Title: Mata Hari’s Last Dance
Author: Michelle Moran
Publication: July 19th 2016 by Touchstone
Genre: Historical Fiction
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Review copy received in exchange for an honest review.
From the international bestselling author of Rebel Queen and Nefertiti comes a captivating novel about the infamous Mata Hari, exotic dancer, adored courtesan, and, possibly, relentless spy.
Paris, 1917. The notorious dancer Mata Hari sits in a cold cell awaiting freedom…or death. Alone and despondent, Mata Hari is as confused as the rest of the world about the charges she’s been arrested on: treason leading to the deaths of thousands of French soldiers.
As Mata Hari waits for her fate to be decided, she relays the story of her life to a reporter who is allowed to visit her in prison. Beginning with her carefree childhood, Mata Hari recounts her father’s cruel abandonment of her family as well her calamitous marriage to a military officer. Taken to the island of Java, Mata Hari refuses to be ruled by her abusive husband and instead learns to dance, paving the way to her stardom as Europe’s most infamous dancer.
From exotic Indian temples and glamorous Parisian theatres to stark German barracks in war-torn Europe, international bestselling author Michelle Moran who “expertly balances fact and fiction” (Associated Press) brings to vibrant life the famed world of Mata Hari: dancer, courtesan, and possibly, spy.
Mata Hari’s Last Dance by Michelle Moran was such a surprising read for me. I enjoyed it more than I was expecting. It was a pretty quick read but didn’t take away how much I liked this book.
Before reading this book I wasn’t really well known with the life of Mata Hari. But this book? It just makes me want to know more about her life. It’s also clear this book was well-researched. That’s a big deal to me with historical fictions.
The book is set in the 1900’s and a part of the book takes place during World War I, which is something I’ve become more interested in recently so those chapters were my favorites and the book also made me a little emotional towards the end.
And, this might not be a big deal to some people, but Mata Hari was Dutch, so there were quite a few Dutch words that appeared in this book, which is always a bonus for me since I am Belgian and speak Dutch.
This woman’s life was quite a journey from what I read in this book. And her end was so very tragic. But I did truly love the way Michelle Moran gave life to her in Mata Hari’s Last Dance. This turned out to be yet another favorite book of mine of 2016. And definitely in the historical fiction genre. Definitely recommended!
Michelle Moran is the international bestselling author of seven historical novels. A native of southern California, she attended Pomona College, then earned a Masters Degree from the Claremont Graduate University. During her six years as a public high school teacher she used her summers to travel around the world, and it was her experiences as a volunteer on archaeological digs that inspired her to write historical fiction.
In 2012 Michelle was married in India, inspiring her seventh book, Rebel Queen, which is set in the East. Her hobbies include hiking, traveling, and archaeology. She is also fascinated by archaeogenetics, particularly since her children’s heritages are so mixed. But above all these things Michelle is passionate about reading and can often be found with her nose in a good book. A frequent traveler, she currently resides with her husband, son, and daughter in the US. Her books have been translated into more than twenty languages.