Michelle Moran is an author whose work I have become a fan of during the past few years. She is an author who I admire. Her books are well researched and very well written. (My husband asked what was wrong with me the other night and I told him that it was tough to transition from the middle of the French Revolution to The Big Bang Theory). That's what is good about Moran's writing. She brings you into history. You feel as though you are there, part of what is happening. That being said, this book should come with a warning - pay attention to the second part of this book's title "A Novel of the French Revolution". The French Revolution was a particularly horrific, bloody time in history and this book does not spare the reader of the realism of that time period. I was convinced I was going to have nightmares at one point, yet I was unable to put the book down. That is saying a lot for me. I don't like graphic violence so to be able to stay hooked in this one tells a lot about the writing of the book.
A great part of that was the main character Madame Tussaud herself. She is a character I knew almost nothing about prior to reading. I hear the name and I think of the wax museum in London. Beyond that, nothing. She has a very interesting perspective on the time of the French Revolution because she lived on both sides of it. She was a commoner, friends with revolutionaries, and also tutored Princesse Elisabeth (sister of the King of France) in wax modelling. Her salon and museum was popular and constantly changing, reflecting the news of the day. Because she was so good at what she did, her work was in demand by the revolutionaries when it came time to make death masks of those they considered heroes and traitors to the cause.
If you can handle the violence of the period, I recommend this book to you. Madame Tussaud is a fascinating character of an unforgettable time in history.