Liberty, Equality and Fraternity for All: An Audio Review

I’m never quite with the program when it comes to reading the latest and greatest just when the latest and greatest has been determined such…..usually, when I hear there’s a lot of hype about a book, I’ll avoid it like the plague until I break down and begin the first sentence ~ then if I’m hooked by that sentence, I’m usually lost to everyone til I’m done.  Such was the case with Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly.  I remember my girls telling me to read A Northern Light and I simply never got around to it.  Then I had an extra Audible credit I needed to use up, came across Revolution, the cover intrigued  me, the war was unknown to me and the rest is now history.

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Audio Version: 15 hours

BROOKLYN: 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.

PARIS: 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.

 

Narrated by Emily Janice Card and Emma Bering, Revolution is a production to savor.  The novel takes us into the heart of the French Revolution through the eyes of a young peasant, Alexandrine, while modern-day Andi shares the struggles of a gifted teenager weighed down by grief and guilt.  The teenage angst expressed and exhibited by Andi in the beginning felt incredibly overwhelming, but in Emily’s gifted voice, I could sense the overwhelming guilt and feel the tragedy of Andi’s situation.  Emma, as Alexandrine, takes us into the heart of Paris and the palace, Versaille, all the while stressing the powerlessness of Alexandrine’s position – her starving family needing her to bring an income and food into the home; a young prince requiring her services; and a revolution closing in on her.  Emma flawlessly delivers a slight French accent and superbly voices over the complicated French pronunciations.

The novel was fascinated me with the details of the end of the monarchy in France and beginning of the Reign of Terror.  As a music lover (of most any kind) I found the references to everyone from John Lee Hooker to Bach, Debussy, Lizst then Radiohead, Led Zeppelin and Red Hot Chili Peppers to enhance the story-line. Music is such a wonderful vehicle to express and relieve emotion that perfectly aligned with Andi’s grief.

My one complaint with the novel is a time travel aspect that seemed out of place and out of sorts with the progression.  It felt contrived and “made up” when the story was moving along perfectly wonderfully without the jump through time.  With that said, my overall experience with this book was positive and I can’t wait to begin A Northern Light….only a few several years after both of my daughters recommended it to me! If you have the time to listen to Revolution rather than read the novel, I would definitely recommend it ~ especially when it comes to the French pronunciations!

Oh, and before I forget ~ the “Liberty, Equality and Fraternity for All” is the mantra shouted during the French Revolution. Kind of neat, huh?

If you’d like to learn more about Jennifer Donnelly, connect with the author’s website, Facebook, or Twitter account.

FTC: I purchased this audiobook for my own enjoyment.

 

 

  • http://www.redheadedbookchild.com Red Headed Book Child

    I loved this book!

    • Stacy

      i’ve already downloaded a northern light and hope to get started in a few minutes! so glad i’m not the only one! and what a great cover ~ I love this particular one as opposed to all the others listed on goodreads!

  • http://bermudaonion.net bermudaonion(Kathy)

    I’m always behind on the latest and greatest too and have yet to get to this book. The audio sounds delightful!

    • http://gravatar.com/anovelsource1 anovelsource1

      it really was a lot of fun to listen to and hearing about the history of the Reign of Terror through Alexandrine’s eyes was especially neat!

  • http://talesofwhimsy.wordpress.com talesofwhimsy

    Great honest review darling! I love that you’re checking out audios now.

  • http://www.reflectionsofabookaholic.com Alexis @ reflectionsofabookaholic

    I don’t do well with teenage angst in audios. I just can’t tone it down in my head. I think I’d prefer to read this one.

    • http://gravatar.com/anovelsource1 anovelsource1

      Oh I can definitely understand that! It was close to being a bit too much for me til I heard what happened to the little brother (a wee teaser for you!)…..that kind of made it a little more understandable

  • zibilee

    I have this one on audio, and am glad to hear that it’s good! I have also been negatively affected by the hype, and was determined to wait on this one, but I think the wait is over. Your review really has me excited! Glad to see you back!

  • http://jencorner.tumblr.com Jenners

    You need to read her Tea Rose series … so so so good!!! You’ll love it. It is written more for adults and has this awesome epic sweep.

    • http://gravatar.com/anovelsource1 anovelsource1

      ahh, thank YOU for the recommendation! I saw the info about it on her website but went with A Northern LIght for my next Donnelly read/audio….I will definitely check the Tea Rose series out ~ should I read it or find it on audio?

  • http://stacybuckeye.wordpress.com/ stacybuckeye

    I loved Donnelly’s The Tea Rose. I have this one waiting on my shelf.

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