I discovered Michelle Moran accidentally. I follow Talking Pyramids (@Bennu) on Twitter, and one day they had a contest to win book titled Cleopatra’s Daughter by Michelle Moran. I was hooked. I devoured the book in two nights, and it was what I considered brilliant. Soon enough, I had acquired her two previous books The Heretic Queen and Nefertiti. Again, I was swept away into ancient Egypt, living among the royal families and living through their trials and tribulations. It did not take me long to breeze through these two novels as well. Moran’s writing is very easy to read, fast-paced, yet richly detailed.
A quick visit to her website in the fall of 2010 revealed that Michelle was tackling a tad more modern time in her next historical fiction novel – Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette’s turbulent fall from grace during the French Revolution. The newest addition to my collection obviously had to be Madame Tussaud.
I am a complete history nut, therefor historical fiction appeals to me the most. Madame Tussaud fills that need perfectly. Through Marie, the gifted wax sculptress, I was able to see the French Revolution through the eyes of someone sympathetic to both sides. She becomes the tutor of the King’s sister and sees the royal family in a more intimate manner than the general public. The salon where Marie and her uncle Curtius display their famous figures becomes the meeting place for the Revolution, willing or not. What ensues is a dangerous game of attempting to stay alive by whatever means possible, even if that means making a death mask of the beheaded king’s body at the behest of the increasingly violent National Assembly.
This book does not disappoint, and proves that Michelle Moran is an author who painstakingly researches her subjects and weaves history and fiction together to cr
eate a spellbinding page turner. And yes, it took me about three nights to finish Madame Tussaud. I greatly anticipate Michelle’s next endeavor.