Monday, August 31, 2015

The Witch of Painted Sorrows

In searching for an audio book to listen to while doing all my moving activities, I came across this one by M. J. Rose.  It was one my to-read list and I thought I would give it a try.

Sandrine Salome flees her abusive husband in 1895 to return to Paris and her grandmother. Her grandmother is a courtesan, one of several generations of courtesans. And a very successful one.   Hoping to build a new life away from the man she feels is responsible for her father committing suicide, Sandrine discovers more in Paris than a refuge.  "La Lune", the first in the line of family courtesans, was also a painter.  Now she is a spirit who seems to have taken over Sandrine and will stop and nothing to live again.

Sandrine soon starts painting, something she has only dabbled in up to this point.  But is it Sandrine behind the easel or La Lune?  As others begin to see the changes in Sandrine, events begin to spiral out of control.

When I first started listening to the book, I was a bit annoyed because Sandrine seemed to be standing around, wringing her hands and being 'woe is me'.  I really disliked her pathetic self.  However, I hung in there and as the story picked up and the changes, both good and bad, started happening, the story and character became more interesting. Told from Sandrine's point of view, the story slowly builds momentum as La Lune sinks her claws deeper and deeper into the present. While I enjoyed seeing Sandrine 'grow a backbone', you have to wonder is it her or the witch.  And what will become of Sandrine?  Will she lose La Lune and revert to her old self or will she keep the lessons learned and grow as a woman?

Turn of the century Paris, forbidden passions, art, witchcraft...what more could you want?

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