Image of The Wardrobe Mistress: A Novel of Marie Antoinette


Image of The Wardrobe Mistress: A Novel of Marie Antoinette

Masterson debuts with a lushly detailed, evocative novel that thrusts readers into Paris on the eve of the French Revolution while giving a true “you are there” experience. Fashionistas and Francophiles will savor the lush backdrop of court life juxtaposed with spies, danger and the tumultuous political events, all from the viewpoint of an undertirewomen to Marie Antoinette. Masterson depicts her characters in straightforward prose that serves to draw readers in and keep them enthralled by the first person narrative. Truly an exciting entrance into the genre!

Giselle Aubry, one of the women whose job is to care for Marie Antoinette’s fabulous wardrobe and jewels, is a woman with a dual purpose. For her, handling the gorgeous fabrics is a dream come true for an aspiring designer, but she is also a spy, recruited by her Uncle Pierre to keep her eyes and ears on the royal family. Versaille is a world of opulence; outside its gates is Giselle’s home where people grumble and food is scarce. Giselle sees both sides and realizes the Queen is a scapegoat for the unrest. As revolutionary sentiment rises, Giselle is caught between her loyalty to her family, sympathy for the Queen and love for idealist Léon Gauvain. (ST. MARTIN’S, Aug., 320 pp., $15.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin