Bistro Book Club

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Bad Queen by Carolyn Meyer


Hope P., 14
11/30/2009 9:55:38 PM
Carolyn Meyer
The Bad Queen: Rules and Instructions for Marie-Antoinette
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group
2010
Describe the most compelling aspect of the book:
Carolyn Meyer was able to take one of the most hated queens in history and tell her story from a totally different(and more sympathetic) point of view.
Should this be nominated for Teens' Top Ten? Why?
Yes
This 414 page novel is told beautifully, emotionally and vividly. You find yourself pulled in and connected to the 'bad' queen from the first sentence on.
Rating?
5 Hard to imagine a better book
This novel is enchantingly original in its depection of the well-known historical figure of Marie-Antionette, and her transformation from beloved dauphine to hated Queen.
From a young age, Marie-Antionette has dealt with a lot of turmoil. She was one of 16 children, ten of which survived. Her mother believed in marrying off her children to create strong alliances. Marie-Antoinette was never her favorite. She was never anyone's favorite. So when she is told she will be wedding the dauphin of France, she is surprised. France and Marie's homeland of Austria have never been allies or even neutral to each other. Can Marie change that? Once she arrives, she finds that for the most part, the French people adore her. But when the old kings passes on and her husband Louis XVI takes the crown, things start to change. Soon, she finds that the French people dispise her. What went wrong? Was the cost of that last gown so horrible? Was her hairstyles and fashion statements defying tradition that much? Anyone that is familiar with the story of Maire-Antionette knows there is no truly happy ending. But in spite of that, this novel is not overtly depressing or dismal. It is a fast read and told in such a way that ten years from now, readers will still know a lot about the so called "bad queen." And was she so bad? Or merely misunderstood? Judge for yourself, but don't lose your head!
Bistro Book Club

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