Author: Jennifer Donnelly


Liberty, Equality and Fraternity for All: An Audio Review

February 25, 2013 Book Review, reviews 12

Liberty, Equality and Fraternity for All: An Audio ReviewRevolution by Jennifer Donnelly
Published by Random House on October 12th, 2010
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 472
Format: Audiobook
Source: purchased
AmazonBarnes & Noble

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.

[Tweet “Liberty, Fraternity, and Equality for All in @jenniferdonnelly French novel #revolution”]

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.  {Jennifer Donnelly has graciously shared her playlist here.}

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!

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