The Wardrobe Mistress: A Novel of Marie Antoinette by Meghan Masterson

katevaliant's review against another edition

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My favorite part about this book was the peek into Marie Antoinette's life. With that said it felt like most of the exciting moments of the revolution were happening off screen and being told and explained to readers instead of shown. I also expected a deeper look into Marie Antoinette's decisions and actions. Once Giselle no longer worked as an undertirewoman, I found my interest disappearing. I found Marie more interesting than the main characters and I expected to experience more of the revolution. I'd still recommend it to anyone interested in this period of history, especially if you want an outside view looking in at the queen and a middle class view of the revolution from a YA perspective, but be warned that Marie is off screen most of the time as is the revolution.

missprint_'s review against another edition

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Giselle Aubry hopes that her position as undertirewomen to Marie Antoinette will help her achieve her dream of designing opulent dresses. The tedium of the day-to-day work of dressing the queen and maintaining her wardrobe is mitigated by living in Versailles while she works and being so close to the grandness and beauty of the palace.

Within the palace the nobles are aware of the growing unrest among France's poor. But unlike the queen, most of them lack even the most basic sympathy or even understanding of the political unrest.

Ambitions aside, Giselle is eager for more adventure so she jumps at her uncle's suggestion that she begin reporting on the queen's movements. Working for her uncle, a retired spy from Louis XV's secret du roi, Giselle thinks she has found a grand game. But she soon realizes that the stakes are higher than she could have imagined.

Torn between her growing affection and loyalty for the queen and her undeniable attraction to a young revolutionary, Giselle will have to make difficult choices to protect her heart . . . and maybe even her head in The Wardrobe Mistress: A Novel of Marie Antoinette (2017) by Meghan Masterson.

The Wardrobe Mistress is Masteron's debut novel.

Through Giselle's first person narration Masterson creates an evocative vision of revolutionary era France. Despite demonstrably thorough research to set the scene, The Wardrobe Mistress fails to fully immerse readers into the setting thanks to dialogue that, while stilted, fails to feel authentic.

With her position above the working class but beneath the nobility Giselle has the chance to have a uniquely nuanced view of the revolution as it unfolds. Unfortunately Giselle's guileless narration still manages to frame many aspects of the story as a strict binary between good and bad. The story's focus on Giselle also limits the scope of the plot and relegates many key moments (notably the Flight to Varennes) are related to readers in lengthy recounts between characters.

The Wardrobe Mistress is an entertaining introduction to this turbulent moment in history. Recommended for readers eager to try historical fiction for the first time or those interested in the time period who enjoy their history with a healthy dose of romance on the side.

Possible Pairings: Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly, A Place of Great Safety by Hilary Mantel, Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution by Michelle Moran, The Witchfinder's Sister by Beth Underdown

*An advance copy of this title was provided by the publisher for review consideration*

tracey09's review against another edition

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emotional informative sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character


cfh's review against another edition

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informative medium-paced


leonareadsalot's review against another edition

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I will admit that I was skeptical about my chances of liking The Wardrobe Mistress, but I really fell for the spy, suspense, and romantic elements within its story.

Early on Meghan Masterson introduced some of the main players, Marie Antoinette and her outspoken wardrobe mistress, Giselle. So the players and the playing field, or the political smoldering fire that's waiting to erupt in France, had been laid out. At this point I wanted to be was all in, but the disconnect I had with Giselle's character, with quite a few characters, throughout The Wardrobe Mistress held me back.

It seemed like all the attention was placed on the events taking place and the political games being played that I found myself not really caring about Giselle's character, but I for some reason instantly connected with Leon.

Leon really fit into all the chaos that was going on. In scenes with Giselle and him I would feel some type of connection but more so to his character than hers. There was just something magnetic about his presence that I found enjoyable to read.

All in all The Wardrobe Mistress surprised me. I didn't think that a period piece about my least favorite time period and monarch would work for me. Dang, I can't stop thinking about Leon!This review was originally posted on Literary Treasure Chest

sheenlynbree114's review

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adventurous challenging emotional medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? N/A
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No


It’s a good read. Kinda slow, but I enjoy reading it.  I don’t know much about Marie Antoinette, but this novel made me curious of her. I feel bad for her because of the view of the people of her. Giselle is a good instrument to know about the queen. Though this is a work of fiction, I believe it mirrors somehow truth on the queen’s life. Also, the love story of Leon and Giselle. I almost had a heart attack when
Spoiler they broke up after sex. OMG. What a time to spill the truth Giselle. I’m just glad they still end up together.

whatjaninareads's review against another edition

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 I really liked the idea of this book and the setting was a fairly interesting one as well. Although I knew what would happen historically, I didn’t find the plot boring and liked the interpretation that was chosen. However, the main character was supposed to be a teenager, but that wasn’t apparent in the plot (or the cover, for that matter) at all, and I would have liked for the romance to be developed better.

3/5 stars. 

danireads1225's review against another edition

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I loved learning more about Queen Marie Antoinette. The first half of the book was slow, but keep in mind it is just setting everything up for the revolutions, and for when Giselle’s world as the Queen’s dressmaker collided with her personal world. I loved the writing style and would definitely recommend this book.

bookfever's review against another edition

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Taking place during the French revolution, the story is about a young woman named Giselle who works in the royal household as one of Marie Antoinette's undertirewomen. At one point Giselle's uncle who used to be part of a spy ring called the secret du roi, asks her to spy on the queen and Giselle doesn't hesitate in doing because at first it seems like a great adventure. She grows more close to the Marie Antoinette over time and can't help being torn between her loyaly for the queen and supporting what the revolutionaries are fighting for.

Aside from Giselle working in the royal household and the revolution gaining momentum, there's also a romance between Giselle and Leon who's a enthusiastic revolutionary. I felt going back and forth between rooting for them but also at the same time not being sure if I liked them together. So I was definitely on the fence about them. I also didn't like some of the secondary characters. I couldn't connect with most of them.

I've always beeing interested in the history of the French revolution and the time the novel was set in, so that part I really enjoyed. I thought it was well-researched and the writing was good as well.

Overall, The Wardrobe Mistress by Meghan Masterson was a pretty good read but it wasn't enough for a full four star rating, in my opinion, so I had to go for three and a half stars. I enjoyed the story but I felt myself wanting that little extra that would've made it excellent.

almase2020's review

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There were moments where I had to force myself to continue reading - it was either too much high handed ness or not enough. I couldn't quite find a balance for the characters.

The general outline is great, but the details don't seem to fit. Overall a decent story idea, but I've read better historical fiction.