In an effort to catch up and review the rest of the books that I read in 2011, I have decided to write some mini reviews.  I got so far behind when I had to go out of town twice this year without internet access.  These mini reviews will be in a different format, as I will be using the book description provided by the publisher and then share my thoughts and feelings on the book.  In 2012 I will go back to my regular style of review with my own description and review.
Description of Madame Tussaud:

Smart and ambitious, Marie Tussaud has learned the secrets of wax sculpting by working alongside her uncle in their celebrated wax museum, the Salon de Cire. From her popular model of the American ambassador, Thomas Jefferson, to her tableau of the royal family at dinner, Marie’s museum provides Parisians with the very latest news on fashion, gossip, and even politics. Her customers hail from every walk of life, yet her greatest dream is to attract the attention of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI; their stamp of approval on her work could catapult her and her museum to the fame and riches she desires. After months of anticipation, Marie learns that the royal family is willing to come and see their likenesses. When they finally arrive, the king’s sister is so impressed that she requests Marie’s presence at Versailles as a royal tutor in wax sculpting. It is a request Marie knows she cannot refuse—even if it means time away from her beloved Salon and her increasingly dear friend, Henri Charles.

As Marie gets to know her pupil, Princesse Élisabeth, she also becomes acquainted with the king and queen, who introduce her to the glamorous life at court. From lavish parties with more delicacies than she’s ever seen to rooms filled with candles lit only once before being discarded, Marie steps into a world entirely different from her home on the Boulevard du Temple, where people are selling their teeth in order to put food on the table.

Meanwhile, many resent the vast separation between rich and poor. In salons and cafés across Paris, people like Camille Desmoulins, Jean-Paul Marat, and Maximilien Robespierre are lashing out against the monarchy. Soon, there’s whispered talk of revolution. . . . Will Marie be able to hold on to both the love of her life and her friendship with the royal family as France approaches civil war? And more important, will she be able to fulfill the demands of powerful revolutionaries who ask that she make the death masks of beheaded aristocrats, some of whom she knows?

Spanning five years, from the budding revolution to the Reign of Terror, Madame Tussaud brings us into the world of an incredible heroine whose talent for wax modeling saved her life and preserved the faces of a vanished kingdom.

My review:

I was so excited to get this book in my hot little hands!  I loved Moran’s previous book,  Cleopatra’s Daughter by Michelle Moran, in fact I gave it a five star review.  So, did this book hold up to another 5 star rating?  Not quite, in my humble opinion.  Did I really like it?  Yes!  
The writing was excellent as was the story.  However, for me, there were a couple parts that dragged on just a little too much.  I understand that the French Revolution cannot be rushed but I wish a couple of the scenes would have been cut.  That said, that is my only issue with the book.   
The characters were well written and established.  I especially loved the teacher/ student relationship between Marie and Princesse Élisabeth and the descriptions of how Marie created the wax images of people.  Very fascinating!
I was sent an advance reader copy of this book from the publisher.  Receiving a free copy of this book has in no way influenced my review.


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