Friday, October 23, 2015
THE WITCH OF PAINTED SORROWS by M. J. Rose
THE WITCH OF PAINTED SORROWS
M. J. Rose
Believing that her husband killed her beloved father, Sandrine Salome runs to her grandmother in Paris. Her grandmother, “one of Paris’s celebrated courtesans” (p. 4), owns an amazing home that Sandrine remembers from childhood, Maison de la Lune, a “four-story mid-eighteenth-century stone house….” (p. 3). But, she did not find her grandmother at the house; rather, her grandmother was living in an apartment, as the house was “under renovation”.
Nonetheless, Sandrine kept feeling pulled by the house. While responding to this pull, she met Julien Duplessi, an architect working at the house. With Julien’s assistance, Sandrine “sneaks” into the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, where, disguised as a man, she becomes an award winning painting student of Gustave Morean. As the book progresses, we see the changes that Sandrine undergoes as she encounters the spirit of La Lune.
The Witch Of Painted Sorrows is well written and a good read. It is, essentially, historical fiction, with a touch of the supernatural or paranormal. In this way, it reminds me of the works of two of my favorite authors, Deborah Harkness and Susanna Kearsley; however, whereas their works are historical with some paranormal that seems “normal”, the combination feels a little out of place in Rose’s book. The two genres just do not seem to “mesh” smoothly.
Although I generally enjoyed The Witch Of Painted Sorrows, I did not understand the ending. After completing the novel, I had a “huh? I don’t get it” moment. Nonetheless, as a whole, it was an engaging novel.