Meet Andi Alpers in modern day America. Her parents are divorcing and her beloved brother, Truman has just died. She is angry and grief stricken and not really coping with life. She is about to be expelled from her school when her father suggests that she accompany him on a business trip to Paris. Seeing that she has no other option, she goes.

Then, meet Alexandrine Paradis in revolutionary France. A turbulent and dangerous time for anyone, but when you are friends with a prince then even more so.

Andi finds Alexandrine’s diaries in a violin case and gets swept up in the past. She soon learns that the past can sometimes be all too present when she sets out to discover the truth about what happened to Alexandrine.

This book is so well written I was disappointed to finish it. The narration jumps between the two main characters and both are engaging and interesting. Andi is difficult to like at first but once you delve in to her past a bit and see why then you warm to her. Alexandrine is ambitious and living in a dangerous time, which she finds out to her cost. Paris has an amazing system of catacombs underneath it where all the bones of the cemeteries were placed when they needed to make space for housing during the 18th century. A really interesting book about this is Pure by Andrew Miller (

It’s somewhere I would like to go and have a look at one day (bit creepy I know!) so a book about what it’s like is awesome! I love anything about the French Revolution, it was a scary time in French history and a  this book is a really interesting take on it. Donnelly writes so well and with such description that sometimes you feel like you could almost be there with them.

I found the historical narration more interesting then the modern day one but that’s just my inner history geek coming out! Try it though, you might like it.

Further reading includes The Red Necklace The Silver Blade by Sally Gardner or for ambitious readers A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens or A Place of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel.

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