Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

RevolutionHere’s a review of Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly, from Celia, one of the members of the teen book group.

Revolution most often comes about because of a need for change. In the case of the French Revolution, for liberty, equality and fraternity. But all Andi Alpers wants is for the crushing sadness that she feels over her brother Truman’s death to go away, to not have to feel the horrible guilt that she feels every second, that she might have been the cause of it all. Andi’s life has begun to feel meaningless, with no relief in sight except ending it.

But the one highlight of her life is music. An extremely gifted guitarist, Andi can play anything from David Gilmour’s “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” to Bach’s Sonata in D minor. All she has in life is music, and her talent matches her need for it. Her mother, a French native and talented artist, paints canvas after canvas of Truman, nearly driven mad with grief over her son’s death. Andi’s father, a Nobel prize winning scientist, buries his anguish with his work.

Before Truman’s death, Andi was a nearly straight-A student, but now that she sees no point in academics, her grades are failing. After a troubling letter from her school, Andi’s father decides to check Andi’s mother into a hospital and take Andi to Paris to spend winter break with him. While staying at her father’s friend’s house, Andi happens upon an old guitar case that is mysteriously locked. She is told that it was brought back from the catacombs dug under Paris during the French Revolution. But what she finds inside will leave her permanently connected with another girl’s undying devotion to a little boy, Prince Louis-Charles, Dauphin and heir to the French Crown. It will also send her traveling back in time. literally.

I really liked Revolution. It’s gripping story was very imaginative and was set against the backdrop of a fascinating part of history.  Though incredibly sad, it was also surprisingly uplifting. Two thumbs up!  –Celia

Revolution was also one of our favorite books of 2010 (PDF).  Read this review from Kerri, one of our booksellers:

Andi escapes her crippling grief at the loss of her younger brother by burying herself in the diary of Alexandrine Paradis, an aspiring actress living in Paris during the French Revolution.  Alex is a young peasant girl unexpectedly befriended by the young prince of France, the Dauphin Louis-Charles.  Alex is so devoted to Louis-Charles that she risks her own life to ease his suffering when he is imprisoned.  Jennifer Donnelly’s well-drawn characters will absorb your thoughts until you reach the conclusion of this compelling novel.  —Kerri Poore

A Northern LightJennifer Donnelly is also the author of A Northern Light, one of our department’s favorite books of the last 25 years.

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~ by Dana on April 8, 2011.

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