Like everyone, I am born naked With this opening line of Naslund s compelling new novel, a very human Marie Antoinette invites readers to live her story as she herself experiences it From the lush gardens of Versailles to the lights and gaiety of Paris, the verdant countryside of France, and finally the stark and terrifying isolation of a prison cell, the young queen Like everyone, I am born naked With this opening line of Naslund s compelling new novel, a very human Marie Antoinette invites readers to live her story as she herself experiences it From the lush gardens of Versailles to the lights and gaiety of Paris, the verdant countryside of France, and finally the stark and terrifying isolation of a prison cell, the young queen s life is joyful, poignant, and harrowing by turns As her world of unprecedented royal splendor crumbles, the charming Marie Antoinette matures into a heroine of inspiring stature, one whose nobility arises not from the circumstance of her birth but from her courageous spirit.Marie Antoinette was a child of fourteen when her mother, the Empress of Austria, arranged for her to leave her family and her country to become the wife of the fifteen year old Dauphin, the future King of France Coming of age in the most public of arenas, the young queen embraces her new family and the French people, and she is embraced in return Eager to be a good wife and strong queen, she shows her new husband nothing but love and encouragement, though he repeatedly fails to consummate their marriage and in doing so, fails to give her the thing she and the people of France desires most a child and an heir to the throne.Deeply disappointed and isolated in her own intimate circle apart from the social life of the court, the queen allows herself to remain ignorant of the country s growing economic and political crises She entrusts her soul to her women friends, her music teacher, her hairdresser, the ambassador from Austria, and a certain Swedish count so handsome that admirers label him the Picture When her innocent and well chaperoned pilgrimage to watch the sun rise is viciously misrepresented in satiric pamphlets as a drunken orgy, the people begin to turn against her Poor harvests, bitter winters, war debts, and poverty precipitate rebellion and revenge as the royal family and many nobles are caught up in a murderous time known as the Terror With penetrant insight into new historical scholarship and with wondrous narrative skill, Naslund offers an intimate, fresh, and dramatic re creation of this compelling woman that goes beyond popular myth Abundance reveals a compassionate and spontaneous Marie Antoinette who rejected the formality and rigid protocol of the court an enchanting and tenderhearted outsider who was loved by her adopted homeland and people until she became the target of revolutionary cruelty and violence a dethroned queen whose depth of character sustained her in even the worst of times.Once again, Sena Jeter Naslund has shed new light on an important moment of historical change and made that time as real to us as the one we are living now Exquisitely detailed, beautifully written, heartbreaking and powerful, Abundance is a novel that is impossible to put down.
Abundance Like everyone I am born naked With this opening line of Naslund s compelling new novel a very human Marie Antoinette invites readers to live her story as she herself experiences it From the lush gar
We begin at the age of 14, the innocence and exuberance of the first days of entering France. Her affection and friendship are immediate for her husband, Louis, the dauphin. Days are spent in splendor: hunting, shopping, gossiping, etc. There seems to be nothing serious occurring in her life until the death of the current king, Louis XV, creating her husband the reigning monarch and herself queen. But even then finances are far from her mind. This is the point when I realize that Jutland had dec [...]
With this book I got into the head of Marie Antoinette. The author did all the research and based on the known facts delivered what she thought was going on in Marie Antoinette's head. She convinced me. At the end of the book is a list of source material, "A Brief Timeline of Events" and an interesting conversation with the author. Don't skip this; it is really good.The historical facts are clearly presented. You follow Marie from her coming to France as a naïve fourteen year old to her death a [...]
This was a very thin book -- interesting, but thin.And I don't mean it was a slim volume of delicate prose. It was watery and lacked important detail and missed the ambition of Naslund's "Ahab's Wife."With so many interesting and picturesque moments during the pre-French Revolution years, with all the excess and religious upheaval and all the parallels and differences betwixt the American and French Revolutions, Naslund chose to focus on Marie Antoinette's wardrobe and constant remodeling of var [...]
Marie Antoinette has intrigued me for years and I have read countless books about her, and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Told in diary form, this book provides a rare, intimate insight into the life of the Queen; her most private thoughts and feelings from the moment she steps onto French land at the young age of fourteen, to the moment she meets her tragic fate. Although it is fiction, it's clear that the author did her homework and based much of what she wrote on actual documentati [...]
I've just begun this book, and--contrary to some reviews--I love the measured voice. It's beautifully written, beautifully observed. I lovedAhab's Wife, as well, andAbundance has that same remarkable quality of pulling you gently into another world.Sena Jeter Naslund is a wonderful writer.
Drawing from the same perspectival material as Sofia Coppola's 2006 film, this treatment of Marie Antoinette's life paints a sympathetic picture of France's girl queen. Unfortunately, it's also a boring one. Since Naslund's take is almost identical to Coppola's (sometimes eerily so), I recommend skipping the 600-page snoozefest and going with the two-hour movie, which at least features pretty dresses and New Wave tunes.
Wow! This book was a struggle for me. At first I hated it, because i didn't like the author's style in writing the story. Once I got used to it, it all fell into place. This story really was good. It's a story about Marie Antoinette and her life as the queen of France until the French Revolution. Throughout the book I felt sorry for her and how misunderstood she was, not only by the people of France, but throughout history. I gained a new respect for her and Louis XVI. This is definitely a perio [...]
While astutely researched and poetically written, this basic issue with this book is that hardly anything happens in it 600 pages. Though highly sympathetic to Marie Antoinette, it failed to endear me to her throughout the course of the novel, and I was relieved upon her final beheading that I had, at least, finished this ponderous and meandering portrayal of a far more exotic and scandalous woman than is to be found anywhere in the pages of "Abundance."
this book is so poorly written it makes me want to puke. i got to page five and hurled it across the room. with 600 pages to it's name, it made a loud noise. the opening sequence is of the famous handover of marie to her new party. she describes her nipples in detail, her pubescent body. dude, she's 14. i am not about hearing this. and for no reason. i feel free to criticise naslund's style because i read "ahab's wife" and was equally offended. that's right. offended. in ahab's wife naslund make [...]
This book was difficult in the beginning. Since it is written as spoken by Marie Antoinette it was filled with statements starting with "I". At first it was quite redundant and then I began to realize it was a brilliant way to tell her story a self-centered way. The author does a wonderful job telling how Marie's life was very sheltered and lavish. She portrays Marie as an innocent naive young girl going from her very restricted and sheltered environment as a child, to meeting her new country an [...]
I liked this book a lot less than I was expecting to. I had read and loved Ahab's Wife and Four Spirits, so I knew I liked the author. But it was kind of like getting stuck talking to someone boring at a party.The book is told in the first person from Marie Antoinette's point-of-view. I don't know if it was Naslund's goal to make her likable or sympathetic, but she came off as self-centered, petty, and oblivious, even if (as Naslund points out in the forward) she didn't actually say "Let them ea [...]
This book was ok. It was ok in the beginning, ok in the middle, and ok at the end. Honestly, nothing about this book really stood out to me. It was interesting learning more about the time period and sort of about the lifestyle of the court, but I didn't find the story as it was written to be particularly moving. In the beginning of the book, Marie Antoinette is portrayed as this naive, innocent girl whom everyone loves. By the end she is a naive woman who everyone hates. I guess I can see how i [...]
An utterly delicious and satisfying read. Of course, given the book is about Marie Antoinette, we all know how it ends. But I really loved the buildup. This book is long as it takes us from when she first goes to France at 14 all the way up to her death. But it was a very fast read. Some of the viewpoints feel immature/childish but it's written from her POV so I think it's intentional given how young she was when this all began to unfold. There was a lot I didn't know about her and her marriage, [...]
Just arrived from US trough BM.It took me some time to go through the plot of this book. The beginning was a little boring since Antoinette's story was interlaced quite a lot with her mother's letters. The plot flows more naturally after Marie Therese death. Since I've already read Antonia Fraser's book, both stories are complementary in the sense that in Fraser's story, Antoinette biography is ended by the Royal family escape to Varennes and in Naslund's her prison and execution is described in [...]
An excellent book, I recommend it highly. The author does a marvelous job telling the story from the perspective of Marie Antoinette herself, beginning with the day that she leaves her home in Austria as a very young teenager.
Firstly the picture of the cover of the book does it no justice, it's truly beautiful and textured so that it feels wonderful in the hand. The author is sympathetic to Marie Antoinette even through the period of her worse excesses, this was an okay read. The depth of research is impressive, but ultimately we learn nothing new. At times the voice of Marie Antoinette seemed a little too vapid, too self-centred. Obviously we all know how the story ends but I admit to being bored in the last third o [...]
Maravillosa. Es la primera palabra que se me viene a los labios al pensar en esta novela.Siempre he gustado mucho de las biografías de personajes cuyas vidas me resultan interesantes, y he leído unas cuantas, pero ninguna como en este caso: novelada y contada en primera persona por Marie Antoinette. Quizás por este hecho la he disfrutado tantísimo, aparte de por tantas cosas de la historia, los personajes y de la sociedad francesa de la época que he aprendido. Todo ha sido una maravillosa s [...]
This was a novel about the life of Marie Antoinette from the time she arrived in France as the fourteen year old Austrian betrothed to the Dauphin, to her death by guillotine after being found guilty of high treason during the French Revolution in 1793. For those curious, this is definitely in the historical fiction genre, not historical romance. French history has always fascinated me. I visited both Versailles and the Conciergerie prison in the 1990s while in France, and it’s fun for me to t [...]
What I knew about Marie Antoinette before reading this book (spoilers ahead if you don't know anything at all about her): She was married to Louis XVI, she said "Let them eat cake," she was queen during the French Revolution, and (possible spoiler here)-------------------------she was beheaded. That was it. Three out of four isn't bad. She never actually said "Let them eat cake." According to the author, it was the wife of Louis XIV, two generations earlier, who said that. So, if you ever win to [...]
At the age of fourteen, Princess Maria Antonia of Austria was sent to France to be married to the fifteen-year-old Dauphin (crown prince) Louis Auguste, thus forging an alliance between their countries and re-christening her as the French Dauphine, Marie Antoinette. Such alliances are cemented by producing heirs, but it takes several years and ascension to the throne before this marriage is consummated successfully, and a second pregnancy before a prince is born. The queen-to-be diverts herself [...]
So far, lovely reader--very detailed --like a dairy. 15 Cds--was far cheaper than the book-via ebay.June 2nd, 2011. I feel the book would have rated 3 stars, but he lovely reader, via the BBC-makes this love tale of Marie Annoinette a pleasure and a delight to listen to. The florid details of the author, while tiresome when reading, come alive with the audio. I came see the palaces and gardens so easily. I see how Marie started early on causing her later demise. The history is most accurate, and [...]
Even if I hadn't read the author bio, I definitely recognized the power of the poet in this novel. There were several points throughout my reading of this where I stopped after a sentence and repeated it aloud to myself. The prose is glitteringly gorgeous and positively bleeds romance. Naslund's Antoinette is a passive, crystalline creature whose unfailing adherence to etiquette and good manners speaks more to the times she lived in than to the essence of her character. She's distant although em [...]
Not the typical tale of Marie Antoinette. Did you know she didn't actually say "let them eat cake?" I was shocked -- that's all I really knew about Marie Antoinette well, and the bit about the guillotine. This author portrays her as a kind, loving, compassionate queen, born to love and lead, ultimately giving all for France. I found this book fascinating, more than a little disturbing (in a way I can't completely describe) and actually a page turner, just as the cover promised.
Never gained my attention.A book shouldn't be a labor to read, perhaps a labor of love to write. I've tried multiple times to pick it up and forge ahead, but it was a fruitless pursuit. It's time to move forward and let this one settle in the unfinished pile.
This is one of those books that I enjoyed while reading, but have almost nothing to say about afterward. The writing was good, but there was nothing standout that I feel I need to talk about. If you enjoy reading about Marie Antionette (as I do) then you'll likely find this engaging. It wasn't particularly moving, but it did paint an interesting picture of the Queen. She is spoiled and spends vast amounts of money, yet considers herself economical and did seem to truly care for the people of her [...]
To say that I disliked the first half of this book would be understatement. I trudged through it from time to time, finding that I severely disliked the queen and disgusted at how the court lived while the commoners of the country was scraping by. I shuddered at their ignorance, perhaps because I know how it ends. Once things started to fall apart around them, I found myself drawn in to the story, like a horror movie where you know that no one will make it to the end. And therein I saw with fres [...]
This was such an amazing book! Full of rich detail and history! Marie Antoinette is such a tragic heroine . This book was beautifully descriptive! I heartily recommend it!
From the beginning, Abundance gives a very personal view into the life of Marie Antoinette, an Austrian princess who was forced to forget the country and life that she knew and loved in order to marry the French dauphin Louis XVI, the future king of France. She leads a life of frivolity, joy, and excess as well as one of slander, hatred, and heartbreak. The novel starts off slowly, I will admit, and drags on for the pages leading up to Marie Antoinette's marriage, which is filled with formalitie [...]
Esta historia la he disfrutado y la he sufrido mucho. Quizá no sea lo mejor ni lo más veraz escrito sobre la vida de María Antonieta, pero es una buena lectura que te recuerda que ella también fue humana y que tuvo muchos errores, si, pero también buscaba lo mejor para su pueblo y para su familia.
I quite enjoyed this story. Abundance is told from the perspective of Marie herself. Her personality is clear, as is that of the Dauphin so I really got to know the characters. I didn't feel bogged down with details, yet was able to easily picture the settings and the times.Naslund tells her story from the day she leaves Austria to become the Dauphine at age 14 to her death. It is fascinating seeing her change from a young noble girl a dauphine a queen. Her personality changes so much.d the way [...]