I got 64% of the way into the book and decided to DNF it for now. About 90% of the poems are about death. They are very gloomy, all about suffering and despair and darkness. It was making me depressed, so I decided to DNF it.
The poetry is good. Some are almost genius. There were several poems that really touched my heart. The Brontës certainly have a way with words. So many of the phrases are beautifully crafted.
These poems are very emotional and wild and raging like a storm. But they can also embrace a little detail, a look, or word, or the simple comfort of a hearth.
“I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” I am in awe of how beautifully this book captures the majesty and mystery of Robert Frost’s poem. That moment of indecision- which path to take- and those moments of inspiration when you realize that your journey has led you to a place of beauty and heart’s ease; all these things are explored in this lovely picture book.
The artwork is warm and welcoming, inviting the reader into the story of a young man who is making choices in life. He grows up, gets married, and has children and grandchildren, and looks back on his journey and the choices he has made that have led him through his life. The illustrations are beautifully colored in warm yellows and oranges as the leaves fall from the trees in an autumn woodland.
Andre is a young hothead during the French Revolution who hates the aristocrats in his village. He joins a gang of ruffians to storm the estate of the Duc de Marigny and loot their riches. Because of a law that says an aristocrat can be saved from the guillotine if they marry a revolutionary citizen, Andre forces young Aurore de Marigny into marriage. She is horrified by this, but agrees to the marriage to save her father’s life as well as her own.
I had so many problems with the direction of this plot, but I loved the writing style. I was also very disappointed that the Scarlet Pimpernel himself is not in this book at all. He barely gets two sentences in the entire book.
Andre as a character is described in delicious detail. We see his fury against the aristocrats who have everything, while his poor mother slaves away doing odd jobs of washing and sewing to make a few pennies. Andre is constantly described as having this unquenchable rage and hatred of the aristocrats, but especially of the de Marigny family in his village.
The redemption arc is sloppy. The romance is not believable. I was not happy with this book. I was going to give it 2 stars, but ended up making it 3 stars because the writing style really is powerful.