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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,797 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Juliet Grey Narrator: Juliet Grey Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2011 ISBN: 9780307967640
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This enthralling confection of a novel, the first in a new trilogy, follows the transformation of a coddled Austrian archduchess into the reckless, powerful, beautiful queen Marie Antoinette.
 
Why must it be me? I wondered. When I am so clearly inadequate to my destiny?

Raised alongside her numerous brothers and sisters by the formidable empress of Austria, ten-year-old Maria Antonia knew that her idyllic existence would one day be sacrificed to her mother’s political ambitions. What she never anticipated was that the day in question would come so soon.

Before she can journey from sunlit picnics with her sisters in Vienna to the glitter, glamour, and gossip of Versailles, Antonia must change everything about herself in order to be accepted as dauphine of France and the wife of the awkward teenage boy who will one day be Louis XVI. Yet nothing can prepare her for the ingenuity and influence it will take to become queen.

Filled with smart history, treacherous rivalries, lavish clothes, and sparkling jewels, Becoming Marie Antoinette will utterly captivate fiction and history lovers alike.

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Quotes & Awards

  • A thoroughly enjoyable novel, brimming with delightful details. Grey writes eloquently and with charming humor, bringing ‘Toinette’ vividly to life as she is schooled and groomed—molded, quite literally—for a future as Queen of France, an innocent pawn in a deadly political game. SANDRA GULLAND, bestselling author of Mistress of the Sun and the Josephine Bonaparte trilogy
  • In her richly imagined novel, Juliet Grey meticulously recreates the sumptuous court of France's most tragic queen. Beautifully written, with attention paid to even the smallest detail, Becoming Marie Antoinette will leave readers wanting more! MICHELLE MORAN, bestselling author of Madame Tussaud
  • A lively and sensitive portrait of a young princess in a hostile court, and one of the most sympathetic portrayals of the doomed queen. LAUREN WILLIG, bestselling author of the Pink Carnation series
  • Wonderfully delectable and lusciously rich, an elegant novel to truly savor. Juliet Grey’s Marie Antoinette is completely absorbing. DIANE HAEGER, author of The Queen’s Rival
  • [A] sympathetic take on the fascinating and doomed Marie Antoinette. Publishers Weekly
  • "An extremely compelling read. The author blends very intricately detailed research with a narrative that is stunning in its poignancy. The Elliott Review
  • Readers will see Marie Antoinette in a whole new light...A sympathetic and engaging read that presents the French queen in a manner seldom found in other novels...Anyone interested in French history will savor every page of this novel. BookLoons
  • Juliet Grey’s writing is exquisitely detailed and I enjoyed her lush descriptions of the clothing and decor of the time period. Grey possesses the rare ability to transform readers to a past only accessible by imagination. Becoming Marie Antoinette is sure to appeal to lovers of quality historical fiction as well as those who are simply fascinated by Marie Antoinette. The Well Read Wife
  • Fans of historical fiction will eat this one up. It's engaging, smart and authentic. Grey has done her homework. January Magazine
  • A lusciously detailed novel of Marie Antoinette's rise to power and the decadent, extravagant lifestyles of 18th-century Versailles. Shelf Awareness
  • This is historical fiction at its finest. A Library of My Own
  • A fascinating ride and I'm looking forward to the next book. Endless Reading
  • Well-researched and lovingly written with sparkling details--this new trilogy is not one to be missed by any lover of historical fiction or Marie Antoinette centered works. This book leaves you wanting more. Stiletto Storyline
  • "Becoming Marie Antoinette is a well researched and interesting novel.  For me, it's a fine example of what good historical fiction should be--it sticks to the facts and just uses the fiction genre to fill in emotions and conversations. Tiny Library
  • The descriptions of the gowns, jewels, food - everything is so vividly described that you feel as though you are right there experiencing it all. This novel is very well written and it captivates you from the very beginning. Peeking Between the Pages
  • It is a captivating and well thought out book, and one that raises this woman of history to the point of a living person, which the reader finds easy to identify with, and relate to. The Book Worm's Library
  • C'est magnifique! A very entertaining read, one that I was hard pressed to put down and am waiting (ever so impatiently) for book two in the trilogy. Passages to the Past
  • There's a staggering amount of research in this novel -- and it shows. . .I was mesmerised. --Unabridged Chick
  • A great read that is sure to be requested lovers of historical fiction, especially those who enjoyed Michelle Moran's Madame Tussaud and other novels about the French Revolution. Library Journal
  • Grey is a passionately descriptive writer. Passages easily paint the picture of the times and evoke a sense of history and the flourishing period intrigue, along with startling refreshing moments that display the internal conflict a young girl would have on becoming this future Queen. Coffee and a Book Chick
  • Full of some interesting characters you don’t want to let go of even at the end. BookReporter
  • I am anxiously awaiting the rest of this series to come out. With the ease of Juliet Grey's writing and aptitude for characterization, it surely will be a standout in the historical fiction genre. The Broke and the Bookish
  • The description of the two courts, the complicated social etiquette, the people and the dresses (I'm never complaining about spanx again) are completely enthralling.  Although this is written as a work of fiction, every person and event was researched and so the two blend seamlessly. Ex Libris
  • I would highly recommend Becoming Marie Antoinette to fans of historical fiction or to someone who would enjoy learning about the life of Marie Antoinette. I myself cannot wait to continue her life story with the next book in the series! Stephanie's Written Word
  • Narrated in first person through Marie Antoinette's voice, this is a captivating story and one I can easily recommend. Two Kids and Tired Books
  • Grey seems to have really done her homework with Becoming Marie Antoinette, and presents to her readers an engaging and historically faithful novel. Devourer of Books
  • Becoming Marie Antoinette offers readers an enthralling window into the gilded splendor and treacherous intrigue of one of the most fascinating times in history and a unique portrait of a woman who has captivated millions. The Manchester Journal
  • Becoming Marie Antoinette is an accurate and vivid portrayal of the training and preparation it took to become one of Europe’s most famous queens. In the novel, Grey seamlessly incorporates the convoluted politics and rules of the period with romantic touches such as court attire and liaisons. Romance Junkies
  • I loved the way the story flowed, there was not one moment of boredom or scenes I thought I could have done without. It was very enjoyable. Rikki's Teleidoscope
  • This was a fabulous historical fiction novel and I can’t wait to read the next two.  In fact I would say this novel was by far the best I have read that tackles such an interesting and misunderstood queen. Grey weaves fun scandals into the history we all know. Mostly Books' Blog
  • I enjoyed Grey's writing, the vivid and colourful descriptions of clothing, cuisine, decor, french etiquette, the Versailles glide, the coiffures, the myriad of differences between the Hapsburg and the French court; I loved it all. The Eclectic Reader
  • I thoroughly enjoyed this lively, well-written promenade through pre-Revolution France, and I am looking forward to the next two books to complete the trilogy. It’s history with a spoonful of sugar - and that’s never a bad thing. The Decatur Daily
  • Juliet Grey did a fascinating job on the creation of this story. Maria Antonia, Austrian princess. What an amazing person. I absolutely loved each detail the Grey put into her. I could feel her emotions, and her struggles as she grew from Maria Antonia to Marie Antoinette, Queen of France. Reviews by Molly
  • I thought this was a truly engaging novel with fantastic historical details, well-fleshed-out characters, depth and emotion. I can't wait for the second and third books, and even though I know how it will end....I keep hoping it won't. The Loud Librarian
  • Very well written, with fantastic descriptions of life in Vienna and Versailles. Grey has done quite a bit of research, as she explains in her author’s note, and almost everything she uses is true to history. She does an excellent job of matching the personalities of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI. Medieval Bookworm
  • I enjoyed the author's writing style and how she blended fact and fiction. She also did an incredible job of describing details and bringing the time period to life. I found myself caught up in the beauty and colors of the fabrics and fashion of the day, as well as the descriptions of the court and its pomp and circumstance. Booking Mama
  • The strength of this novel is the strong personal voice of the main character, Marie Antoinette and seeing her life through her eyes. For the reader, you feel that you are actually on a journey with this queen-to-be. Bestsellersworld.com
  • Full of sumptuous and well-researched details. Philadelphia Examiner, five starred review
  • I enjoyed getting to know more of this historical figure and the goings-on at Versailles. Between the Pages
  • Meticulously researched, Marie Antoinette comes to life in this first in a trilogy about her life. The reader will never look at the French Revolution in the same way again. That's What She Read
  • Becoming Marie Antoinette by Juliet Grey is one of the best historical novels I've read, bringing a new look at one of history's most known and maligned women. This is the first of a trilogy, promising to become a must read series. Joplin Loves 2 Read
  • A very entertaining and rich read, filled to the brim with historical detail. Recommended to readers of historical fiction of all stripes. Raging Bibliomania
  • Grey’s novel has a little bit of everything: the glitz and glamour of the French court, young love, and international politics. The most enjoyable aspect of the book is seeing Marie find her own way and becoming her own person. Historical Novels Review
  • Juliet Grey has written a great historical novel, and managed to bring Marie Antoinette to life. Through extensive research and details she shows us how Marie Antoinette transforms from a young and innocent girl, and to the woman that married the dauphine of France. We learn a lot about the history of Austria and that of France. The Norwegian Book Girl
  • Becoming Marie Antoinette will please fans of historical fiction as it is smart, yet extremely engaging. Confessions of a Book Addict
  • A very well-written, thoroughly researched, fantastically told story of the early years of Marie Antoinette. Quirky Girls Read
  • I really liked the pace of the novel and the depth. You are able to learn a lot about Marie and Louis. While it is a work of fiction, Grey has done a lot of research on her subject and it shines through. Kristen's Book Nook
  • Grey's mix of relatable characters, vivid scenes, and a rich evocation of two courts make this a wonderful first book in a planned trilogy. Library Journal
  • Congratulations, Ms. Grey, on your fine fictional account of this very real, audacious world and the transformation of a naive, unsure girl into a formidable worldly leader! Superbly done! Crystal Book Reviews
  • Writing a refreshing and completely engaging novel on Marie Antoinette is a challenge in itself.  Juliet Grey has risen to the occasion.  Outstanding! Enchanted by Josephine
  • A richly detailed story. Portland Book Review

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sadie | 2/10/2014

    " This was an interesting look at Marie Antoinette and although it is listed as historical fiction, I do hope she at least really did start out as sweet as she seems in the book. I really enjoyed the novel and plan on reading the rest in the trilogy. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Amy | 1/29/2014

    " It was way better than the biography. It wasn't the greatest thing I read, but a good, quick history lesson. I will read the next two in the triology even though I know how it ends for poor Marie Antoinette. I will enjoy reading the perspective from MA's point of view considering I read the civilians perspective in Madame Tussaud, Michelle Moran. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen Stinneford | 1/23/2014

    " I flew through this book; the author did a fantastic job bringing Marie Antoinette to life. You can't help but pity the poor 14-year-old girl as she is molded into a princess acceptable to the vapid, conceited, ambitious French court. This was a young woman who would have preferred to spend her days painting, spending time outdoors and pampering babies; instead, she is confined within a rigid society that dictated how she would dress, how she must walk, who would help dress her, etc. Easily impressionable, you can just see how this young woman with good intentions and a kind soul will become corrupted by the world around her, to her grave peril. But that's the next book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maureen Hill | 1/9/2014

    " One of many books about Marie Antoinette that have been written. Somehow this one seemed different and perhaps more realistic. It is the first of three books in a trilogy and I look forward to the other books when they come out. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kim Zimmerman | 12/29/2013

    " I liked it and was enjoyable enough. It did have an abrupt ending and didn't get into as much detail as some of the other books I have read for this time period. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bellesroom | 12/8/2013

    " I just finished this book. I read it in a matter of days because I couldn't put it down. Its so refreshing to see a book put into marie's voice. She was always portrayed as a horrible person through out history. The thing I loved about it was that , it showed her in a sympathetic light which I wish more books did. its the first part of a trilogy and gives her early beginning of the princess she was made to becoming queen. It conveys the message of how hard it must have been for someone so young. If you like marie antoinette you'll love this book. If you dont like her, you probably feel sorry for her after you're done reading it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marcy O'cain | 11/19/2013

    " Loved it!!! Great story about her life up until she becomes queen. Only downside is that the next book in the trilogy isn't out until summer 2012 so I was left wanting more!!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathy Rudolph | 11/18/2013

    " Totally not my pick of genres, but 5 chapters in and I'm thinking it's not the worst thing I've ever read. How's that for a glowing endorsement?!?! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kelly Maginnis | 10/19/2013

    " Great Historical Fiction....cannot wait for the 2nd of the trilogy to come out next summer:-) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy | 8/20/2013

    " This is a story of a very young Marie. An easy read, with just enough history in it to make it a good story as well as a learning exprience. The book ends as she and her hubby become King and Queen of France. There is a sequel coming out and I look forward to continuing their story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 3/21/2013

    " Very well done. I never gave much thought to Marie Antoinette's life before she arrived in France. This makes me want to read up on the non fiction aspect to her childhood. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stacie | 2/24/2013

    " Beautifully written, researched more thoroughly than some strictly non-fiction novels. This book does a great job of capturing these historical figures. I enjoyed it so much I am immediately picking up the next book in the trilogy! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Feathzzz | 11/3/2012

    " Muwah. Kinda frivoulous, not substance or depth to the book. It would have been a 2 except the rich historical detail, that was the only interesting thing about the book. Otherwise it was just weak. Not my kind of story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leor | 10/27/2012

    " it was quite good!! I enjoyed this book! I'm excited for the 2nd one (: "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Denise | 9/9/2012

    " A very sympathetic portrayal of a young Marie Antoinette from her childhood at the Imperial court in Austria to the death of Louis XV told in her own words. Nicely done (apart from the occasionally faulty German...), looking forward to the next part! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eva | 8/2/2012

    " Love this book and looking forward to the second in the trilogy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jen | 8/2/2012

    " Eh. I felt like I was reading ( well, listening to) a wiki article. Gray's little girl/young MA voice was grating. Others raved over this book and the middle to end did make up for the so-so begining. Maybe my training as a historian leaves me a bit jaded towards historical fiction, who knows. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 7/9/2012

    " Like many historical fictions, this book made me want to learn more about Marie Antoinette. I really enjoyed it and look forward to getting into the sequel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jaime | 7/5/2012

    " I liked this book because I haven't read much about Marie Antoinette and it made me like her. However, I felt it dragged some and it was a lot of pages for as far as we got in Marie's life story. I don't know if I'll pick up the next one in the series. Perhaps a 2.5 star for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sandy | 11/7/2011

    " I had a stack of 5 books that I needed to read in 3 weeks. I figured this would be the "hardest" read due to its historical context. I found this book fascinating and easy to read. I cannot wait for the next installment to the trilogy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy | 10/8/2011

    " This is a story of a very young Marie. An easy read, with just enough history in it to make it a good story as well as a learning exprience. The book ends as she and her hubby become King and Queen of France. There is a sequel coming out and I look forward to continuing their story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Monet | 9/29/2011

    " Really enjoyed Marie's story from "her own" perspective, even if fictionalized. She has definitely gotten a bad wrap in many historical accounts and needed someone to help bring history into perspective...glad this is a series, cant wait for the next installment! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Stephanie | 9/29/2011

    " I typically love the historical novels but this one was hard for me to get through. I thought it was boring and was a very slow read.

    "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Elia | 9/10/2011

    " I was actually excited to read this and learn more about Marie Antoinette. It was pretty dull though. Not much happened and when it did, it usually took place in French which was annoying. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol | 9/8/2011

    " a different perspective on the queen. Historical fiction yet well researched- the author puts the reader there- Marie's life from age 12-17... If you have even a remote interest in what it was like to be a royal in the late 1700s this book's for you. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Belinda | 8/30/2011

    " Oh the poor misunderstood Marie Antoinette. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kelly | 8/30/2011

    " Great Historical Fiction....cannot wait for the 2nd of the trilogy to come out next summer:-) "

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