Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette by Sena Jeter Naslund.
I borrowed a copy of this 2006 novel from a friend’s bookshelf a few weeks ago because Naslund’s Ahab’s Wife (2005) is one of my treasured reads. Every sentence in this book is poetic, graceful, and carefully constructed. Although it is fiction, it’s clear that the author did her homework and based much of what she wrote on actual documentations and letters written by Marie Antoinette herself. It tells the story, in a first-person narrative, of the ill-fated queen from the time she arrives in France until her death at the hands of the French Revolution years later. This Marie Antoinette is regal and decisive, yet very isolated and completely naive. Naslund creates a beautiful, sympathetic portrait of this much maligned, and perhaps misunderstood, historical figure.
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