Monday, October 16, 2017

Julie's Review: Where The Light Falls

Author: Allison Pataki, Owen Pataki
Series: None
Publication Date: July 11, 2017
Publisher: The Dial Press
Pages: 384
Obtained: publisher via Netgalley
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Bottom Line: A wonderful novel about the French Revolution
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab
Summary: Three years after the storming of the Bastille, the streets of Paris are roiling with revolution. The citizens of France are enlivened by the ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity. The monarchy of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette has been dismantled—with the help of the guillotine—and a new nation is rising in its place. Jean-Luc, an idealistic young lawyer, moves his wife and their infant son from a comfortable life in Marseille to Paris, in the hopes of joining the cause. André, the son of a denounced nobleman, has evaded execution by joining the new French army. Sophie, a young aristocratic widow, embarks on her own fight for independence against her powerful, vindictive uncle. As chaos threatens to undo the progress of the Revolution and the demand for justice breeds instability and paranoia, the lives of these compatriots become inextricably linked. Jean-Luc, André, and Sophie find themselves in a world where survival seems increasingly less likely—for themselves and, indeed, for the nation. Featuring cameos from legendary figures such as Robespierre, Louis XVI, and Thomas-Alexandre Dumas, Where the Light Falls is an epic and engrossing novel, moving from the streets and courtrooms of Paris to Napoleon’s epic march across the burning sands of Egypt. With vivid detail and imagery, the Patakis capture the hearts and minds of the citizens of France fighting for truth above all, and for their belief in a cause greater than themselves.

Review: Where the Light Falls takes you on a ride through the dirty, backroom of the French Revolution. While people screamed for revolution and overthrew the crown to get it, you have to wonder who was truly benefiting from it? Were the people of France better off for it? Certainly not right away as there was even turmoil within the ranks of the leadership of it as they turned on each other. Ms. and Mr. Pataki introduce characters that will stay with me long after I have finished the novel. Each of them, Jean-Luc, Sophie and Andre are fighting their own personal revolutions.

Jean-Luc came to Paris with his wife and young son to create a better life for them and to serve the Revolution. He has great potential but is currently cataloging the belongings of nobility to give back to the people. Through his diligent work he is introduced to some of the most powerful men in France and given the opportunity to join their ranks. Something about that meeting turns him off and he instead goes up against them. I admired Jean-Luc, he took the tougher path and stuck by his beliefs in the fact that all people deserved Justice, even if the forces were against you. Believe me, he made some powerful enemies but never once did he back down. He believed that what he was doing was right.

Andre Valiere is a Captain in the French Army serving his country valiantly at Valmy where his troops helped to defeat the Prussians. Although for some it doesn't matter because he's of noble blood. Andre spends a great many years in love with Sophie without being able to truly be with her due to being gone and then her Uncle keeping them apart. He even has her thrown in jail to keep them apart.

What I loved about these 3 is that they never gave up, they persisted even when things looked bleak. What it also showed me is that sometimes the people who lead the revolution are no better than the people who are in power. What are their motives? What do they hope to gain or what's in it for them? No one is every fully altruistic, even if they initially start out that way.

If you are looking for a novel that gives a behind the scenes look at the French Revolution, then look no further than Where the Light Falls.



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