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all hearthfires & holocausts

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Revolution - Jennifer Donnelly I was a little wary going into this book, simply because I'm not much of a history girl. I correlate history lessons with boring lectures full of dry facts and more dates than my feeble brain can possibly hope to remember. I always thought it was a shame that history sucked the passion out of life. However, Revolution--much like Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series--does an incredible job of weaving together a history lesson within an engaging plot line. Set in modern day France, Andi discovers a young girl's firsthand account of eighteenth century France and the brewing revolution and the tragic life of Louis-Charles, King Louis' young son and heir. At times I had trouble sympathizing with both Andi and Alex. I don't know if I ever truly liked either of them, but still... I sympathized with their stories. I think that's also a point in Donnelly's favor; rarely am I able to enjoy a story told by a character I can't fully respect. The way in which it was told was brilliant--it's merely a cross-section of the event, and yet I felt I had the scope of the revolution by the end of it. The perspective on the revolution was also unique, I think. Most things I've read are told from the revolutionaries perspective, idealizing and justifying the brutality of the coup. In Revolution, we get both points of view--from Andi's beginnings as a poor Parisian, to her eventual affection and understanding for the royal family, and her grief when they are overtaken. A very well-rounded story; smart and beautifully written.