Review: THE WITCH OF PAINTED SORROWS by M. J. Rose

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I had heard about this book via the blogosphere, so I was thrilled to get a copy via Net Galley to review.

In THE WITCH OF PAINTED SORROWS, young Sandrine runs away to Paris in the late 1890’s to get away from her abusive husband and to seek solace from her grandmother. Sandrine is convinced that her husband caused the death of her beloved father and she is determined to make a new life for herself in Paris. Her grandmother is not at her home, though, and Sandrine finds that work is being done – and by an interesting and attractive young architect. Sandrine, reserved and conservative by nature, finds herself becoming attached to the young man, being almost obsessed with painting, and finds herself connected to her grandmother’s house – a house where generations of women of her family have loved and lost in dramatic, almost supernatural ways. Everything connects back to “La Lune” – Sandrine’s ancestress. Is Sandrine just coming in to her own, with wakening desires and talents? Or is the spirit of La Lune possessing her, and using Sandrine to obtain her own wants and needs?

I enjoyed this gothic, historical read a lot! The supernatural was an interesting touch, though I enjoyed the history aspects more than the descent into black arts and possession. I wasn’t too keen on the ending as I always want closure (closure! I demand it!!) but it looks like this book is the first in a trilogy, so I’m sure my questions will be answered in the forthcoming novels.

This one has a little bit of a lot of things: Belle Epoche Paris, art, history, witchcraft, romance, suspense, etc.

Thank you for my review copy! (image via Net Galley)

Quick Review: PARIS by Edward Rutherfurd

I really enjoy Rutherfurd’s books and have read most of them. I think my personal favorite is NEW YORK (see my review here: https://drbethnolan.wordpress.com/2010/07/18/review-new-york-by-edward-rutherfurd/ ). I bought PARIS for my birthday with a gift card I received. This tome weighs in at over 800 pages and it did not disappoint!

Similar to Rutherfurd’s other historical novels, PARIS follows the lineage of several families from medieval times to the 1900’s. Unlike some of his other novels, though, the timeline is not chronological, but jumps around, maintaining story lines throughout. Some readers may find this confusing, though I always find the family tree provided in the front of the book very helpful (I read a paper copy, not on my kindle).

Since Paris is one of my favorite places, it’s not surprising that I really liked reading this novel. The personal stories (fictitious) and the historical facts are interplayed so nicely, that you are learning while reading.