Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette by Sena Jeter Naslund
On the library stacks: Adult Fiction
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This historical fiction novel opens as Marie Antionette prepares to leave her native Austria to marry the future king of France. She was 14 years old at the time of the marriage ceremony. Interestingly, the marriage was not consummated for seven years.
This book, published the same year the Kirsten Dunst movie hit the big screen, has a similarly sympathetic view of Marie Antionette as the movie. (She never said, "Let them eat cake!") Naslund has definitely done her research and even includes actual quotations where they are known. The novel helped me to see how Marie Antionette viewed the events going on around her from the perspective of her privileged upbringing. She cared deeply for the people of France but couldn't see how her own actions could be viewed hypocritically.
While this book obviously does not end well, I'm really glad I read it. I was quite fascinated learning about the inner workings of Versailles and Marie's role as a mother. While I wouldn't recommend this for everyone, if you have an interest in learning more about this very complex historical character, I suggest giving this book a try.
41 minutes ago