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The Lacemaker and the Princess by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Posted by Caitie F on October 1, 2010

Title: The Lacemaker and the Princess

Author: Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Hardcover: 199 pages

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children’s

ISBN: 1416919201

Rating: ++++

Summary (from goodreads):


One day as she delivers lace to the palace, she is almost trampled by a crowd of courtiers — only to be rescued by Marie Antoinette. Before Isabelle can believe it, she has a new job — companion to the queen’s daughter. Isabelle is given a fashionable name, fashionable dresses — a new identity. At home she plies her needle under her grandmother’s disapproving eye. At the palace she is playmate to a princess.

Thrown into a world of luxury, Isabelle is living a fairy-tale life. But thisfacade begins to crumble when rumors of starvation in the countryside lead to whispers of revolution. How can Isabelle reconcile the ugly things she hears in the town with the kind family she knows in the palace? And which side is she truly on?

Inspired by an actual friendship between the French princess and a commoner who became her companion, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley offers a vivid portrait of life inside the palace of Versailles — and a touching tale of two friends divided by class and the hunger for equality and freedom that fueled the French Revolution.


I love historical fiction, especially when it is about a time that I haven’t learned much about other than school. The time leading up to the French Revolution is one of those time periods. I always thought it was interesting because we got such a “yay freedom” perspective, but never really learned why it happened, just that they were inspired by the American Revolution. I wish I had taken a class about it in college, one was offered one year but it didn’t fit in my schedule.

This was a great, quick book about the time leading up to the revolution from the perspective of a young girl who is part of both worlds. She plays with the princess and is close to the queen during the day, but then heads home to poverty. her brother works for the king, but speaks of revolution and freedom.

That is what really sets this apart though, it looks at it from both sides. There were many times I felt bad for Marie Antoinette.  She was only doing what was expected of her and didn’t think of what things cost. They also truly did believe that God wanted them to rule, the idea of anything different just didn’t make sense. But right when I started feeling bad for them, Isabelle started thinking about how many starving people could be fed with the food the royals are wasting.

I thought it was a good read and I really enjoyed the inner struggle Isabelle faces between her two worlds. This was marked at my library as YA, but I really think then 11 or 12 year olds would enjoy it too.

What are your favorite time periods to read about? What historical fiction book should I read next? Let me know in the comments!

5 Responses to “The Lacemaker and the Princess by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley”

  1. It’s nice to see that they’re coming out with some good historical fiction for the younger crowd.

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  3. Linda said

    I love historical fiction especially anything set during the French Revolution. It’s been one of my favorite time periods since I was a kid. I recommend taking a class about FR history if you ever can. I took it in college and it was one of my most interesting classes.

    • Caitie F said

      Awesome! Once i get more settled into a job, I am thinking about taking some classes at the local community college just for fun and that would have to be one of them. I am such a geek!

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