The School of Mirrors: A Novel

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Versailles under Louis XV, the Sun King, was a place of excess. It was this as much as Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette that helped to spur the French Revolution decades later. The School of Mirrors explores both these eras through the eyes of a young woman in each: Véronique during the time of Louis XV and Marie-Louise during the time of Louis XVI and the Revolution.

The book is not so much character-driven as plot-driven, but this is one of the few times where it works. The force of history, especially in times of revolution, is a powerful one. Even the great movers of the time, like Louis XVI and Robespierre, find themselves at the mercy of forces beyond their control. Ordinary people, especially those at the edges of their societies (as women tend to be) are all too often even more marginalized.

All the same, women can be powerful, in their own ways. Véronique is at the mercy of the king, but she does her best to make her life her own. Marie-Louise is a midwife, before obstetrics had been entirely swallowed up by male-dominated forms of medicine. They are both able to survive, and in the end, sometimes that is all a woman can do.

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Author Eva Stachniak
Star Count /5
Format Trade
Page Count 320 pages
Publisher William Marrow Paperbacks
Publish Date 22-Feb-2022
ISBN 9780063119604 Buy this Book
Issue March 2022
Category Historical Fiction