Saturday, April 17, 2010


Abundance: A Novel by Marie Antoinette, by Sena Jeter Nasland is historical fiction about (you guessed it) Marie Antoinette. It's extremely well-researched and includes, as far as this semi-M.A.-dabbler can tell, just about every real-life quote that's documented by the former queen of France, and major historical details from the Necklace Scandal to, natch, the French Revolution. It's also the book upon which Sophia Coppola based her 2006 movie, Marie Antoinette (my review).

Jeter Naslund is a poetic writer, given to long flourishes, which are really fun at first but get old after a while. I also read (most of) her Ahab's Wife about (you guessed it...) but didn't finish it. In fact, I didn't finish Abundance but ended up skipping large portions of it. I was interested in how she wrote The End, which, I think I do not have to avoid spoilers here - suffice to say that The End is rather startling and beautiful - what she creates is an image of a young woman who's been raised her entire life to appease and to charm, to make herself amenable and that's what she does right up until her head gets removed from her body.

1 comment:

Becky K said...

I did the same thing with this book. I couldn't stand the way she portrayed Marie; I got tired of all the flowery language and skipped most of it. I don't even think found out the end, because I just didn't care after a while.

But I did love Ahab's Wife. I have to give that one a plug; it's one of my favorites. Somehow she did better with Ahab than with Marie. And her other book, about the young girls from Jackson Miss. who were killed during the race riots wasn't good either. Sad, really.