7.4.13

THE LITTLE BALLOONIST, by Linda Donn

Based on the life of the world's first female balloonist, Sophie Blanchard, this quirky little novel takes you to France during the turbulent years of Napoleon Bonapart's rise and fall. Essentially a collection of loosely-related vignettes that actually manage to tell a tale of love and loss and imperial quirks and follies, I found the writing style far better than the construction of the story. But, then, I expect more linkage than this book supplied. It's an easy read, and full of whimsy and anecdotal scenes as well as a number of old etchings. Enjoyable but, for me, irritating in its scatter-shot construction. A 3 for me; for you, maybe a charming 4 or 5.