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Abundance: A Novel of Marie Antoinette by Sena Jeter Naslund
Abundance is Sena Jeter Naslund's novel about the life of Marie Antoinette. Narrated by Marie, she tells her story from the time she arrived in France at the age of 14 (and had to give up everything Austrian, including her name) to her final day before her ultimate destiny with the guillotine. Her marriage to the prince was done as a political alliance between empires, but it left her with a husband who took six years to consummate their marriage. Living in the insular world of Versailles, she lives a life of both excess and grief. Her enjoyment of her lavish lifestyle was offset by the death of her children. Her aloofness from the people, coupled with her luxurious lifestyle, drew the ire of the mob. Caught up in their revolutionary fervor, Marie Antoinette was an easy target for their anger. Abundance has received mostly positive reviews with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette saying, "Naslund's talent is her brilliant ability to show Marie Antoinette for who she may have been -- a woman who was horribly misguided and unable to change her personal viewpoints, though the country she ruled demanded it with a brutal and vicious force."