Title: The Wardrobe Mistress: A Novel of Marie Antoinette
Author: Meghan Masterson
Publication: August 15th 2017 by St. Martin’s Griffin
Genre: Historical Fiction
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo
It’s Giselle Aubry’s first time at court in Versailles. At sixteen, she is one of Marie Antoinette’s newest undertirewomen, and in awe of the glamorous queen and her opulent palace life. A budding designer, it’s a dream come true to work with the beautiful fabrics and jewels in the queen’s wardrobe. But every few weeks she returns home to visit her family in the Parisian countryside where rumors of revolution are growing stronger.
From her position working in the royal household, Giselle is poised to see both sides of the revolutionary tensions erupting throughout Paris. When her uncle, a retired member of the secret du roi, a spy ring that worked for the old King, Louis XV, suggests that she casually report the Queen s actions back to him as a game, she leaps at the chance. Spying seems like an adventure and an exciting way to privately support the revolution taking the countryside by storm. She also enjoys using her insight from Versailles in lively debates with Leon Gauvain, the handsome and idealistic revolutionary who courts her.
But as the revolution continues to gain momentum, and Giselle grows closer to the Queen, becoming one of the few trusted servants, she finds herself dangerously torn. Violence is escalating; she must choose where her loyalty truly lies, or risk losing everything…maybe even her head.
The Wardrobe Mistress is Meghan Masterson’s fascinating and visceral debut, not to be missed.
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.
Meghan Masterson graduated from the University of Calgary with an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Communications Studies, and has worked several unrelated jobs while writing on the side. As a child, she gave her parents a flowery story about horses every year for Christmas. Thankfully, she has expanded her work past tales of equine perfection and thinly veiled Nancy Drew retellings, and is now mainly interested in writing historical fiction. She is drawn to strong historical figures and unique situations in history, which present unexpected opportunities and dilemmas for her characters. Meghan’s other interests include reading at all hours (even at breakfast), cooking, and going for walks with her dog. She and her husband live in Calgary, Alberta.
Meghan is represented by Carrie Pestritto of Prospect Agency.
What a cool concept for book! The French revolution, Versailles and Marie Antoinette? I am so glad that you enjoyed this one so much. I will have to check it out myself. 🙂
There are many interesting elements in this book, but it sounds like it could be expanded on a bit more. I would love to work with the Queen's wardrobe–especially the French style. That would be so much fun.
I love that shade of teal green/blue. 😀 Interesting that the protagonist is a spy, and during the French Revolution! That is so neat. It's too bad that you weren't totally sold on the romance – that is often a deal breaker for me (when there is romance at all). I'm glad you enjoyed the book overall though. Great review, Stephanie!
Have a lovely weekend. =)
Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!
Wow, that cover is beautiful! It sounds like this one had a lot of potential but because the romance didn't really fit together and the characters weren't so great you couldn't enjoy it as much as you wanted to. But it seems like a decent read still!
Yeah I'd say it's worth reading but not a favorite of mine. 🙂