Monday, December 20, 2010

3 For 3: Revolution

And finally, my third awesome read in a row. And, if I may say so, the most awesome one.

I've been a Jennifer Donnelly fan ever since I read A Northern Light. Her evocative and sophisticated writing immediately made her one to watch in the young adult historical fiction field (Donnelly also writes historical fiction for adults). I thought A Northern Light would be a hard one to follow up; I am very happy that I was wrong!

Mattie is a music prodigy and a student at one of Brooklyn's most rigorous and prestigious schools. She is dreadfully unhappy; an accident claimed the life of her beloved younger brother, leaving her family (parents are divorced) damaged and devastated. When her father discovers that she is in danger of failing her classes, he demands that he join her in Paris (where he lives) in order to work on her final research project involving a French composer.

While stumbling around in the attic of a family friend (and noted expert on the French Revolution), Mattie discovers the diary of a young actress who finds herself entangled with the fate of the doomed royal family.

I was as engrossed with this story as Mattie was with the secret diary; it is a powerful, heartbreaking, and moving story. There's so many twists and turns that I don't want to reveal much in this post, but it's truly one of those books that will send you on a head trip. Those with a passion for music or all things Parisian will definitely want to pick this up. It also touches on issues, naimly immigration and racial issues, that touch contemporary French society.

As the story deals simultaneously with the French Revolution and a family's devastating grief, Revolution is not for the most sensitive readers (there's also some strong language). The story will stay with you long after you finish the novel. Adult fans of historical fiction would enjoy this as well.

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