Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
It took something like ten years for us to get another book from the author of A Northern Light (which I loved in equal parts because of the story and the fact that it took place pretty much in the same place I'd been a chambermaid when I was a teen). And now, this. Again, the settings are familiar - Brooklyn Heights and Paris. The former I know really well, the latter well enough. She gets the feel of both places exactly right (and I know what school St. Anselm's stands in for - it's a perfect match).
As for the story, it's not just your usual historical time-travel device. It's never clear if Andi is actually there in the 1700s, or if this is a reaction to the Qwell and hitting her head, kind of like Dorothy at the end of the movie. It's always difficult to have historical fiction with Real Live Celebrities in it, because it feels like all those people who do past-life regression and are Cleopatra or Francis Drake but never the chambermaid. Andi is, at first, observing Alex's life, reading about it in her diary (another device that gets overused in this type of fiction); the ending, with her in the catacombs, doesn't have her interacting with anyone we'd really know, a good authorial choice.
The ending does feel a little pat, a little too neatly tied up. Still, it's a minor quibble and I decided to go with five stars because the whole was better than its parts.
ARC provided by publisher.
View all my reviews