The Tint and the Taint

  Book Review of “The Blue” by Nancy Bilyeau. In the author’s notes of this book, Bilyeau calls this “a spy story set amid the rivalry of eighteenth-century porcelain factories,” in which the author tells the story of Geneviève Planché, who becomes entangled in the intrigue behind discovering a new shade of blue that is … Continue reading The Tint and the Taint

A Dutch Treat

Book Review of A Light of Her Own by Carrie Callaghan. Judith Leyster lived in Holland in the 17th century, during a time when such things as painting, needlework and music, were acceptable as feminine pastimes. For example, artist Frans De Grebber taught all his children to paint, including his daughter Maria, and he even … Continue reading A Dutch Treat

Shards of Remaining Objects

Book Review of "Smash All the Windows" by Jane Davis Goodreads Synopsis: “For the families of the victims of the St Botolph and Old Billingsgate disaster, the undoing of a miscarriage of justice should be a cause for rejoicing. For more than thirteen years, the search for truth has eaten up everything. Marriages, families, health, … Continue reading Shards of Remaining Objects

The Art of Becoming Real

Book Review of "The Velveteen Daughter" by Laurel Davis Huber. The author of the classic, bestselling children's book, The Velveteen Rabbit was Margery Williams Bianco. Pamela Bianco was her daughter, and she was an artist, recognized for her talent when only a child, with her first showing at a gallery in Turin Italy, at the … Continue reading The Art of Becoming Real

Different? Yes, but…

Book Review of "Today Will be Different" by Maria Semple. Eleanor is having a very difficult time right now. Her budding cross-dressing son is once again pretending to be sick to get out of school, and she really should be working on her book - her graphic memoir - but one thing leads to another … Continue reading Different? Yes, but…

Landscapes of Deception

Book Review for "The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith. In reality, none of Sarah van Baalbergen's works survived, but Dominic Smith decided to turn the few known facts about her into fiction by renaming her as Sara de Vos and resurrecting her work. Starting out in 17th Century Holland, Smith shows … Continue reading Landscapes of Deception

Through a Darkened Lens

Book Review of "The Photographers Wife" by Suzanne Joinson. In one of the most beautifully written works of historical fiction, Joinson goes from Jerusalem in 1920 to Shoreham, England in 1937 through Prudence (or Prue). Prue at 11 in Jerusalem is with her architect father and his plans to chart and change the city, with … Continue reading Through a Darkened Lens

The Cast and Curse of Genius

Book Review of "Rodin's Lover" by Heather Webb. The name of Auguste Rodin is synonymous with the emotionally charged sculptures he created, and practically everyone recognizes his iconic "Thinker." However, far fewer people know the name or the work of Camille Claudel, his student and the woman who shocked the art world of Paris, because … Continue reading The Cast and Curse of Genius

A Portrait of an Artist

Book Review of "Notes from an Exhibition" by Patrick Gale. To try to describe the plot of Patrick Gale's novel "Notes on an Exhibition" is as difficult a task as to try to explain a piece of abstract art. In fact, this novel is less of a story than it is a portrait of a … Continue reading A Portrait of an Artist