Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Revolution of Sabine by Beth Levine Ain

 It’s 1776 in Paris, France, and while it isn’t America, there is still discussion of the American Revolution. There is especially a lot of talk about Benjamin Franklin, the revolutionary American who is coming to visit Paris. All of the socially elite are planning parties in honor of his visit, and it is crucial that they are all perfect.

Sabine Durand’s mother is no exception. She wants perfection for her latest party where Franklin is the guest of honor. She has even arranged for Sabine to be escorted by one of the most eligible bachelors in all of Paris. The thing is Sabine couldn’t care less. She’s not caught up in the aristocratic lifestyle, and she actually cares about what is going on.
She soon rekindles her friendship with Michel, her nanny’s son, and her mother is not at all pleased. Sabine doesn’t care though as she goes off gallivanting with Michel and even gets the chance to meet Franklin. Sabine gets swept up in the meaning of the Revolution and really comes to form an opinion. Fueled by these new ideas of freedom, Sabine is determined to make a change in her life. She starts to break away from her controlling mother and stand up for herself. Will Sabine succeeded? And is there a possibility of maybe finding real love in this time of change?
This book is one of those historical fiction books where the author just gets it all right. The facts were spot on, her description of the setting was great, and the overall atmosphere that she created was genuine.
Sabine’s character was great. She learned to stand up for herself and discover what really needed to be done in her life in order for her to be successful. She had the right amount of feistiness and seriousness to keep the reader intrigued in her life.
I also thought it was really interesting that the author chose to set the story in the time of the American Revolution, but also in Paris where there wasn’t as much of a change going on. The reader got to see how the Revolution affected the whole world. The setting also made Sabine’s change much more interesting, because she was taking political ideas and applying them to her life, which I found to be absolutely compelling.
Overall I think this is a great book for all ages. It provided a great historical aspect, but yet it wasn’t overloaded with facts that it was boring. Sabine’s journey to discovering herself was very realistic and most teens will be able to relate, even though the story is set in 1776. Beth Ain did a great job and I look forward to reading her future works. 


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