This story intrigued me from the start. Initially the jacket summary fueled my interest and of course the setting of France sealed my inquisitive nature. A story where past and present converge creating a narrative addressing the intricacies of relationships, love and history.
Gable manages to hook the peruser from the very beginning. A nonfictional discovery in 2010 in the form of an apartment, located in the 9th-arrondissement having been sealed for seven decades was featured as the cog of the narrative. A treasure trove of goodies highlighted in rich details catches your breath and attention. The coveted discovery, a painting by the most renowned portrait artist of the 19th century, Giovanni Boldini. Gable was so taken by the apartment and it’s painting she laboriously researched to embellish with her fictional take.
Gable scores high with characterization. Both female protagonists fully developed in regards to personality and back history leaving the reader with a very intimate glance into their lives and the women they are. As April discovers and reads the journals of Marthe you are equally enthralled. A soft mystery element speckled between the two females causes enough angst for plausibility.
Enough lush descriptions and references of everything France influences the reader to turn each page wanting more. Food, sites, sounds, culture provided this Francophile her fix. I wanted to snatch a croissant from between the lines! Gable sets the ambiance and the story takes off with plenty of momentum.
The ending was stellar, a bit of a twist I found blindsiding, so unpredictable.
Gable won my attention by the marriage of the two female protagonists combining art and France. The characterization was well done with the setting of France adding sophistication and culture. I’m a huge fan when art is incorporated into historical fiction, providing an appreciative edge.
Published April 22nd 2014 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published January 1st 2014)