Pen To Paper: Reviewing Rooftoppers A Parisian Tale Of Love, Hope, And Adventure Unfolds

Pen To Paper: Reviewing Rooftoppers A Parisian Tale Of Love, Hope, And Adventure Unfolds

The exquisitely stylized descriptions in the book, complete with marvelous comparisons to unconventional items hooked me till the very end while the captivating simplicity of the language put me in a near trance- like state.

Akshara DalanUpdated: Saturday, April 13, 2024, 10:21 AM IST
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“Hope is a waking dream.” - Aristotle 

Rooftoppers, by Katherine Rundell, brings life to Aristotle’s words as it melds the timeless charm of Paris with untamed beauty in a mystifying tale of love, friendship, and rooftops. Sifting  through the pages brought me to believe that unconditional love and perpetual hope can blur the  lines between possible and impossible. It follows the story of twelve- year- old Sophie Maxim as  her desperate pursuit of her long- lost mother leads her to travelling across rooftops in Paris.  Abandoned in a cello case that floated aimlessly along the English Channel after a shipwreck, she  grew up with Charles Maxim, who transformed the young baby with a shy smile to an  unwavering and amorous soul. After 12 years of futile search in the streets of London, an  unexpected clue led her to the city of love and light- which brought with it bewildering new  friendships and adventures. On her nightly escapades, she discovered Matteo who soon  morphed into a friend she was sure to never forget. And as her cello music echoed off the  buildings of Paris, it led her to her mother- in a journey marked by companionship and grit. In a  world where 12-year-olds yearn social acceptance and popularity, all Sophie wanted was her mother and a chance to look into the same glimmering eyes, regard the same shy smile and gaze  at the same lightning hair. 

The exquisitely stylized descriptions in the book, complete with marvelous comparisons to  unconventional items hooked me till the very end while the captivating simplicity of the language put me in a near trance- like state. The eccentric relationship between Charles and Sophie was a remarkable bond that brought with it a cascade of loving sentiments and had me pondering over  the beauty of parental love for long. Every word seemingly added an air of mystery, keeping me  on the edge of my seat. The interesting relationship between Sophie and Matteo made me  appreciate their intricate tangle of emotions- be it secrecy, arguments or trust. Sophie’s  charismatic character was awe- inspiring, her grit and determination transformed the story into  more than just a bittersweet fiction and her reckless adventures with Matteo across rooftops  hooked me to their free- spirited and atypical elegance. What was stupefying was the contrast  between an average reader’s expectation of a dainty, Parisian romance and the tale of outrageous  courage that the author introduced us to. 

Not only did Katherine Rundell craft an enchanting setting and mystifying plot, she emphasized on the gargantuan potency of love and hope. And as the story sealed off with a heartwarming encounter between mother and daughter on the Rue de l’Espoir- the Street of Hope- I wiped a  tear and put the book down, knowing I’d just witnessed a truly Parisian tale of magic, mystery  and maternal love. 

(This review is part of the winning reviews published in the Pen to Paper contest hosted by The Free Press Journal annually . This exclusive contest is open to teenagers only)

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