Paris in the 1860s: a magnificent time of expression, where brilliant young artists rebel against the stodginess of the past to freely explore new styles of creating—and bold new ways of living.
Passionate, beautiful, and utterly devoted to her art, Berthe Morisot is determined to be recognized as an important painter. But as a woman, she finds herself sometimes overlooked in favor of her male counterparts—Monet, Pissarro, Degas.
And there is one great artist among them who captivates young Berthe like none other: the celebrated genius Édouard Manet. A mesmerizing, breathtaking rogue—a shameless roué, undeterred and irresistible—his life is a wildly overgrown garden of scandal. He becomes Berthe's mentor, her teacher...her lover, despite his curiously devoted marriage to his frumpy, unappealing wife, Suzanne, and his many rumored dalliances with his own models. For a headstrong young woman from a respectable family, an affair with such an intoxicating scoundrel can only spell heartbreak and ruin.
But Berthe refuses to resign herself to the life of quiet submission that Society has dictated for her. Undiscouraged, she will create her own destiny...and confront life—and love—on her own terms.
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Award-winning author Elizabeth Robards formerly lived in France and has studied art and writing. She earned a degree in journalism only to realize reporting "just the facts" bored her silly. Much more content to report to her muse, Elizabeth has found Nirvana doing what she loves most—writing contemporary and historical women's fiction full time. She loves to travel—and when she can't, her imagination transports her all over the world.From Publishers Weekly:
In her debut novel, Robards takes up the story of impressionist painter Berthe Morisot, who was a friend and lover of fellow artist Edouard Manet, and imagines a love affair between them against the backdrop of a disapproving time. After they first meet in the Louvre, Manet invites Morisot to his studio, where he paints the first of what would be countless portraits. Morisot basks in the great man's attention, but she must learn to tread carefully around Manet's wife. Together, the painters test the limits of propriety, engaging in a risky affair that is compromised bit by bit over time, leading to unexpected ends. Robards constructs a convincing plot for these real-life characters, her sense of emotion is keen and the setting serviceably rendered, but readers looking for insight into the art should look elsewhere. (Nov.)
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