Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Revolution vs. Mockingbird
My first post and I am entirely uncertain whether this post will appear where it should. Ignorance is not always bliss. This post will be short (but then brevity is the soul of wit), so consider it witty. Of the two books given to me, I found Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly the more engaging. It deals with the plight of depressed and medicated Andi Alpers who is struggling to get through her last year of high school. Her brother was killed in an accident for which she feels responsibility. Her mother is withdrawn and in despair. Her father (a Nobel prize winner geneticist) has left the family. Andi finds her only release in her music. Partly through her father's insistence, Andi is dragged off to Paris to complete an honour's paper on a eighteenth century French innovative composer. While there, she comes upon a hidden diary of a young street girl of Paris (a street performer) who is caught up in the early years of the French Revolution (1789-1790). The two stories become interesting parallels. The characters are engaging if the prose style is simple and unchallenging. Mockingbird by Kathryn Erksine is a little less engaging. It is set up to be very touching. Our protagonist Caitlin has Asperger's syndrome and she too has lost her brother (apparently in the violence at Virginia Tech a number of years ag0). Few of the adults around her know how to deal with her syndrome and most sound uniformly doltish. The story seems a trifle contrived to pull at the heartstrings. Thus, I vote for Revolution. John F.