Monday, April 16, 2012

What We're Reading

Marie Grosholtz is a wax modeler in Paris. With her “uncle” Curtius, she produced wax exhibits of the famous people and events of Paris in the time just before the French Revolution. The exhibits are displayed in the lower level of their house, where everyone in Paris from commoner to King can pay to see their exhibits. Marie's friend Henry, a scientist who lives next door and who has his own exhibition, is in love with her and wants her to marry him, but she keeps asking him for a little more time.

Marie is honored by the fame her artistic skills have brought her, and she even begins to tutor the king’s sister in her art. Then the revolution begins. Uncle Curtius has figured out how to balance the fine line between the citizens and the royals so that no matter how the uprising turns out, they should be safe. As the revolution progresses, Henry asks her to escape to England with him. Again she refuses. Marie is brought (literally) the heads of state from which to make death masks, as proof to the citizens. One day, when she is asked to make death masks of people about whom she cares, she refuses, and is deemed an enemy of the revolution and thrown in prison to wait for her own date with the guillotine. How does she escape the blade of the guillotine to become Madame Tussaud? Will she ever marry Henry? Read and discover, from this novel of historical / biographical fiction.

Reviewed by Chris R.

Visit Michelle Moran's website here.

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