BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She’s angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she’s about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights’ most prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break.
PARIS: Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn’t want—and couldn’t escape.
Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine’s diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There’s comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal’s antique pages—until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine’s words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present.
Jennifer Donnelly, author of the award-winning novel A Northern Light, artfully weaves two girls’ stories into one unforgettable account of life, loss, and enduring love. Revolution spans centuries and vividly depicts the eternal struggles of the human heart.
I've heard of A Northern Light but never read it. This was my first Jennifer Donnelly novel. To be honest I was not in the mood for a girl that was so depressed and distraught from her brother's death. I wasn't looking for such a sad premise. The thing is when I sign up for a book it's often months in advance, and what seemed so interesting then can hit me at a bad time.
So reading such a sad story about a girl wanted to kill herself because her brother's death tore her family apart so badly was hard to get through. Actually going through such a thing, of course, can't be easy either. In this case Donnelly was doing her job. Andi was a snarky, distraught, and angry teenager. When her father finally comes around to put her mother into a hospital and take her to France I was really to drop the book.
Then the French history came into play. The way that Donnelly wrote about the history, the time, the political turmoil was so vastly interesting. Her characters were so passionate about it that they really made you want to learn about that time. It was, for me, when the story turned around. (Although Andi's statement that even Pre-Kers know about the revolution is a little far-fetched. She's probably being just a little snot, but still.)
Needless to say that the story took a turn for the better. I loved what I read, and knew from the moment that Andi saw her little brother in that painting that it would be amazing. I will definitely be buying this book and re-reading it. It brought a time in history to life as well as interweaving Andi's progress from a broken, suicidal young women into healing. All of it happening because of her interactions with a girl from the French Revolution.
Long story short I ended up loving this story. If you're like me and you enjoy historical fiction you'll really enjoy this book.