Books read in 2011: 3
Although much of this book is outright fabricated (which the author admits quite graciously), I thoroughly enjoyed it. Do I think it's a work of art? No. But it was refreshing to read a different take on the story of Marie Antoinette. The diary style that it is written in make it a quick read; my one complaint about that are the many large chunks of time that pass between "entries". These time periods are glossed over with comments about Marie Antoinette being fearful that her diary will be read, but I feel that there could and should have been a better solution to those periods of time that were skipped. I do think, however, that character development is a plus for this novel--Erickson does a good job with not casting these people who actually existed in black and white. For example, you see Antoinette's stubborn side, some of her waste, and her sometimes rude thoughts about her husband; while at the same time seeing her presented as a mother who loves her children, a wife who is a caring friend to a husband who was thrust upon her, and a woman who was trying (though maybe not hard enough) to do what she could for the poor and starving peasants of France.
If you like historical fiction (as I do) and especially if you want to read a somewhat fictional take on the story of the tragically interesting Marie Antoinette, I definitely suggest picking this up. Still, as books go it rates a mere 3/5 stars, mainly because of those missing time periods, some pretty big fictional stretches, and writing that was at times stilted.