My online book club recently read Revolution and then I saw A Northern Light at the library so I've read two of Jennifer Donnelly's books in the last month or two.
The two books were both young adult novels and about young women going though major life changes.
Revolution is the story of a girl from Brooklyn whose little brother died and then her parents divorced. Her dad moved on and has a new family while her mother is losing control of reality in her grief.
The main character, Andi, travels to Paris with her father and finds a journal from another young women, one who lived during the French Revolution. The book alternates between the present and the past. I love historical fiction books like this.
I liked Revolution, but I had one big problem with how the author dealt with depression. It was really hard for me to listen to Andi in her rage, but that made sense. It showed how Andi's emotions were so strong. What I really really didn't like was how her mother's depression was treated like it was some oh just buck up situation when Andi talks about how she got her mom out of the mental health center and she just needed to paint. I really hate when mental illness is treated as just this you only need to cheer up kinda thing. I'm sure I'm overreacting to this because I'm especially sensitive to the issue.
One part I really loved was Virgil. I wasn't as interested in the romance between him and Andi, but I really liked the insight he provided about the situation of immigrants in present day France. His songs told a lot about his social situation. I also thought the information about the French Revolution was true to history and added a lot to the story.
A Northern Light is a historical fiction story of a woman that dies in a lake at a New York resort in the early 1900s. Mattie, the main character, is an employee at the resident who spoke the dead woman right before she died.
Mattie's growth into a woman through education and how she moves to the the world beyond where she's from are part of the plot . The story is a mystery about the woman's death, but it's also about Mattie's journey.
I definitely recommend both books. I enjoyed the characters and their stories.