Andi Alper is a senior in high school. She doesn’t seem to care much about anything, except music. She refuses to complete her high school thesis, which is a requirement for graduation. She is so busy grieving and being depressed, that she can’t think about any thing else. On top of this her mother has gone just a little crazy, and her dad has left both of them. When her school contacts her dad with their concerns about her future, he swoops in and puts rule into place. She will go with him to Paris over Christmas break and work on her thesis. In Paris, her father is researching a found human heart that is believed to belong to Louis Charles, the son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. Soon after arrival Andi finds the diary of the woman who looked after Louis Charles. As she reads her story, she learns about the darker history of the French Revolution, as well as love, loss, and grief.
Ok if that sounded like an earful, its because it was. Not that Donnelly wasn’t a good writer, there was just TOO MUCH in this book. It wasn’t confusing, it just got old. Its like I was trying to read three books at one time, and I didn’t really enjoy any one of them. Andi, was annoying as a character. Her narrative was pathetically “woe is me.” I admit that she suffered a great loss, however, she is not the only person in the world who has ever been through tragedy. Really, who complains about having to go to Paris? Her school friends were for the most part awful, and on the whole quite unbelievable. On the plus side, I really liked the factually based information about the French Revolution. I also enjoyed the narrator’s French accent. On a whole, I felt like the book dragged. It was too long, and not interesting enough to be as long as it was. I keep hearing good things about Northern Lights, Donnelly’s other novel, but after this, I would almost certainly not pick up any more of her books.