Madame Tussaud’s Apprentice
by Kathleen Benner Duble
In 1789, with the starving French people on the brink of revolution, orphaned Celie Rosseau, an amazing artist and a very clever thief, runs wild with her protector, Algernon, trying to join the idealistic freedom fighters of Paris. But when she is caught stealing from none other than the king’s brother and the lady from the waxworks, Celie must use her drawing talent to buy her own freedom or die for her crimes. Forced to work for Madame Tussaud inside the opulent walls that surround Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, Celie is shocked to find that the very people she imagined to be monsters actually treat her with kindness. But the thunder of revolution still rolls outside the gates, and Celie is torn between the cause of the poor and the safety of the rich. When the moment of truth arrives, will she turn on Madame Tussaud or betray the boy she loves? From the hidden garrets of the starving poor to the jeweled halls of Versailles, “Madame Tussaud’s Apprentice” is a sweeping story of danger, intrigue, and young love, set against one of the most dramatic moments in history.
Firstly, I think this cover is gorgeous. It’s a beautiful blood red and the title is this shiny gold. It’s B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L. And even the spine’s title is gold. EEKKK, the prettiness is tooo much!!!
Anyway back to normality.
This book was very surprising. I didn’t expect myself to enjoy it as much as I did. I am a huge fan of French history, the language, the culture. Aasma @ Infinity Reads can back me up on this one. She just came back from the lovely country and my fangirling emotions went crazy for her. She’s currently posting all her pics so check those out because 1) It’s France. That should be explanation enough and 2) If you’re still not persuaded, there are pictures of FRENCH FOOD. YAAS, PEOPLE.
This story was a wonderful historical fiction read. You’ve got exciting context (French Revolution) combined with Celie’s own personal story at the same time. Both are intertwined and are super interesting.
Honestly, Celie is not the most original and dynamic character. At times, I felt she was bland but then at others, she’d be all out bad-ass and smart-mouth. This was all kind of confusing for me because it didn’t feel like Celie was one character with a distinct personality. She was more of a name on the page who acted differently each time. Algernon and Manon, on the other hand, I LOVED. Algernon is so vivid and just screams out of the page and Manon is just so unique. I wanted this book to explore more about their stories. It did to some extent but I wanted more.
Even though my wishes didn’t come, Celie’s journey was still entertaining and intriguing. Amongst the tension and anger of the French Revolution, her and Algernon are saved from a thief’s life of poverty and danger by Manon. Famous for her almost life-like wax figures. Because of Celie’s gift for drawing and photographic memory, she is recruited by Manon to sketch scenes for the making for her figures. It’s a fantastic and original story that will surprisingly keep you hooked by the action-packed story line. Plus, THERE’S SOME FRENCH IN IT!!!! AND I COULD UNDERSTAND IT!!! French is one of my electives at school so I always get really excited when I can put my French skills into use. It’s simple French like ‘madame,’ ‘merci,’ ‘arretez’, ‘bonjour,’ so don’t be worried about not understanding any of it.
You will be pleasantly be surprised by the balance of history, fiction and culture in this story. Prepare to be captivated by each character’s story and the exciting events of the French Revolution.