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512 pages, Paperback
First published October 12, 2010
- The French Revolution not as a political event that shaped nations and changed history, but as an event that shaped people, affected them personally and changed their lives. The French Revolution looked at from a different side, from the perspective of someone who was close to the king – loyal, but not for political reasons. Alexandrines story was captivating and achingly sad – a bittersweet ‘love story’ in a way, but without the happy ending. Together with Andi, I desperately hoped that there would be some kind of solution, but sadly, what’s in the past can’t be changed now.
If you like personal accounts of historic events, this should be for you! I am not a historic fiction fan myself, but this story was just great. It has definitely made me interested in reading more about this revolution that has had such a great effect on our world as a whole, but especially on the people of France.
- Andi’s love of music and the important role it played in her life – not being able to play an instrument or hear music the way she does, it was great to discover and feel her dedication and admiration through Donnelly’s words.
- Virgil. Sigh. Definitely a contender for my fictional crushes list ;).
- The way things turned out at the end. Not perfect, not happily-ever-after happy, but just right.
- Paris. The atmosphere Donnelly created just felt so similar to my personal experience and if Rémy’s actually existed, I would love to spend some time there. The parts that played in the Paris of the late 1700s had a very real feel to them as well. I could sense the desperation and the hope the people felt. I could imagine the dirty streets and the bloody raids. I could see the splendour and gold of the royal palaces on one side, and the misery and hunger the common people lived in on the other. It almost was as if I was there myself, and I think that’s the greatest compliment you can give in cases such as this!
- Andi moping around the whole time at the beginning. I mean, I got it, she was hurt and she felt guilty. She didn’t want to live anymore. But she was extremely whiny and made sure everyone noticed how much she suffered in this I-don’t-care-about-you-don’t-you-dare-care-about-me way that annoyed me to no end. This got a lot better as the story progressed, but the first couple of chapters, she was actually very hard to take.
”I am not afraid of beatings or blood anymore. I’m not afraid of guards or guillotines.
There is only one thing I fear now - love.
For I have seen it and I have felt it and I know that it is love, not death, that undoes us.”
”I don’t like hope very much. In fact, I hate it. It’s the crystal meth of emotions. It hooks you fast and kills you hard. It’s bad news. The worst. It’s sharp sticks and cherry bombs. When hope shows up, it’s only a matter of time until someone gets hurt.”