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If you???re looking for Phillipa Gregory or a Georgian bodice ripper in a French setting, keep looking. Because I had enjoyed the author???s excellent but dry bio of Simone Weil, I wondered at a historical novel about well, the queen???s lover. It???s more in the line of an imaginative fictionalized bio or novelized history??? and like the best of these, though all story lines may not have always come from a documentary source, you emerge from the listen feeling like you know the characters better than in traditional bio. It's as much about Marie Antoinette and the times as von Ferson himself.
If you love historical fiction rich in period detail this is for you ??? you???ll get a good picture of things like the extent of the Versailles vermin, human and rodent. She seems to get the larger historical lines interwoven well, and correctly too. Instead of trying for a half-here-half-there, half modern kind of language, she tells the tale in modern English with modern idioms. Interest is added because the story is consistently related from von Fersen (and his sister???s) point of view, keeping you on your toes.
The male narrator seemed to have trouble making bits like prepositional phrases flow ??? but that might be as much due to the writer???s style as is the reading.
10 of 12 people found this review helpful
I was expecting this to read more like a story, but it did not. It was more like a news report. Edwardo Ballerini and Tandy Cronyn was excellent readers for this dull and drab news documentary. I didn't enjoy this book.