"Madame Tussaud" Review

"Madame Tussaud"
by Michelle Moran

Publisher: Crown
Release Date: Feb 15, 2011

Source: ARC sent by the author

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:

In this deft historical novel, Madame Tussaud (1761-1850) escapes the pages of trivia quizzes to become a real person far more arresting than even her waxwork sculptures. Who among us knew, for instance, that she moved freely through the royal court of Louis XVI, only to become a prisoner of the Reign of Terror? Her head was shaven for guillotining, but she escaped execution, though she was forced to make death masks for prominent victims. Novelist Michelle Moran covers this breathtaking period without losing the thread of its subject's singular story.

My Review:

"Madame Tussaud" is another richly detailed historical epic from Michelle Moran. The author really knows how to transport the reader to another time and place. I could just see Marie Antionette's ornate gowns and I felt as if I were walking through Tussaud's carefully made wax tableaus. The writing is beautiful and Moran doesn't miss a single detail. The writing is never dry and the dialogue has a modern sensibility.

With Moran's previous book, "Cleopatra's Daughter" being one of my favorite books, I can't help but compare the two. This one didn't live up to Cleopatra Selene's story for me. Tussaud's story didn't seem as personal, the politics seemed to engulf the personal story. The violence and tragedy were overwhelming to me in this book. The time period didn't work quite as well for me, either. Maybe the biggest problem was that I loved the other book so much.

I would whole-heartedly recommend this to readers who are interested in the French Revolution. For the rest of us, and for the squeamish ones, it might be a little too bloody and political. But for those wanting to learn about the era, you'll get to meet most of the key political players and see many historic events unfold first hand. 

Main Characters: 4/5
Supporting Characters: 4/5

Setting: 4/5
Romance: 3/5

Uniqueness: 4/5
Cover: 5/5
Writing: 5/5

Bottom Line:
Michelle Moran continues to be one of my favorite authors and I think historical fiction readers who like a dose of politics with their stories are going to love Tussaud's story.


  1. I am on the squeamish side. The whole off with her head still gives me nightmares from my studies in school. LOL

  2. I read another book set during the French revolution and it was such a violent and bloody time. Being the squeamish type, it wasn't my favorite but it definitely made me think. Great review, thanks for posting it.

  3. This sounds very interesting. I didn't even realize that Madame Tussaud was related to the French Revolution. I just think England, but that makes sense. I'll have to check this out. I'm not too squeamish.

  4. I want to read this so bad. Last year I had a whole month available to learn young adults in highschool about this period and this book sounds perfect. ;) Great review.

  5. Lovely review, Carrie! I haven't been getting my recommended daily dose of historical fiction lately (I know! It's tragic!), so this is sounding very appealing right about now.

  6. Thanks for sharing your review. I really want to read this book!

  7. The same thing has happened to me with a book by an author I adore. I could definitely love some of their works better than others.

    This one may not be for me, but now I'm interested in Cleopatra's Daughter. Thanks Carrie.

  8. I have to admit that I've always wanted to read her books as I do enjoy a good historical fiction. The fact that this is French revolution related definitely makes me want to pick this one up! Great review!

  9. I shouldn't say I liked the era, cos it was horrible, but it a great era for a book. I liked how they tried to live on.

  10. This sounds interesting, I think I've heard of Cleopatra's Daughter before - I remember I wanted to read it but for some reason I forgot - I didn't realize this was by the same author!

    I think that, over all, we all have books that we like more even if they are by the same author :)

  11. Loved the review and gotta get me this book!

  12. This one is on my wishlist. I will have to pick this one up, because it sounds exactly like my type of book. Great review!

  13. I just finished this one and loved it!

  14. I bought this on audiobook and going to listen to it after I finish The Postmistress! Glad to see that it was a 4 out 5 :)

  15. Ohhh I love the French Revolution exactly for the reasons that you may not like this bok. I'm gross I know! lol. Thanks for the great review. I am looking out for this book.

  16. Indeed, I am enjoying this book now. I have never heard of this author but the idea of picking up a book about the French Revolution had me sold. Not to mention that dress is so bright I couldn't turn a blind eye :)

    I did not realize that it would be so bloody. Now I can't wait to get to those pages!

    Mad Scientist


Thanks so much for your lovely comments!