Book Rating: 4 stars ✪✪✪✪
I received a digital copy from Netgalley, thank you:)
I had a pretty good idea of the premise of the book, this time actually reading the synopsis. But that still didn't prepare me for the amazing way the story unfolded. An original plot and many special elements, M.J. Rose did such a wonderful job taking you back to Epoque Paris in the late 1800s. Her writing was so entrancing and haunting, very much like her story.
But first things first, this is adult fiction for sure. Not recommended for younger ages because of mature content. Like really MATURE CONTENT. DO NOT READ FOR THERE MANY SCENES OF SUCH, and SOME VIOLENCE (just a tinny bit). Just putting it out there, because if I'd known, I wouldn't have really picked up the book for those... uhh colorful details.
Anywho, my favorite thing about this book was the writing. It really felt like you were in a sort of trance as you read because of the flow of the words. They were like swirling mist telling you of a story that could be or not be. And at times, it felt like the writing was art, the words painted and events drawn out for you. I loved the details, because you really got to be in 1890s France society.
World-building was just plain beautiful. You really saw the streets of Paris and the buildings, cafes, museums- everything! It was like you were walking down alongside the Seine, headed toward the Louvre. And the old memories of New York, they were just as imaginable, seeing the other distant time of place across the ocean. The details were expressed so well, it wasn't at all difficult to see the main shades that made up the full picture of 1890s Epoque Paris.
The fashions, styles, interests and even cultural aspects were brought in. And what I really loved is that we got an even more taste and sight for other areas of society like architecture, history and art. Yup, lots of art. I really enjoyed seeing the many sides of France, even the darker part of mythical history and occults. You really learn much without knowing so, the information was fed to you like pretty desserts on a silver platter.
Speaking of occults and mythical history, those elements play an important role throughout the story. I learned much about the many sides to art and how it's influenced by such elements. You learn also about history, how easily it can be forgotten and merged into legends and myths. The way time has impacted on such things and the many views that people have on them is all so interesting. And lots of it relates to the people of our time. As people, we never truly change in nature.
Where Would I Shelf This Gothic Beauty:
- Historical Fiction
- Epoque time period
- Adult Fiction
Ah, now have I forgotten to introduce our main character? Sandrine Salome was a intelligent but quiet young woman with no strong emotions. When she flees New York from her husband and her father's death, she comes to her grandmother's old mansion. Hiding away as under her grandmother's surname, Verlaine, she slips besides her grandmother in hopes of her husband never finding her. But things start to change, questions, and new-found passions that need to be answered and understood. Things not making enough sense, and reiging in her desires prove to be a challenege. Finding answers, but did that really mean all is well?
Following Sandrine as she defies traditions, makes her new path, you really start to wonder- is it really her? The characters are all brought to life in such a way and with M.J. Rose's magical writing, you could only imagine how distinct they become. They're relationships take on the many different colors and bumps that make them thin or strong. Sensible and realistic, each character was enjoyable enough. From meeting Julian, Sandrine's grandmother and many others, it isn't so difficult to just imagine them walking down the cobbled streets of Paris or attending flourishing 1890s parties.
A passionate, artistic work of art with a dash of witchcraft, M.J. Rose wrote a truly enticing historical-fiction novel. Taking a step back in Epoque Paris, it was an original and haunting adventure. A tale worth reading, the many aspects and elements play a strong role. The characters real, that even a ghost could be brought to life with the author's beautiful writing. The plot was And I think I really love gothic Paris, who wouldn't?
DO I RECOMMEND?:
Yup, thumbs-up. Though I totally WARN OF MATURE CONTENT (NOT FOR EVERYONE)!!!
“The one thing I am now sure of is that if there is such a thing as destiny, it is a result of our passion, be that for money, power, or love. Passion, for better or worse. It can keep a soul alive even if all that survives is a shimmering. I've even seen it. I've been bathed in it. I've been changed by it.”
― M.J. Rose, The Witch of Painted Sorrows
Until next time, Read On!
Fangirl to the Stars,