Publisher: Random House
Publication date: October 2010
Source: ARC provided by publisher
Andi feels like her life is falling apart, ever since the accident when her brother was killed. Her mother is lost in grief, her grades are slipping, and she feels responsible for his death. When her father shows up and takes her to Paris for Christmas vacation, she is so angry she doesn't know what to do. All she knows is that she needs to get back, even if it means finishing her school project on a French composer. But when she finds a diary from a young girl caught up in the French Revolution, she might get more from this trip than she expected.
Things I Liked:
This book was a really interesting way to learn about the French Revolution. At first, I did not have any interest in reading about Andi and the things that were going on in her life. But, when her story began to intersect with Alexandra's, I think it got more interesting. I liked the realistic look both at the situation Andi was in and the French Revolution and what went on then. By the time we got to the end, I was so involved in both of their stories that I couldn't put it down. A beautifully written and perfect mix of contemporary and historical fiction. Some favorites:
How could we compete against time and space and God and truth? Mom with her paintings of birds' eggs and coffee cups, me and Truman with our stupid, crappy kid stuff. It was laughable. My father didn't give a rat's about the bands I liked or Truman's latest cartoon crush. Why would he? He had better options. I mean, who would you hang with if you could - Johnny Ramone, Magneto, or God? p 28 of ARC
He's wearing boots, a kilt, and a long-sleeve T. No coat, even thought it's December. Beautiful people don't need coats. They've got their auras to keep them warm. p 34 of ARCThings I Didn't Like:
It was not very comfortable reading about Andi's suicidal tendencies and the way her depression seemed to take over her whole life. Yes, this is a very realistic the situation, but it's hard to read and sometimes I wondered if there was even going to be something hopeful or redemptive at the end. It was kind of a toss up on that, but it did have some good points. Also, I think it will be a much bigger success for those who are big music fans - most of the mentions of musicians and composers were obscure to me and I just couldn't get into that aspect. But, for music-lovers, that will make this book even more intriguing. I can definitely recommend it to fans of Donnelly and music fans or historical fiction fans.
A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly
BOOK CONTENT RATINGS:
scattered throughout, a few f-words
not really graphic, but present and often
not exactly violent, but she does consider suicide a LOT
Overall rating: ****
Do you like books with two storylines - a past and present?
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