Completion Date: June 23, 2011
Reason for Reading: The Great Reading Swap of 2011 - Marg's List
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.The Great Reading Swap is such a fun idea. It is too bad that I can't seem to get anything read of my lists! Even if I never finish the challenge, it would still be nice to read a few more of the books. I actually told Marg to include this because I wanted to buy it and I figured if I had to read it, that justified the purchase. I have read A Northern Light by Donnelly, but still haven't read her adult trilogy. I have had the first book on my TBR pile for years and it is also on my list from Marg. Right, so moving on to this book now.
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 loved this book! Andi, a girl from the present time, stumbles across a diary hidden for generations unexpectedly. When she reads it she is connected with the life of Alexandrine Paradis and the struggles that she went through to save the life of a young prince. She was a very brave young woman. The little boy was the son of Marie Antoinette, and he loved fireworks. Alexandrine made sure that the entire time he was imprisoned, he saw them. She went to a lot of risk for a boy she only looked after for gain and not for any affection. She records everything in the diary that Andi finds and hopes that someone will find it and make a difference in the world when she is no longer able to.
Andi is having some troubles of her own. She is in Paris with her father. Her mother has admitted into a hospital because she is having a hard time dealing with the loss of her son. Then, her husband left and remarried. Andi has been looking after her mother and feeling guilty about the loss of her brother. She is on a path of self-destruction that her father thinks a change of scenery will cure. Her passion is music and she is expected to be working on her schools major paper that has a music connection. When she wants to go home and take care of her mother instead, her father says she can only if she finishes the outline. What happens is that her paper and Alexandrine's world connect in ways that Andi can never even possibly imagine.
One night Andi finds herself in the Catacombs with some friends. When the police arrive to break it up she becomes separated from the group and finds herself transported back in time to a very different Paris. Suddenly it is her that has to finish Alexandrine's work and take on all the dangers associated with that. Donnelly writes a wonderful blend of the history and the present. The characters come alive, the story in engaging, and who can complain about a book set in Paris. When Andi travels back in time it is done very believably and finishes the novel on an exciting note. In the beginning Andi was just reading about this girls adventures, but now she is living them. It made for great reading all around.
I am so happy that I read this book. I strongly recommend it and look forward to more from Donnelly in the future.
This book counts for the Great Reading Swap of 2011.
Cross-posted at The Written World.