Book - 2010
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An angry, grieving seventeen-year-old musician facing expulsion from her prestigious Brooklyn private school travels to Paris to complete a school assignment and uncovers a diary written during the French revolution by a young actress attempting to help a tortured, imprisoned little boy--Louis Charles, the lost king of France.
Publisher: New York : Delacorte Press, 2010
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780385737630
Branch Call Number: FICTION Don
Description: 471 pages ; 24 cm


From Library Staff

Andi is barely holding it together. She's angry, at everyone. Only her music seems to sooth her, but when her father insists she go to Paris with him to work on her final paper, she finds a way to transcend time, let go of her anger and let herself heal.

Pair with "The Flanders Panel" by Arturo Perez-Reverte. Two different wars and two different forms of art (music and chess) for two very interesting books.

Andi Alpers' father whisks her to Paris with him for his work as an intervention in Andi's decline into depression. There she comes across the diary of Alexandrine, who lived through the French Revolution. Andi and Alexandrine's stories intertwine in some really interesting ways in this narrative... Read More »

Andi has lost her brother to an accident and is having a hard time dealing with it. So, her dad takes her to Paris where she is supposed to be working on her thesis. She finds the diary of Alex--a young girl who lived during the French Revolution. Andi finds herself drawn into the story of Alex a... Read More »

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Apr 27, 2016

A really read for those interested in French historical fiction. There is a lot of teenage angst to wade through but Alex's story will keep you going.

Jul 20, 2015

This book was fantastic with its references to history, music, and its true understanding of what it is like to be heartbroken and guilty that you can barely breathe.

Jun 11, 2015

i loved this novel tbh
the story line is amazing, and it really pulls you in - jen did a great job 10/10

Apr 23, 2015

This book is a nice mix of contemporary and historical fiction with a complex narrator. The pacing of this book was very frustrating. The beginning of the book is very slow-going, and then a lot of things are rushed in the last few chapters. Once it got going the book was very entertaining , and I wanted more details about things that are briefly mentioned in the epilogue.

ChristchurchLib Nov 05, 2013

"Andi Alpers is so full of grief, rage, and antidepressants that nothing matters to her anymore - nothing except playing guitar and taking care of her severely depressed mother. She's on the verge of being expelled from her exclusive prep school when her distant father intervenes, forcing Andi to accompany him on a business trip to Paris. In Paris, Andi finds the diary of Alexandrine, a young woman who lived through the French Revolution, and she becomes unexpectedly obsessed with Alexandrine's life and the historical mystery it could solve. This complex, haunting, and beautifully written novel will thrill readers who enjoy historical fiction, romance, or family dramas." Teen Scene November 2013 newsletter

samdog123 Aug 18, 2013

Andi, our main character, is dealing with guilt after her younger brother dies in an accident. A student at a private school, she is a gifted musician. When her Father insists she accompany him to Paris to write her final thesis for school, she finds an old diary in a guitar case. The girl in the diary seems to be struggling with many of the same issues and the parallels grow and develop between Andi and the girl from the 1700's, named Alexandrine. Many excellent details about the French Revolution make this a great piece of historical fiction.

Jul 24, 2013

This story flips between the present and the French Revolution. A present day 17 year old girl visiting Paris is transported to 18th century Paris and as a companion for Marie Antoinette's son. It is similar to The Lacemaker and the Princess which is told from the point of view of Marie Antoinette's daughter's compnaion.

Jul 29, 2012

Gateway 2012-2013 nominee. Overall a good story, but it does drag a bit--could have used some better editing. Also the first few diary entries were a bit confusing as Alex jumps back and forth between her present day (1795) and what had happened during her previous 6 years.

The story will make more sense if you already know at least a bit about the French revolution--the basic names, dates, etc.

Jan 03, 2012

The idea was good, but the characters are annoying and the writing is really cheesy. The dialogue was bad, and all that angst was exasperating. Also, the only interesting part of this book was the part where she goes back in time, and that took forever to get there. Oh, and the end? How she makes some HUGE discovery in her high school thesis, and no one else had ever put two and two together? Please...

Dec 26, 2011

One of the best books I think I have ever read. Although it was a little long..."When are we going to get to the time travel part? I swear it said something about going back in time on the back cover..."...You can totally tell that the author put a whole lot of work into it, and that makes it such a fabulous book. Stories like these make historical fiction so much more interesting!!!

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Add a Quote

Jul 16, 2015

"Think you only kings have power? Stand on a stage and hold the hearts of men in your hands. Make them laugh with a gesture, cry with a word. Make them love you. And you will know what power is."

Jul 16, 2015

"But I think about what he said, that I’m sad and angry. And I know he hasn’t seen a tenth of it. How do I tell him about the pain? About the pills I pop like M&M’s? How do I tell him how hard it is sometimes, to stay away from the edge of rivers and rooftops? How do I tell him what happened?"

Jul 16, 2015

"I play until my fingers are blue and stiff from the cold, and then I keep on playing. Until I'm lost in the music. Until I am the music--the notes and chords, the melody and harmony. It hurts, but it's okay because when I'm the music, I'm not me. Not sad. Not afraid. Not desperate. Not guilty."

Jul 16, 2015

"Does it (the heart of Louis XVII) have meaning because it is made of this and that protein? No! It has meaning because of its context. It has meaning because of the so-called stories that that surround it. It has meaning because we know—or soon will—that it came from the body of a defenseless child who was imprisoned by the revolutionaries, who was denied the very things they sought to obtain for all humanity—namely: liberty, equality, and fraternity—and whose immense, unspeakable suffering shames every politician, every strategist, every academic, think tanker, and policy wonk—then and now—who claims the revolution’s idealistic ends justified its violent means."

kadiboo579 Jul 03, 2012

“Life’s all about the revolution, isn’t it? The one inside, I mean. You can’t change history. You can’t change the world. All you can ever change is yourself.”

JewelMcLatchy Dec 12, 2011

(Andi on visiting the Abelard Library for a school project): I was confused at first. I didn't know the drill. But I've got it figured out now. My job, here at the Abelard Library, is to get information. And Yves Bonnard's job is to stop me. Yves G. Bonnard, head archivist, aka the Great and Powerful Oz, aka the Grand Inquisitor, aka the Antichrist.


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Feb 29, 2012

123_its_me thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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Feb 29, 2012

Coarse Language: swearing


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