Book Review: Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran

I love it when a book leaves me thinking long after I have read it. I’m the type that flippantly reads books and trots on to the next one without sparing a thought except for the review. However, come to think of it, maybe I read historical fiction a bit differently, being a history nerd and all. Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran takes place during one of my favorite periods of history to read about, The French Revolution. It’s a fictionalization of Marie Tussaud’s life during the French Revolution. Pretty much, all the elements were there to make me fall in love with it, all it needed was more to hear the people sing and I would’ve added it to my non-existent best books EVER list.

Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran captures the explosive emotions of the side. Marie Tussaud, a strong woman, plays both sides of the fence. With the Salon de Cire, Tussaud and her uncle create waxworks of famous figures, depending on the political climate. When the royalty are popular, the Salon features waxworks of Marie Antoinette and the royal family.  When they fall from grace, the salon features waxworks of political figures who represent freedom and equality such as Lafayette. Now, the Salon plays a huge role in Paris. People come to the Salon to get news, because they can’t read  the newspaper, and the Salon is a visual representation of the news. Now, Curtius, Marie’s uncle entertains his own salon and among his social circle is Robespierre, Marat, and Desmoulins. So, some key players in the French Revolution. As a reader, I loved watching the revolution play out from arguments in the salon to a reign of terror with Robespierre at the helm.

Anyways, it’s a volatile time, and Marie has to live it. I mean, holy crow, she goes through SO MUCH. I thought Moran did an excellent job bringing Marie to life. I felt like she was a real person and not just that lady all those museums are named for. The reactions and emotions Tussaud experienced seem very real to me. There’s a definite fear there about what is going on, but Tussaud has to play it cool, because sudden moves around Robespierre usually leads to one’s head being chopped off. PLUS PLUS PLUS she is very hardworking and has this awesome work ethic. Like, she models these busts very quickly and turns down social calls and dates and such.

And sigh, there are moments in the book that are so TRAGIC, like, capslocking tragic. I mean, I get the sense that during some of the historical fiction books I read, the characters and their families and friends, just seem to coast right through, and like the only characters that die are characters that are introduced for that express purpose. Now, I know I am generalizing and not every book is like that at all. Actually, probably few books are like that. ANYWAYS, people DIE and it is SAD.

Finally, this was another one of those books where I had to go online to verify some things and got mad when I couldn’t find them. Like I wanted to know what happened to this guy, Henri, but it never said. 🙁 Also, when I go to BEA I plan on visiting Madame Tussaud’s with one of my friends from college, mainly because of Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran.

Other Reviews:

The Lost Entwife

Fyrefly’s Book Blog

Strange And Random Happenstance

Purchase Madame Tussaud here.

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. I can’t wait to read this one! I’m definitely not a huge history buff, but I love when a historical novel can really transport you back to that time, as this one seems to.

    Great review!
    Amanda recently posted..Non-Fiction Monday- Wild Baby AnimalsMy Profile

  2. Good to hear Madame Tussaud is awesome! I love me some historical fiction. *adds to wishlist*
    Lauren recently posted..The Vespertine by Saundra MitchellMy Profile

  3. Great review! I’m really looking forward to this one. Moran seems to have gotten this historical fiction thing down pat. I normally don’t even pick up Adult hist fiction but her books have me excited.
    Keyona recently posted..In My Mailbox 35My Profile

  4. I am definitely a huge fan of historical fiction, especially when it leaves you reeling days after finishing it. When I hear a book did this to someone I immediately want to read it – Madame Tussaud falls into this category for sure. Fantastic review April!
    Tara recently posted..Cover Reveal- Beautiful Chaos Caster Chronicles Book 3My Profile

  5. I know what you mean about not often pausing between books. I like to always be in the middle of something.

    I hadn’t considered reading this too seriously before, but now I’m definitely going to rethink that.
    Liz recently posted..My Most Read AuthorsMy Profile

  6. I won this book in a contest and can’t wait to read it! I’m a total sucker for books set during the French Revolution.

  7. What a passionate review! I’m not a history nerd but it makes me want to pick it up! I didn’t realize that was the purpose of the Salons back then – to bring news! Learn something new everyday. New word of the day thanks to you is “capslocking” as a modifier! Love it!
    Miss Remmers recently posted..The Iron Daughter – Julie KagawaMy Profile

  8. Loved this book. The writing was so straight-forward and blunt, but full of subtle emotion. Great review!

  9. I want to read this one so much! Thank you for the thoughtful review.
    Joemmama recently posted..Home to Woefield-Susan JubyMy Profile

  10. I just recently added this one to my wishlist…after reading your review, I’m glad that I did 😉 I love the historical fiction that is true to life as well…let’s face it, folks were darn lucky to live to old age during war and treason and before antibiotics. Great review!
    Patti Smith recently posted..The Hunger Games – Book ReviewMy Profile

  11. This was great! I have passed it on to my mom who says that she can hardly put it down.

  12. This is one that as certainly gotten a lot of good feedback. Maybe someday in the future for me. Nice review.
    Diane@Bibliophile By the Sea recently posted..Zeitoun Dave EggersMy Profile

  13. Lovely review my darling. I finished and loved this gory book as well as the historical points of the era.

    I’m creating my review now and am linking up your review to mind. If you would like me to take your link off please let me know.

    Mad Scientist
    Mad Scientist recently posted..TGIF Question of CharacterMy Profile


  1. Madame Tussaud | Mary's Gate says:

    […] you would like a second opinion I found this review, […]

  2. […] became the empress of France. While The Second Empress is not quite on par with Moran’s Madame Tussaud, it is still a compelling read about an interesting era of French […]

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