From Brooklyn to Paris and from the 18th-century to the 21st, Jennifer Donnelly’s Revolution covers a vast spread of geography, culture, and time. Emily Janice Card does the heavy lifting in her narration of Andi Alpers, a Brooklyn prep school misfit and gifted musician with enough life experience for someone three times her age. Card delivers Andi’s heartbreak and depression with remarkable awareness, her intonation constantly evolving and adapting to the development of the character. When Andi finds a mysterious archaic diary while accompanying her father on a trip to Paris, narrator Emma Bering voices a smaller but vital role as Alexandrine, a French actress living in Versaille as a companion to Louis Charles, son of King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, in Revolution-era France. Card and Bering’s collaboration yields a stunning performance of an alliance between two women separated by three centuries. Revolution will charm Francophiles, historians, and musicians alike.
Following the tragic death of her younger brother and the divorce of her mother and father, Andi spirals into a severe depression. Arguably the most stable in this arrangement, her father, an award-winning genetics professor at Harvard, takes notice when he discovers that Andi is in danger of failing out of high school. He insists that she join him on a business trip to Paris to focus on writing her senior thesis and her mental wellness. Initially reluctant to leave her mother behind, Andi soon finds a reason to explore Paris the diary written by Alexandrine detailing the final days of the French monarchy and the Reign of Terror.
The entanglement of Andi and Alexandrine’s storylines as Andi becomes engrossed in the diary offers a fascinating glimpse into both contemporary and 18th-century Paris. Donnelly’s striking construction of these two worlds is accompanied by Andi’s acute perception and passion for music of all eras. From Beethoven to Radiohead, music plays a central role in Andi’s emotional recovery and journey throughout Revolution. Card inhabits the music’s supporting role ardently. Suzanne Day
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.
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.
©2010 Jennifer Donnelly (P)2010 Listening Library
"Revolution is a sumptuous feast of a novel, rich in mood, character, and emotion. With multiple hooks, it should appeal to a wide range of readers." (School Library Journal)
I am a library media specialist at a middle/high school. I love classics, contemporary fiction, historical fiction, YA books (especially dystopias!) and picture books.
I really enjoyed this fantasy/historical/realistic fiction mash-up. I especially liked all of the details about music.
I don't normally pick up books that are directed at "young adults" but because I was looking for suggestions for students I was taking to Paris and having the recommendation from another book group on this one, I went for it.
This one was difficult for me to review because there were some things that I loved so much about it and some things I didn't. This is a dual story told from the first person during two different time periods. You can read more about the plot from numerous others so I won't belabor that point. I loved the entire portion of the story that takes place during the French Revolution. I thought it was well told, well researched (I've done quite a bit of study on the French Revolution and I learned some things I didn't previously know) and was relayed in a manner that made the reader care about the events and characters from the Revolution. I was completely fascinated by this line of the story and kept wanting to return to the 1770's every time the story switched back to modern time. For the story that takes place during the French Revolution, I would give this 4 to 5 stars; for the modern storyline, 2.5 to 3 stars.
I was proofing this as a possible recommendation for some of my teenage students. When I am proofing a book for teenage readers, I tend to be doubly cautious and ultra critical, looking for any possible language or issues that may be inappropriate subject material for younger readers. While there was little or no foul language and no sex though the modern-day character was a troubled young lady. In reading about the troubled young lady, we also are introduced to a number of her troubled young friends and some of their troubling activities that tend to be very common these days though not admirable - drinking, drugs, bad attitudes, etc., while certainly not foreign to modern teens but subjects that as a parent recommending a book, I want to make sure are presented appropriately.
I think if I had not been proofing this book for younger readers, I may have been able to relax and enjoy the modern storyline more. However, as I have recommended this book to other teens or parents because of the historical subject matter, I always preface my recommendation with a, "but be aware that there are some inappropriate situations and reactions going on." There is nothing happening here that our teenagers aren't already well aware of, and even though Andi, the troubled young lady who is the main character, is a sympathetic character and not acting out for sheer rebellion's sake, she is acting out all the same and I hesitate to put forth sympathetic characters who are making poor choices to impressionable young people. I don't want to give them any more reasons for rationalizing poor choices.
I like to read VERY much .. I'm obsessed with reading I don't have time to actually read a book so I've been a listener for three years now
maybe the plot .. and the romance between Andri and Vergil , but the story has a strong back bone and I commend the author for that
maybe I would make Vergil travel in time with Andi , it would make the story much more interesting
yeah they get the characters and I like their narration
yeah it would make a nice movie .. with a little changes of course , Maybe Demi Lavato as Andi LOL
the story is very strong and well researched but it wasn't for me , but I'm glad that I listened to it .. thank you audible for your Excellent work
I didn't care for this story much. If I had it in print, I'm not sure I would have finished it. I don't think I would try another book by Jennifer Donnelly. It wasn't bad, just not might type of story.
I don't remember the ending which probably says a lot.
Boring. Try as I might- I just couldn't get invested enough in the book to continue listening after the first few chapters. I would avoid this book!
I had incredibly high hopes for this book. And although it was good, it took me two months to finish it. I just didn't feel that drive to listen to it whenever I had a chance. I had to force myself to turn in on. I'm not quite sure why this is, seeing as it is an interesting book and the narrators do a marvelous job.
I'm a 31 yr old female so not exactly a young adult but a fan of historical fiction. At times I like this book but there were a few times I had to turn it off because it was either so depressing I couldn't take the sadness anymore or the story took a turn where I just couldn't suspend my disbelief enough to enjoy the plot. I really found the whole french revolution story very boring did not intrigue me at all. The only thing that really kept me listening is the main narrator Emily Card. I listen to audiobooks whlie I work some narrators do not keep my attention and I drift away from the story Emily was able to keep me listening.
This book was good by the end but it took far too long to get into it. On the positive side, the narration was absolutely amazing, world class si that it was actually very hard not to listen.
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