm

    I like some historical fiction, but even the cover of this one doesn’t appeal to me. I do want to try a book by Moran though.

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