G. Bianco, 2019
Hope and diamonds amongst the French Revolution sparkle in Mobley's newest novel
Readers were first introduced to The Hope Diamond, and author Jeannie Mobley, in 2020 with the release of Mobley’s debut YA novel The Jewel Thief. Her newest novel, The Diamond Keeper (which was released in November 2021), follows The Hope Diamond to France during the French Revolution and one girl’s resolve to protect her sister and their freedom.
Eighteen-year-old Claudie Durand's future is planned. She'll take over the family inn, watch her much prettier younger sister, Mathilde, married off to the butcher's son, and live out her days alone, without the hope of finding a love of her own. Her mother ran off to the cloister when she was young, and her gruff, abusive father has deemed her unmarriageable, a nuisance, and only good for hard labor. But outside their small village in Brittany, a revolution is brewing. When the Army of the Republic seizes their town, and Claudie finds herself at the center of the conspiracy, she and Mathilde must flee their sheltered life and take up a cause that, up till now, had always seemed like a distant conflict. As the sisters carry out a dangerous mission for the resistance: delivering a precious item to the mysterious Rooster of Rennes--Claudie's conscience is torn between the longing to return to her predictable, lonely existence and the desire to carve out a new future, reaching for the life--and love--she never dared dream of but knew deep down she truly deserved.
Jeannie Mobley wonderfully weaves fact and fiction together in this historical fiction YA novel set during the French Revolution. Despite knowing how bloody the French Revolution was, I was so inspired by Mathilde, Yannig, and eventually Claudie’s hope that they could restore their country to the way it was before. Those feelings, alongside the action-packed plot, interesting characters from history and a little romance, made this reading experience so wonderful!
I fell in love with Mobley’s previous book, The Jewel Thief, and I was very excited to see where the Hope Diamond would travel to next. As with her debut novel, Mobley is able to craft an engaging and entertaining story that will have you on the edge of your seat. Her writing style is easy to dive into and make you feel as if you are traveling throughout Europe alongside the characters in the book.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and look forward to reading whatever Mobley decides to write next!
*I received an ARC from Penguin Teen in exchange for my honest opinion.
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