M J Rose
Possession. Power. Passion. New York Times bestselling novelist M. J. Rose creates her most provocative and magical spellbinder yet in this gothic novel set against the lavish spectacle of 1890s Belle Époque Paris.
Sandrine Salome flees New York for her grandmother’s Paris mansion to escape her dangerous husband, but what she finds there is even more menacing. The house, famous for its lavish art collection and elegant salons, is mysteriously closed up. Although her grandmother insists it’s dangerous for Sandrine to visit, she defies her and meets Julien Duplessi, a mesmerizing young architect. Together they explore the hidden night world of Paris, the forbidden occult underground and Sandrine’s deepest desires.
Among the bohemians and the demi-monde, Sandrine discovers her erotic nature as a lover and painter. Then darker influences threaten—her cold and cruel husband is tracking her down and something sinister is taking hold, changing Sandrine, altering her. She’s become possessed by La Lune: A witch, a legend, and a sixteenth-century courtesan, who opens up her life to a darkness that may become a gift or a curse.
This is Sandrine’s “wild night of the soul,” her odyssey in the magnificent city of Paris, of art, love, and witchery.
M J Rose is known for her haunting stories. Witch of Painted Sorrows lived up to all I had read about the novel before I picked it up and opened to the first page. With the first words, I found myself compelled by the story of the young woman who the novel revolved around. Betrayed by her husband, abandoned in death by her beloved father, and finally desperate to understand and unravel who she truly was, the story moved from New York to Paris of the mid-1890s. Pure genius of story and plot took the reader to the Ecole des Beaux Arts, the great Parisian arts academy, as Sandrine applied to study there under the guise as a male, to the oddities of living under the shadow of one of Paris’ greatest horizontals.
Woven through the pages of a poignant love story between a young Parisian Architect and this American heiress, both lives seemed to slowly spin out of control in front of them. Their worlds seemed to melt into the very oil pots of color described in the scenes of the Le Lune’s fables and mysticism. But not all was fables, and family myths were more than stories.
This reader felt the tugs of insanity pulling from the pages and the wet stickiness of the paint dripping from the words, as Sandrine’s world continued to turn on end. I could not get to the end fast enough, for I had to find the answer that would save the family, and Sandrine’s sanity. The attention to detail that M J paid to the era’s worship of the occult, the details of some of the art work in the books, and to the art itself was magnificent.
As to the story and the character development, M J did a masterful job. Each of the characters breathed. L’Incendie, the Grandmere, was magnificent. I could almost see a very regal Kathrine Hepburn, and could on occasion see and hear her breath fire. To be able to have such strength and still be able to entice and entrance men, for so many years, was believable from this great lady.
A Five Star rating across the board. I continue to look forward to the future offerings of M J Rose. Publication date is set for March 2015.
Net Galley provided a copy of Witch of Painted Sorrows for review.
New York Times and USAToday bestseller, M. J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park, and reading her mother’s favorite books before she was allowed. She is the author of more than a dozen novels, the co-president and founding board member of International Thriller Writers, and the founder of the first marketing company for authors: AuthorBuzz.com. She lives in Greenwich, Connecticut. Visit her online at MJRose.com.
- Series: The Daughters of La Lune
- Hardcover: 384 pages
- Publisher: Atria Books (March 17, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 147677806X
- ISBN-13: 978-1476778068
This review previously published on Shade Tree Book Reviews http://shadetreeblogging.blogspot.com