Wednesday, January 4, 2012
From the book cover:
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 had my eye on this book for a while. I had it recommended to me by a friend and when I spotted it at a Border's going out of business sale for dirt cheap I snapped it up. I almost took it on my cruise, but ended up putting it in my to-get-for-Christmas pile. Which is why it's taken me so long to read. :D
I thought it was brilliant. I read The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly (which I thought was a little too soap-opera-y but with a fabulous setting) and liked this much better. The history and the little bit of time travel are so well-done and on top of that, there's music history! I'm not an expert on classical guitar but I enjoyed learning about it. I was so into all the discussions on classical music and music theory (there's a whole conversation about tritones!) and how it influences modern music. The main composer in the book is one Amade Malherbeau, and though he is a fictional character I learned a lot from Jennifer Donnelly's portrayal of a french composer in the 18th century. I also learned a great deal about the French Revolution along with that I was led to ponder some of the heavy moral questions that go along with that particular time period.
And all this learning that I did came in the vehicle of a highly entertaining and fast-paced story with a touch of romance. Andi's character spoke to me, and though she's not the pleasantest mind to spend time in (she suffers from depression and suicidal tendencies at times in the book) I can empathize with her and I loved the fact that music was what helped her heal and what sustained her while she was suffering. There's a lot about music therapy in this book, which was a profession I very nearly pursued. I fully intended to become a music therapist for about four years. Anyway, I really enjoyed this book and I am so glad I bought it.