This second book of Juliet Grey’s Marie Antoinette trilogy exceeded- by far, all my expectations. In the author’s first book, Becoming Marie Antoinette, we read about Antonia and how she, at a very young age becomes Queen of France- a most delightful read from beginning to end (read my review here)- So much so that I named it my favourite read of 2011. So how was Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow, going to compare, or better yet; give me more to get excited about?
Detailed to perfection at what is now customary Juliet Grey style, Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow, does not disappoint. Marie Antoinette blossoms into her own woman going through many peeling and riveting stages.
Her life is initially filled with the border-line obsession of finally consummating her marriage for the ultimate goal of bearing an heir to the French throne. Infinitely troubled by this freakish circumstance for several unbearable years, (ultimately due to the couple’s ingenuousness and failure to seek proper medical intervention), Marie Antoinette desperately needed a diversion.
Young and carefree, but nonetheless suffocating behind those palace walls, Marie Antoinette chose to keep a close-knit entourage to help alleviate her sadness. She enjoyed her late card games, her fashion, her theatre and her beloved Petit Trianon, where she could be herself. Her every move at court though, was hence discriminated.
Finally, through motherhood and an heir to the throne –Marie Antoinette thought she had finally achieved happiness and won the love of her people...hmmm. Louis and Marie Antoinette shared a unique bond, but apparently another highly regarded male friend, Axel von Fersen, also held a special place in Marie Antoinette’s heart…
Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow is Marie Antoinettes’ rise to womanhood through splendor, carefree times, love, friendship, motherhood but along with that followed: worries, hurt, tragedies, defamation, betrayals, remorse, and as well, a rise to maturity.
I think what I love most about this novel is precisely the way Marie Antoinette is portrayed. Juliet Grey does not create an untouchable, pure Marie Antoinette-nor does she follow those who have much maligned her in history. In this novel, Marie Antoinette encompasses the roles of queen, wife, mother, lover and friend in their purest form; told as is, without pretension.
My favourite part of the book was definitely the necklace affair. So much has been written on this topic already, yet in this novel it is told in even greater depth- almost like a minute by minute retelling of the facts- the story flowing with flawless elements and way more information than I have ever read before. Incredibly interesting!
Every little detail in this book is delectable, and I savoured it thoroughly. Written in good taste, nothing is amiss, and everything is possible. A work of fiction, yet written with such precise historical details, Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow is much more than just another Marie Antoinette story! I can't wait for the next and final book of this amazing trilogy. Excellent!
And now for the GIVEAWAY!!!
Juliet Grey is graciously offering one of my followers an autographed copy of
Thank you, Juliet Grey!!
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Open to Us and Canada only- Winner Announced on Monday, July 1st- CANADA DAY!