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Mata Hari's Last Dance
Mata Hari's Last Dance: A Novel | Michelle Moran
23 posts | 20 read | 31 to read
From the international bestselling author of Rebel Queen and Nefertiti comes a captivating novel about the infamous Mata Hari, exotic dancer, adored courtesan, and, possibly, relentless spy. Paris, 1917. The notorious dancer Mata Hari sits in a cold cell awaiting freedomor death. Alone and despondent, Mata Hari is as confused as the rest of the world about the charges shes been arrested on: treason leading to the deaths of thousands of French soldiers. As Mata Hari waits for her fate to be decided, she relays the story of her life to a reporter who is allowed to visit her in prison. Beginning with her carefree childhood, Mata Hari recounts her fathers cruel abandonment of her family as well her calamitous marriage to a military officer. Taken to the island of Java, Mata Hari refuses to be ruled by her abusive husband and instead learns to dance, paving the way to her stardom as Europes most infamous dancer. From Indian temples and Parisian theatres to German barracks in war-torn Europe, international bestselling author Michelle Moran who expertly balances fact and fiction (Associated Press) brings to vibrant life the famed world of Mata Hari: dancer, courtesan, and possibly, spy.
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LibraryCin
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Mehso-so


I knew nothing of Mata Hari except for her name – not a thing. I read the book because I like the author, but this one wasn‘t nearly as good as her others, I didn‘t think. At least now I have an idea of who she was, though I can‘t say I particularly liked her. I wonder if I would have been more sympathetic toward her if her life had been told chronologically, rather than in flashbacks?

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LaurenReads
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed reading this biographical novel about Mata Hari. I didn‘t know anything about her, beyond the spying, before reading this book and I will be finding nonfiction books about her to learn more.

JaclynW 😊 I just saw this review. I will definitely have to check this one out. 2y
68 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Eridau
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Pickpick

Continuing along my theme this year of strong women, this account of Mata Hari was excellent. It's a quick read and a lovely, heartbreaking story. I thought I knew who/what Mata Hari was, but I learned a whole lot more about her and her life and how she became such a legendary performer. Highly recommended.

Reviewsbylola I've got the Cuelho book. I'm fascinated by Mata Hari but I know little about her. 2y
16 likes1 comment
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Eridau
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Very interesting book. I never knew much about Mata Hari, and this gives an alluring glimpse of her rise to fame and fall from grace.

Suet624 I keep checking in to see if you've posted. It's been awhile! Hope all is well. 2y
Eridau Hi @Suet624 you are so sweet. I got your postcard! Made my day. Things have been a bit crazy. I'm back in Colorado due to some family things which took most of my attention the last month, but I'm slowly getting back into the swing of things. Hope you are well too. 😊 2y
Suet624 I'm glad things are getting back to normal for you. Nice to hear from you. 😁 2y
22 likes3 comments
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AmyS
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Mehso-so

I finished TWO books today! One of the few benefits of being home sick with the flu. (I'm on the mend though!) I went back and forth between "pick" and "so-so" for this one. I knew nothing about Mata Hari going into the book so I had few expectations but I still feel like her story could have been told better than it was in this book. It was good enough to get me interested in Mata Hari so that's something.

Cinfhen Glad to hear you're on the mend 🌺 3y
26 likes1 comment
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Christy2318
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Pickpick

Technically, the writing could be quite a bit better. It took a couple of chapters for me to get into the rhythm of the book. About 1/2 way in, I decided it was like a fictionalized memoir. I can see why it got mixed reviews but in the end I liked it. Mata Hari isn't particularly likable but as the story goes on you can see how the abandonment of her father when she was a child colored the rest of her life and the choices she made.

Reviewsbylola I just bought Paul Coehlo's book about Mata Hari. May have to check this one out when I'm done, just to compare the two. 3y
Christy2318 @Reviewsbylola - I'm going to put a hold on The Spy for the same reason. I'd also like to read something nonfictional about her and other people mentioned in the book. 3y
32 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Christy2318
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Not repeating last year's mistake of forgetting to eat blackeye peas and greens!! Happy New Year! #dinnerandabook

britt_brooke Curious to see what you think of this book. I love all of her other books, but this one is sitting patiently on my kindle, unread. 3y
Christy2318 @britt_brooke I haven't read anything else by her. I read something online about Mata Hari and thought someone should write a fictionalized account & then this popped up on my library catalog. I've seen that it's gotten mixed reviews. And interestingly Paulo Coehlo just came out with a book about her too. 3y
britt_brooke @Christy2318 Yeah, I'd seen mixed reviews, too. That's why I keep putting it off even though I preordered it. 3y
BeveragesAndBooks It's not her strongest, for sure, but still enjoyable. For comparison, my favorite of hers is Madame Toussands. 3y
34 likes4 comments
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Booknerd2
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Pickpick

I haven't read a lot about this woman. Her story is a sad one. I wonder if she was truly a spy.

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Mentallofilth
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Mehso-so

Great character work undone by a shoddy pacing and structure. Mata Hari is at once passive and driven, naive and cunning, and when Moran has a grasp on what makes her tick, the book comes alive. But that's relatively rare. To often, she just recounts Mata Hari's life story, and it falls apart whenever that happens.

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Ehbooklover
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Mehso-so

My main issue with this book is the protagonist, Mata Hari. While I normally love Moran's books, I could not get past my dislike of her character. The fact that I enjoyed the writing and found the story to be interesting just didn't make up for the fact that I felt Mata Hari was completely unsympathetic, extremely selfish and egotistical. Oh, well. Can't win 'em all.

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KT_Scarlett
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Pickpick

I definitely have a huge soft spot for Michelle Moran and I speed through this one in one day. I think it is my least favorite of all of her books, but she is still one of my 'must buy' authors and look forward to any more she may write.

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Frontline1272
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So excited to finally get to read her new release!

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Bakingbookworm
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Mehso-so

Moran is one of my favourite go-to Historical Fiction authors but this book fell a little flat for me. Still an interesting look at Mata Hari but lacked the usual depth and emotion I've come to expect from Moran. Still a huge fan but this wasn't a fav. 3/5 stars

Karenlovesbooks I haven't read any of her books. What would you recommend as a good one to start with? 3y
Bakingbookworm @Karenlovesbooks Start with Nefertiti. It's awesome! You can follow it up with Heretic Queen. 3y
Karenlovesbooks Thank you @Bakingbookworm! Adding to my tbr stack! 3y
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Bakingbookworm @Karenlovesbooks You're welcome. I hope you enjoy them. I also really enjoyed last year's Rebel Queen. 3y
LitHousewife Oh no! I enjoyed this one, but the first half more than the second. 3y
Bakingbookworm @LitHousewife I love how books affect people so differently. :) Have you read any of her others? What did you think of those? 3y
LitHousewife @Bakingbookworm I have, but it's been awhile. I loved Nefertiti. 🤗 3y
16 likes7 comments
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Bakingbookworm
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Lunch break at work - the perfect time to start Moran's latest. She's one of my fav Hist Fic authors.

britt_brooke I love her! I just started this one, too. So far, so good. Enjoy! 3y
18 likes1 comment
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LitHousewife
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Pickpick

This was a good weekend read. I enjoyed her scandalous rise and I felt like Edouard watching her fall. Michelle Moran writes historical fiction very well. I need to catch up on her backlist.

jennifersmeth Julie loved this one too! 3y
LitHousewife @jennifersmeth It's a quick read. Just what I was looking for. 3y
jennifersmeth Those are the best! Quick good reads! 3y
britt_brooke I just started this one tonight. I agree, she does historical fiction well. I've read her other books and they are all solid, entertaining reads. 👍🏻 3y
58 likes6 stack adds4 comments
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LitHousewife
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Tonight this book lover is going to bed with Mata Hari. #havemercy

britt_brooke I have this but have yet to read it. I love Michelle Moran! Enjoy! 3y
Arabiatta Michelle Moran is really readable, one of my favorites! Excited to read this one myself! 3y
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LitHousewife
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It's been a long time since I've read Michelle Moran. I'm curious to read her take on Mata Hari. At just 255 pages, I might just be able to finish it before heading back to work.

Gleefulreader Ooh! I read a book of hers years ago. This looks interesting! 3y
LitHousewife @Gleefulreader I'll let you know. I've got high hopes. 3y
Bakingbookworm I'll be starting it soon. She's one of my top Hist Fic authors. Love her - I started with Nefertiti and have read all her books. 3y
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LitHousewife @Bakingbookworm Nefertiti was really good. I think I only read one other of hers. I need to catch up. 3y
Bakingbookworm Mme. Tussaud, Heretic Queen and Rebel Queen were all great reads. Rebel Queen and Nefertiti are my favourites of hers. 3y
LauraBrook Glad that this one is a little shorter than normal for her! 3y
Suetara I really enjoyed her previous books. Just picked this one up at the library today! 3y
63 likes5 stack adds7 comments
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Legxleg
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Panpan

This is the second Mata Hari historical fiction I haven't cared for. Maybe her story just isn't for me. The present tense narration bothered me this time around, and Mata Hari never made sense to me.

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[DELETED] 2111265813
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My latest read from the library.

4 likes2 stack adds
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Bookquilter
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This is my TBR pile for August. I always have a couple in mind I want to read. Sometime is happens... Most of the time they get pushed. #Augustofpages #bookphotochallenge

britt_brooke Love Michelle Moran! I haven't read the new one yet. Enjoy! 3y
Reviewsbylola I Let You Go is so good. 3y
MrBook Beautiful stack! 3y
28 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Bakingbookworm
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I just found out that I won a paper copy of Michelle Moran's new book!!! Moran is one of my favourite Historical Fiction authors. My inner book geek is doing a happy dance. If you haven't read Moran before check out Neferiti, Rebel Queen ... Thx to Traveling with T for the giveaway!

PurpleyPumpkin Wow, awesome! Congrats on the win! 3y
britt_brooke I love her, too! I need to read this one soon! 3y
ValerieAndBooks I've read Moran and she seems to really do her homework in writing her novels. Let us know how you like this one -- I'll probably pick it up eventually! 3y
Bakingbookworm @ValerieAndBooks I agree, she definitely researches the different eras in her books and I love that she writes about strong women. 3y
21 likes3 stack adds4 comments
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johnnie_cakes
Mehso-so

Meh. I really wanted to like this book, but it was just okay. From some of the publisher marketing it seemed like it would concentrate more on the spy aspect, and that was such a very small part of the story. It was an okay read, but didn't bring anything new to Mata Hari's story.

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johnnie_cakes
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I've been looking forward to this one for a while. Enough so, that it's going to be one of my rare e-reads.

BookishTrish I love Michelle Moran's Nefertiti, and had no idea she had a new book. Thanks for sharing! 4y
1 like1 comment