If I Promise You Wings

Algonquin. Jan. 2024. 336p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781643750286.
Gr 9 Up–Alix is a recently graduated Parisian teen who is perhaps feeling more adrift than the average 17-year-old. Her mother left the family when she was young, her musician father is frequently absent, and her best friend and the most consistent companion, Jeanne, died in a car crash soon after graduation. The one thing Alix has left to hold onto is her dream of becoming a high-fashion feather artist, which she seems one step closer to when she gets a job at the boutique of the most prestigious feather artist in the city. Alix hopes to work her way up to become Madame Salomé’s apprentice, however, the road to artistic greatness is not easy. While Alix hones her talents, she also processes her friend’s passing, makes friends, and explores romance. Readers will feel quickly at home among the feather bins at Mille et une Plume and get swept up in the life Alix creates for herself among fellow artists, musicians, and even nobility. Her steamy romantic entanglements with the shop owner’s charming son and Jeanne’s friend, a guitarist, will satisfy romancelovers, though it doesn’t detract from Alix’s story of working toward her dreams and reckoning with her memory of her late friend.
VERDICT A charming story of personal growth that glitters with the art and culture of modern Paris.

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