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Publisher's Summary

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.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

©2011 Juliet Grey (P)2011 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“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)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely the best narration from an author!

If you could sum up Becoming Marie Antoinette in three words, what would they be?

Enchanting, engrossing and delightful

What did you like best about this story?

I loved the narrator. I am not very excited when authors read their own books but this is an exception. Juliet Grey IS Marie Antoinette. She says the French and Austrian words flawlessly. I really felt like I was hearing Marie Antoinette speaking. The voice for Antoinette's mother was even perfect. This really came alive for me and my daughter who now adores the book. Sadly, the other two are not available as audio books. I hope that changes and I would love to hear the author narrate other royal nonfiction!

Which character – as performed by Juliet Grey – was your favorite?

Marie Antoinette.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I was shocked by how I was drawn into the book. I am not personally a fan of the historical fiction genre but this changed my mind. The narration is the best I have heard.

Any additional comments?

I wrote the author about this book and the other two books are not audio books. Anyone who enjoys the book should write the author on goodreads and the publisher. It would be great to have the other two in the series.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Narrator was amazing!!!

Caution! Before listening and completely falling in love with the story beware that it's a trilogy but the two remaining books are not available on Audible. I wish I had known this because now I am hooked and would love to listen to the rest of the story but cannot unless I buy the actual books and read them which i haven't got time for.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Biographical Novels – An Excellent Way to Learn!

I am only 16% of the way into the book but my opinion won’t change by the time I reach the end: I love it!

Paraphrasing myself from my review of The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone: I love this way of telling a biography – like a novel. It’s infinitely more interesting than reading all the boring, dry, dates-names-facts like: on this date this event happened, and then on that date the other part was done, and then on this date that contract was signed.

Like with Michelangelo in that book, I am going to remember the story of Marie Antoinette’s life much better thanks to this format. Of course, being a biographical novel one must assume that there is a little fictional embellishment going on here and there, but I think it just makes the “bigger truer parts” more absorbable.

Sadly, Books 2 and 3 are not available yet on Audible, but I will definitely keep checking!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

word cannot describe. A must read!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

yes and already have.

Who was your favorite character and why?

really? marie of course

Have you listened to any of Juliet Grey’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

i like that the author read the story who better to know the charactors

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Monet
  • SACRAMENTO, CA, United States
  • 10-03-11

cant wait for the installment!

What made the experience of listening to Becoming Marie Antoinette the most enjoyable?

Rich story, great narration

Who was your favorite character and why?

The narrator was awesome, covering so many characters well but none better than Marie.

Who was the most memorable character of Becoming Marie Antoinette and why?

Marie of course, so much for a young girl to manage...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Captivating book about a frustrating time

I loved everything about this book. Juliet Grey's detailed descriptions and well-written dialogue brought both the French and Austrian courts to life. I have read many books about Marie Antoinette, but all of them began with her arrival to France, so to see the many years of preparations and the stress that she went through prior to even her formal betrothal was eye-opening. And it made this very sad story even sadder to see that she was always just not quite right for the role she was destined to inherit. Marie tries so hard throughout the book (As I am sure she did in real life), and it made me angry on her behalf to see all of the ways that the adults around her just continually let her down, purposefully or not. This book really hammers home how tragic her story (and that of her husband, who was also woefully under-prepared for his role) really is, and I came away from this book feeling so sorry for her. I want very much to read the rest of the series, but at the same time I think I have to prepare myself for how sad it will become.

The narration by the author was very good, although at first it took some getting used to as I didn't expect Marie to have an American accent. I don't know what I expected, but it wasn't that. But it was great once I did get used to it. I really enjoyed listening to it!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not my cup of tea

If you are looking for an upbeat, exciting story-you got the wrong book.
The narrator is superb, but the story just doesn’t not move. The beginning is ok because you are getting to know all the characters. Towards the middle it just does not move! Patiently and giving credit to what has already happened, you keep reading expecting the story to move forward, it never does. I did finish the book, but again...not my cup of tea.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it

Love this book. The narration is perfect. The plot keeps you excited throughout.

Only one complaint and that is that the sequel is not available on audio!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A Great Novel About A Geat Woman

I must start by praising the author's wonderful performance reading this book. Her accent for diverse languages, the many voices, tempo, etc, are just delicious and a good part of why I enjoyed this book so much.
This novel is so well written that it even enticed me to find out more about the life of Marie Antoinette, and of course, I can't wait for the next book -of which, you will get a sneak peak at the end of this one.
I highly recommend "Becoming Marie Antoinette" by Juliet Grey.
Thank you!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

So happy I listened this book! Absolutely lovely!!

What did you love best about Becoming Marie Antoinette?

I thought the writing was thorough and vivid, without being overwrought. Very informative and enlightening while keeping the reader entertained and engaged! The characters came alive and their personalities were very relatable and in keeping with history. So far my favorite Marie Antoinette to listen to!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Becoming Marie Antoinette?

I loved hearing all about her truly working and changing into who she was once she actually arrived at the French court! A whole part of her history that is often skipped over!

What about Juliet Grey’s performance did you like?

She was steady and very clear, I love when authors do their own narration!

Any additional comments?

Pease get the next book in the series!!! I am dying over here since I learned it was only book 1! The first chapter sneak peek has me so looking forward to it!

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • CP
  • 03-31-16

Disappointed by abrupt finish.

The story was interesting, with the details of the history of France and Austria. It was read well, although the prince reminded me of the character boy in Charlie and the Chocolate factory- Augustus Gloop. I did feel sorry for Marie Antionette and it portrayed her in a different light than I imagined her to be even though it was her younger years.
Overall I enjoyed the book reading but was disappointed at the abrupt finish when she became queen, it feels like the book was just starting.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful