Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Freedom, Firecrackers And Fortitude
History / July 14, 2018

Fourth of July and Bastille Day celebrate the dynamic and unprecedented revolutions that spawned two new nations, one a former colony breaking away to control its own destiny, the other throwing off centuries of royal rule to create itself a republic—at least, for awhile. That Revolutionary France, and the dictatorship-turned-empire the followed, is explored by this column’s selection of historical fiction. Moving chronologically, we start with MADAME TUSSAUD: A NOVEL by best-selling author Michelle Moran. Trained by a Swiss doctor she calls her uncle, Marie Grosholtz becomes a skilled artist in the sculpting of wax and an astute businesswoman who helps run the family firm, Salon de Cire, which displays wax portraits and tableaux of the foremost personalities in France. Although her family’s home is a meeting place for budding revolutionaries like Desmoulins, Marat and Robespierre, when the royal family, impressed by her artistry, invites her to become a tutor to Princess Elizabeth, she cannot refuse. But as she gets to know her student, the king, and the queen better, she finds herself balancing a fine line between sympathy for her royal employers and the increasingly strident demands of the reformers. And when reform becomes the madness of the Reign…