Andi is a Brooklyn teenager with more on her plate than she can handle. She witnessed her younger brother Truman’s fatal accident and blames herself for his death. Andi’s artist mother has emotionally collapsed and spends most of her days painting endless portraits of Truman. Andi’s geneticist father is even more absent than he was before Truman’s death, in fact he now lives in a different city altogether. Andi is struggling to keep it together but she is quickly losing control over the grief and anger that well up inside her daily. The only thing keeping her grounded is her music.
When Andi’s father unexpectedly shows up in town, he decides that Andi’s mother needs professional help, admits her to a facility and forces Andi to accompany him to Paris over Christmas break. Andi doesn’t want to leave her mother or her music lessons but has little choice. In Paris, Andi makes a discovery. Hidden in an old guitar case is the journal of a teenage girl named Alexandrine who lived during the French Revolution. Andi is inexplicably swept away by Alexandrine’s story of hardship, love, and loss beyond anything modern Andi can imagine but to which she can fully relate.
Alexandrine’s story touches Andi in a way nothing has since Truman’s death. Can Andi learn to live again from a girl who lived so long ago?
Revolution is engrossing. It is quite a long book, 472 pages, but when I sat down to read it time and pages would fly. The writing is quite exquisite. Jennifer Donnelly is truly a master. I’m not often moved by specific passages in books but I marked several quotes that spoke to me in Revolution. While I couldn’t specifically relate to Andi, I could definitely empathize. Her emotions and reactions rang true to me. My only gripe would be that I felt the transitions between Andi’s story and Alexandrine’s, being read by Andi, felt untrue and were jarring, often bringing me out of the story. If you can get readers past the size, Revolution has appeal for a broad range of teen readers.