Sunday, September 18, 2011


by Jennifer Donnelly

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. (description from

A long time ago, I read Jennifer Donnelly's A Northern Light. It was great, one of those books that reminds me exactly why I love historical fiction, even if I never seem to want to admit it. When Revolution came into the library, I thought, oh yeah, I'll want to read that eventually and listened to patron after patron after patron come in and tell me how they absolutely loved it. It wasn't until just recently, though, that we got in the audio book and I decided, "hey I never actually read that, so guess I can listen to it instead!"

This book was an amazing pleasure! This is one of my new favorite books. I laughed. I cried. I cried. Oh yeah...I cried. This was one of those books that I would listen to on the way to work and then have to sit in the car for an extra couple of minutes to let my face become less splotchy before running in...and it was sooooo worth it. This was one of those books that had me making excuses to get back into the car.

Aside from a fantastic story with breathtaking emotional upheavals, the historical vividness was mesmerizing, and the blend of contemporary and historical settings was amazing. Donnelly is one hell of a writer. I loved learning more about the guitar and music in general. I loved the influx of scientific facts. I loved all of the familial relationships that were explored. I loved the romance. I loved it all.

This book officially earns a coveted GOLD STAR!

For those of you audio book listeners, this was also a great book to experience in audio format. The narrators were great. There was a sprinkling of guitar music and the lyrics were almost sung. It was engrossing and thoroughly engaging. Very well done.

Absolutely recommended to music lovers, history lovers, romance lovers, readers who love exploring difficult family relationships, readers who love to read about causes, and those who enjoy light time travel. Ummm, basically everyone!

1 comment:

  1. This was my favorite book last year. I am glad to hear it's a good audio -- I think it would be fun to listen to it. Great review!