Monday, October 22, 2012

Mira's Diary: Lost in ParisMira's Diary: Lost in Paris by Marissa Moss
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received my copy of Mira's Diary: Lost in Paris from Source Books. When I was introduced to Mira’s Diary by Source Book’s publicity intern and I read the synopsis I thought it was fortuitous that they would offer me a chance to read/review this book right after my return from Paris, France. It was wonderful being able to visualize the different places I visited as I read through Mira's Diary. I only had one issue and that was that the book packed a lot of detail in a short read. There was enough to flesh out the detail more and I would have enjoyed more history about the family and their lives before Mira’s mom disappeared.

Mira has a gift that she seems to have inherited like her mom, the gift of time travel. I liked that Mira was not suddenly adept at her gift. She had a learning curve and unfortunately even when she was able to find clues about her newly found gift she still did not have enough information and continued to learn as she went along. Part of it might have had to do with her age, but, I suspect would be difficult for even adults who have no reference points or others to guide them. It is easy to forget that Mira is a young teenager, though in the times she visited the younger girls married early so they did tend to live more like adults, though it was interesting that the others were not aware of her age difference as it appears that Mary Cassat was in her late 30’s at the time.

One of the greatest things about this book for me as a museum and art gallery enthusiast is to experience all of Mira's visits with different artists and writers like Degas, Whistler and Renoir. I particularly enjoyed being introduced to an artist I was not familiar with, Mary Cassatt. I even researched her work and saw some of her wonderful art on a website that had her complete works. I am now wondering if I may have seen some of her work in the Louvre and not known who she was at the time. Interestingly enough there is a painting called Mary Cassatt at The Louvre painted by Degas. Another thing I loved was having Mira describe streets I walked down and treasures I was able to visit and take picture of like the Eiffel Tower.

One of the strengths of this book was how it described bigotry. It was even more disturbing to see it experienced through a frightened teenager's eyes. Thinking back to when I was a minority teenager I used to wonder how I would feel if presented with violence because of bigotry and I found out first hand so my heart was in my throat when Mira experienced the scene where the crowd was near the Eiffel Tower yelling racial slurs and behaving violently. She saw how someone with courage faced it when everyone was against him and she learned the importance of how to stand up for what you believe in even when you feel alone.

Part of me wishes we knew what problem Mira's mom was trying to solve because her absence weighs so heavily on her family. I am glad the book demonstrated a supportive relationship between the family members, at the same time it demonstrated sibling rivalry, growing pains and the effects on a family when the family is broken, which is how the book opens. The end was a huge cliffhanger and I hope that this is a series because I really did enjoy this step into Paris' past along with its supernatural aspects. I plan to send a copy to my Goddaughter because I know she will love it!

Review can also be seen at Lady Techies Book Musings at http://LadyTechiesBookMusings.blogspo...

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