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Monday, June 25, 2007

The Lacemaker and the Princess

The Lacemaker and the Princess
Written by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, The Lacemaker and the Princess is the story of an eleven year-old lacemaker who is rescued by Marie Antionette as she is almost crushed by courtiers while trying to deliver lace to one of them. The queen takes Isabelle to be a "friend" to her daughter, Therese. There is a great difference between the life Isabelle knows as a craftperson, her family living only on what she, her sickly mother, and her grandmother can earn by making lace for the wealthy - and the experiences Isabelle has at Versailles with the princess. At home there is little to eat, her life is difficult even though Isabelle's family is still able to pay their rent. When she is at the palace, with Therese, Isabelle has beautiful clothing, plenty to eat, and enjoyable experiences. She is hurt when a horse throws her, and must stay at the palace with the royal family for a time. Isabelle learns that all is not well for the royal family. It is the time of the French Revolution. The people of France rebel against the excesses enjoyed by the Court of Versailles and it's royal inhabitants. Isabelle is almost caught up in the terror along with her friend, Therese.

The Lacemaker and the Princess is a story of friendship between three young girls from very different economic backgrounds. The story takes place at the court of Versailles during the beginning of the French Revolution. It is helpful if readers have some knowledge of the history of France during this time. The author includes events that are historically accurate to help place this story in historical perspective, winding the facts of what happened to King Louis, Marie Antionette, and their children into the story. It is a well written and interesting historical fiction that would also be of interest as a story of friendship between girls of different backgrounds.

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