Wednesday, December 7, 2011

My BEST Read of the Year! Plus GIVEAWAY!!

2011 is soon coming to an end and here I am looking over some of the wonderful books I read this year…It’s been awhile though- or maybe years since I’ve actually picked a ‘favourite’ of the year.  As you know I only review that which I love to read. And so, this past year I’ve read quite a bunch- but I let you in only on the very best books that I enjoyed very much.

Today though is different. I want to highlight my very FAVOURITE book for 2011!  An absolute MUST READ- and if you’re thinking of what to ask Santa for Christmas…boy do I have a book for you!

Another take on Marie Antoinette, you say? Pardonnez-moi…but although I am a super duper fan of Marie Antoinette- This is in NO way just another book on the beloved martyred queen!  

Captivating from the very beginning, BECOMING MARIE ANTOINETTE starts from when the young duchess was a young child.  There is so much detail that this whole book tells only a third of what happens in her lifespan!  (Hence the reason why it’s the first book in the trilogy- Yay!)  The unraveling of this story  is enchanting-Not one boring moment in this book.   Grey is outstanding in not making it feel dry, diary-like, or repetitive of what we already might know.  

I would describe this as seeing Marie Antoinette’s life through her own watching a movie from within her person.  The writing is impeccable and because I was so engulfed by the story, I almost forgot this was a novel.  Are you kidding me?! This book is better than any of the history books out there on MA in terms of accuracy. I’m serious. Indeed the minute details pertaining to the  history are impressive to say the least. It’s veritable, captivating and entertaining! Historians take note: You can actually quote from this.  That’s how good it is.

In addition, I could not have imagined some of the scenes to be more real than this.  Denoting the character of MA in such realistic nuances- for example her views on la Du Barry and the stance she takes with her! This was perfect development of character; reflective of her youth, logic, personality and morals.  And there were so many funny moments as well; like the one where she notices a noblewoman in the palace hall, looking so snobbish and ‘etiquette-like’ -then all of a sudden the lady stops walking momentarily to…  (gasp!) …I won’t spoil it for you! 

There are also the tender moments that made me smile to see MA and Louis so real; truth is, the young are young no matter the era.  MA is truly hopeful to please her husband and so longing for his love…and Louis, tender as well, often awkward- but a sensitive soul.  Precious.

All the characters come to life through the eyes of Marie Antoinette.  You see them as she did, at her age, through her own circumstances. As the story develops, the tender Marie Antoinette also evolves.  Her opinions change and her ways take more maturity. Throughout though, her personality shines through crystal clear; Marie Antoinette is true to herself.  That’s who she was. The more I read her story, the more I understood her and the more I loved her.  

You must trust me completely on this- because honestly there is tons of material on MA out there. (And once you start reading up on her- let’s agree that fresh material on this grand queen is not exactly pouring from the heavens).  Writing a refreshing and completely engaging novel on MA is a challenge in itself.  Juliet Grey has risen to the occasion.  Outstanding!

Spectacular in the details of every particular moment that resounds from history,
BECOMING MARIE ANTOINETTE is an exceptional read and my ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE for 2011. 

 I look forward to its sequel; which I imagine the build up to what was an incredibly tragic life can only be that much more engaging to read…I can’t wait!

Loved, loved, loved BECOMING MARIE ANTOINETTE (I even carried it with me throughout Paris and right into the Versailles Palace! 
(Yours truly standing beside MA's bed in Petit Trianon at Versailles, holding the book)  

I urge you to go out and get this book NOW!  Seriously- best book yet!
AND Now…A Fantastic GIVEAWAY!
Author Juliet Grey is graciously giving one Autographed copy of BECOMING MARIE ANTOINETTE
One Audio Book (13 CD set- real gem! The author only has a few on hand and is graciously giving one away to one of my lucky readers! 50$ value)

To Enter:
1)      You must be a follower of this blog
2)      Extra points for EVERY FB, Twitter, blog post- entry (send back the link in your comments)
3)      Another extra point if you write something Fun about MA!

Open to Canada and US



Elizabeth said...

I hadn't heard of this new novel, but I can't wait to read it! I shared your post on my website's fb page ( and twitter page (!/MAQueenofFrance) as well as my personal page (

An interesting thing about Marie Antoinette:

Apparently Mozart was so charmed by the young Marie when he met her at her mother's court that he vowed to one day marry her!

Laura's Reviews said...

Don't count me in the giveaway (I already have the novel), but just wanted to comment that I enjoyed reading it this summer as well and look forward to the next one!

tracy said...

What a wonderful post and give away.
I loved the movie MA. I enjoy read about her...I can hardly wait to get this book thank you for the info...
I do indeed follow and have your give-way on my side bar.

Some how this bit of information put my mind at ease...The famous MA quote..."Let them eat cake" really was not said by her at all!
from Canada

BurtonReview said...

no need to enter me.. our mutual blogger pal has sent me hers already.. But WOW I guess I need to get to it sometime soon, eh?
So glad you enjoyed it so much!

Lisa said...

I love your blog! And sounds like a great giveaway. I follow you now and was given this link by Elizabeth (above) on FB. How do I enter for the giveaway?

Unknown said...

I love the cover of the Marie Antoinette book. It caught my eye right away.

Linda said...

Marie Antoinette is such an interesting woman. I would love to read this novel. Thanks for the giveaway.

Unknown said...

No need to enter me Lucy - I've already read this wonderful book. I loved the way she felt so real. I also love how you took the book into Versailles with you! The audio version sounds wonderful - this will have to be one that I re listen to when it comes to my library!

Marcie said...

Great giveaway! I love Marie Antoinette. She is a fascinating historical figure. Please enter me in this giveaway marcie(dot)turner(at)yahoo(dot)com

Literary Chanteuse said...

Oh I really want to read this! I was at Versailles too! I know that when she arrived in France they immediately changed her from her clothes that she had been wearing into French clothes and proclaimed she looked better instantly. I find this very amusing!


Joanne said...

Sounds wonderful, and I love your enthusiasm for the book! I definitely want to read it after your glowing review. Please enter me, and I am a follower. Thank you! :)

Rachel said...

This has been on my TBR list for a while- thanks for the giveaway!

I'm a follower as well!

Elisa said...

I read this last month. I agree: it's a wonderful read!

Have others read "The Queen's Confession?" by Victoria Holt? It's no longer in print. :( I read an older edition of it in high school. For those who haven't read it, Marie Antoinette "writes" her memoir.

Roberta said...

Wow Lucy...that's just fantastic that you were there and carried the book and that you were able to really "be in the moment" of the space. Can't wait to go there someday soon myself! Would love to read this book and thanks to you and Juliet Grey for this wonderful giveaway.

Roberta said...

Just posted this giveaway on my blog sidebar...the only thing was that I didn't see an end date?

Roberta said...

Just posted this giveaway on facebook:!/profile.php?id=1222723325

Roberta said...

Just tweeted this giveaway:!/rlphilbr13

Teddy Rose said...

That is a fabulous photo! I'm so jealous! No need to enter me in the giveaway, I already read it.