My studies of European history this year have lead me to update my review of Michelle Moran’s book. Here’s my full review:
Filled with historical details, some lovely (a lot of fashion info), some so gruesome I had to skip forward, Michelle Moran paints a picture of the strong willed, independent Mary, who later becomes Madame Tussaud. I felt the history angle was much stronger then the characterization. The reason I gave it 3 stars instead of 2 is because of the undeniable fact that I now know so much more about the French Revolution than I learned from high school history classes and historical movies. Fiction places you in the thick of things and carves indelible images into your memory. Unfortunately, most of the memories of this book will be really horrible and disgusting.
I am now studying European history, and the more I study about the French Revolution, the angrier I get at Michelle Moran. She depicts the royal family as ignorant of the awful life conditions of the third estate – those who have no title nor belong to the clergy. After generations of “taxation in advance” – a scheme started by Louis XIV – the people have been driven to poverty and starvation. The picture Ms. Moran paints of current kind Louis XVI is of a monarch who was not aware of his people’s deplorable conditions, even though everyone else knew, including his charitable sister who helped the poor. Supposedly, no one dared to tell him nor Mary Antoinette the truth. I think it impossible for live in a palace made of gold and never ever see the truth when one ventures outside (even with a closed carriage, etc.). And if the king was really so obtuse, then he should have been portrayed as an idiot, nor a poor victim. And he must have been stupid to let himself be caught and beheaded.
OK – rant over. I’m sure Michelle would be happy to know her book is “in my head.”
The Poet’s Dream by painter Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze
The moment it was over, I wanted to read it again – and that doesn’t happen often!
Georgette Heyer accidentally created a Sub-Genre (the Regency Romance) when she wrote this book , which is why I had to read it. What a fun, witty, and comical adventure! The hero was brilliant and sophisticated; the heroine resourceful and naive. As each of them tires of their respective families’ matchmaking, they – gasp! – run away together! This impropriety is masked by Penelope’s manly attire, and let the adventure begin!
Creating a Sub-Genre by Accident: Georgette Heyer’s The Corinthian
It was a gloriously sunny day. Here’s to the best season of all (mainly because my birthday is nearby)!
Franz Xaver Winterhalter – The Spring
Norman Rockwell’s Springtime
The parade in which my heroine participates in Travel Secrets is based on a real procession. If you have ever wished to understand the Brazilian carnival better, my novel will help you understand many of the details and nuances that go into these lavish parades.
Here’s a link to parade, shared and written about with Vai Vai Samba school’s permission: “Women Who Shine,” Vai Vai 2012
Art and Literature by French master William A Bouguereau, one of my top favorite painters.
I’ve suffered from Irritable Bowl Syndrome for years. The doctors mostly shrug and call it “nervous stomach.” But then I found a naturopath who took me off gluten, saying it has eroded the lining of my gut all this time. This scared me straight, and I’ve given up on all products containing wheat a few years ago. How do I stick with it? That’s simple enough: It took away my IBS and with it, my constant need and dependency on having a bathroom nearby.
But more than that, he opened my eyes to the vitally important connection of what we eat and the way we feel. As a result, I’m eating almost exclusively whole foods today. It was a learning curve, no doubt, but absolutely worth it.
With so many of us sick, depressed, or unable to sleep, the connection with food is practically glaring. This post is too short to convince anyone, but I hope it would make you curious to learn more, and also more accepting to people who choose to eat more healthfully. I cringe every time I hear anyone on TV making fun of gluten allergies, because such stupidity might discourage someone who’s struggling from making a real change in their lives. So please keep your mind open.
Please follow my blog, because there’s more to come!
I see and read about so many women who love each other, yet still tease one another incessantly. Such is Rachel’s relationship with her two American besties, Jess and Ashley. She knows they’re just kiddin’ around, but bullying is also the norm in her life.
That is not the case in Brazil. There, Rachel is constantly showered with love and admiration. For the first time in her life, she is envied for her “big” butt, and her initiative is admired. No longer surrounded by negativity, she begins to wonder why was it ever there in the first place, and whether or not she can change the status quo when she goes back to New York.
I hope you enjoy seeing what happens when I drop Rachel into the culture of Rio de Janeiro, and later into Paris and Bordeaux, and then she finally returns N.Y. The style of these different cultures is like a smell of a perfume: some are enchanting, some sickly sweet, but they’re always absolutely unique.