Book Reviews of Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette

Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette
Abundance A Novel of Marie Antoinette
Author: Sena Jeter Naslund
ISBN-13: 9780060825393
ISBN-10: 0060825391
Publication Date: 10/1/2006
Pages: 545
Rating:
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 62

3.8 stars, based on 62 ratings
Publisher: William Morrow
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

29 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette on
Helpful Score: 10
If you like fiction based on historical fact you'll appreciate this book by Sena Naslund. Naslund blends letters from Marie and her mother in Austria against the background of the Court of Versailles. If you've been lucky enough to travel to Paris and seen Versailles, you can really see the events as they occur. If you haven't, rent the movie Marie Antoinette which helps you "see" the court as protocol ruled it during the 18th century. It's a wonderful read.
reviewed Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
A fictional account of the life of Marie Antoinette from the time she left her home to be married at age 14 until her death.

I loved this book. It was written in a very engaging style, and I think it really gave a new view of this historical figure. I found my heart aching at times to read this woman's story and know how it would end - it is easy to forget that it is fiction!
reviewed Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I believe that this book was good. But due to the theme ( Marie Antoinette and her Husband not able to comsumate their marriage, there are sexual scenes and overtones...you may not care..but i enjoy when people tell me.

Overall: Ok book
reviewed Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette on + 22 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Loved this book, I know its not historically correct but never the less I loved it, Could imagine how they were dressed and what life might have been like. Would recommend to any one who likes historical novels
reviewed Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Very well-written novel, based partly on Marie Antoinette's letters to her mother.
reviewed Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette on + 27 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Loved it, loved it! Sparkling with her personality and even though you know how the story ends, you are filled with sadness because you have grown to truly like her and who she is.
reviewed Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette on + 26 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I'm sorry, but I fought and struggled my way through this book and could not finish it. I got to the last little bit and just couldn't read it anymore. I wanted so much to like it but I felt the writing was too flowery and thick. I did, however, appreciate a view of MA that wasn't hateful and disparging. This book is not one that portrays her as a careless, frivolous, vain woman.
Despite not enjoying this book it did spark a huge curiosity for all things MA and I will be reading up more on her history and the history of the French Revolution.
reviewed Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette on + 30 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Fantastic book. Loved hearing this well known story from Marie Antoinette's perspective.
reviewed Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book depicts Marie Antoinette as I have imagined her- complex yet childish, ostentatious in taste yet with no context for comparison, educated and very passionate, self-centered, but with a real desire to rule well.

Versailles is essentially a character in this story- evoked in an almost dreamlike sense, seemingly endless, gilded and gleaming.

Though the narration is almost claustrophobically close to Antoinette's thoughts; other characters are well-developed, enough to seem real and understandable, and Marie herself is charming enough that the closeness is more friendly than uncomfortable.

Though the events and end of the story are unchangeable, this is a Marie Antoinette you can sympathize with and cheer for throughout- flawed, but genuine.
reviewed Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette on
Helpful Score: 1
Very wonderful read. Masterfully puts you in the life of Marie Antoinette, and leaves you longing to change the outcome of her life.
reviewed Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette on + 28 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I'm not usually a huge fan of historical fiction, but really enjoyed this book. The characters suck you in, and it does not get too bogged down with historical details.
reviewed Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I really liked this audio book. It is not the genre I typically read, however the reader was very good and the story just was so interesting! I would definitely recommend.
reviewed Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette on + 51 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Life of Marie Antoinette told in first-person diary format, from her journey to become Dauphine through her marriage to Louis (and the root of her mania for parties, food and clothes) to her last days during the Revolution. Interesting take on the thoughts of a very young girl raised in luxury and how sheltered she was from the true state of affairs in the country she ruled.
reviewed Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette on + 48 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is a very well written biographical novel of Marie Antoinette. It begins with her birth and early childhood and continues on until the bitter end. Do not let the fluffy, shallow movie deter you from this novel - it IS a gripping read, but doesn't NEED any "updates" to make her life fascinating.

Marie Antoinette, over her life, developed from a Grand Duchess who was rigorously trained by her matriarchal mother to a naive princess plunged into the degenerate, political Court of Versailles. Her early schooling in dance allowed her to perfect the famous "Versailles glide" - a manner of walking in which the women of the Court appeared to glide around the palace with no trace of footsteps.

When she and her husband inherited the crown at a young age, they were intelligent and wise enough to know that they had been given an incredibly weighty responsibility. A woman ahead of her time, M.A. learned to rise above her mother's verbally abusive letters, her husband's ineffectuality in every sphere (including the bedroom) and the self-indulgent hedonism in which the French nobility lived - sublimely indifferent to the incredible poverty of the people they ruled.

Unfortunately for M.A., this was too little too late - and she and her family were destined to suffer the punishment which had been cumulating as a result of generations of misrule.
reviewed Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Abundance takes you into the life of Marie Antoinette from her side of the story. She was just a young woman when she was shipped off to France to be the queen. This was a real unique book and I enjoyed it immensely.
reviewed Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A novelization of the life of Marie Antoinette from the time of her marriage to her death. Although slow-moving at times the novel does a good job imagining the character of Marie Antoinette and showing how a woman who was celebrated at the beginning of her reign could have been so hated at its end.
reviewed Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette on + 204 more book reviews
In the beginning, I wasn't sure I was going to like this novel because the narrative voice didn't strike me as sincere. However, I ultimately concluded that this was intentional, crucial to Naslund's characterization of Marie Antoinette as idealistic and naive yet well-intentioned. I am glad that I stuck with the book, as I ended up liking it very much.
reviewed Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette on + 55 more book reviews
Follow the path of the Woman from 14 year old girl to Queen to pauper. The interview with the author at the end explains where she started with Marie Antoinette, born to be Queen, Marie Antoinette became a loving mother, and wife to the King, and was a lady to the end. I enjoyed this novel and couldnt stop listening to it. I fell in love with this Queen, I cried at the end.
reviewed Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette on + 72 more book reviews
An overwhelmingly intimate portrait of France's last, ill-fated queen, "Abundance: A Novel of Marie Antoinette" is also one of the finest historical novels I've ever read. The book begins with the 14-year-old Marie's trade-off to France and ends with her execution, so any and all events in the woman's life are covered throughout the narrative. Told in first person through many short chapters, divided further into five acts in the tradition of a Shakespearean tragedy (the perfect word to describe Antoinette's life), the novel offers views into Marie Antoinette's internal conflicts as she tries desperately to fulfill her roles as princess and eventually Queen of France, all while growing up and living in one of the most outrageously opulent palaces in Europe. Court gossip, fashion and food, and sexual scandal are all present, as are the more quiet moments of the Queen's life. The picture author Sena Jeter Naslund conjures up is of a typical woman trying to be the best wife, mother, and woman she can be. This is a truly sympathetic book and reveals how Marie Antoinette was at most a scapegoat for the rightfully-angry French citizenship to blame. If you're at all interested in Marie Antoinette, be sure to give this fantastically-written historical fiction novel a read!
reviewed Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette on + 3 more book reviews
This was an awesome book - very well written as coming from Marie Antoinette's view.
reviewed Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette on + 50 more book reviews
I enjoyed this novel of Marie Antoinette very much. She was a scape goat of the French Revolution but pretty removed from the lives of the poor as would be customary in her position. I have visited Versailles and remember very well the room where she publically gave birth.
The book was well written and the last chapters were especially poignant. This novel is a good way to learn some history.
reviewed Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette on + 315 more book reviews
Reading/listening to Abundance is so far out of my normal police-procedural/mystery-book genre that I didnt know if Id like it or not. But, always being a lover of period history, I figured Id give it a shot. This book does not disappoint! I loved it, from the way its written/read (language and voice nuisances), to the descriptions of the scenery and clothing, the character interactions, and all the way to the true-history tidbits thrown in. I found myself laughing at some parts and, to my chagrin, crying during descriptions of the rebellion and violence. How can humans be so horrible? Not being quite sure at times what was true history and what was creative writing added in by the author, Sena Jeter Naslund, I searched the internet for details on Marie Antoinette and the time period. In addition, I found paintings of the various characters in the books and I was able to put faces to the individuals interacting with Marie Antoinette and the revolution, as well as the locations given. Never has history been so interesting for me and, I think Ive actually retained it this time (unlike those boring high school books and classes)!

My only disappointment at all (besides the book ending, that is) was listening to the authors interview by Harper Collins at the end of the book. The author does answer some interesting questions about her writing Abundance and her research of Marie Antoinette, but I found her to be quite full of herself, and she really, really likes to hear herself talk. I ended up not finishing the interview because of that factquite vain/smug, in my opinion. Still, all-in-all, if her research and story-telling skills are based on just this book alone, then perhaps she has a right to be arrogant.
reviewed Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette on + 20 more book reviews
Again this author transported me to another time and place and offers a different look into the life of one of history's most talked about women. Thoroughly enjoyed this read.
reviewed Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette on + 10 more book reviews
This was okay. I think Juliet Grey's Marie Antoinette Trilogy is better.
reviewed Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette on + 53 more book reviews
Interesting novel about the life of Marie Antoinette!
A very good read.
reviewed Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette on + 204 more book reviews
In the beginning, I wasn't sure I was going to like this novel because the narrative voice didn't strike me as sincere. However, I ultimately concluded that this was intentional, crucial to Naslund's characterization of Marie Antoinette as idealistic and naive yet well-intentioned. I am glad that I stuck with the book, as I ended up liking it very much.
reviewed Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette on + 11 more book reviews
Not an overly exciting book but definitely well-written. Gives a different perspective on the life of Marie Antoinette.
reviewed Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette on + 204 more book reviews
In the beginning, I wasn't sure I was going to like this novel because the narrative voice didn't strike me as sincere. However, I ultimately concluded that this was intentional, crucial to Naslund's characterization of Marie Antoinette as idealistic and naive yet well-intentioned. I am glad that I stuck with the book, as I ended up liking it very much.
reviewed Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette on + 2 more book reviews
Great book.