Saturday, June 6, 2015

Book Review: "The Witch of Painted Sorrows," by M.J. Rose

About the book:

New York socialite Sandrine Salome flees an abusive husband for her grandmother’s Paris mansion, but what she finds there is even more menacing. The house, famous for its lavish art collection and elegant salons, is closed and under renovation. Her grandmother insists it’s too dangerous to visit, but Sandrine defies her -- an unexplainable force is drawing her home.

There she meets Julien Duplessi, a mesmerizing architect, who introduces her to the City of Light -- its art world, its sophisticated entertainment, its forbidden occult underground -- and to her own untapped desires.

From a mysterious fire at the Palais Garnier opera house to a terrifying accident at the Eiffel Tower and classes with Gustave Moreau at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Sandrine’s experiences awaken her passions. Among the bohemians and demimonde, Sandrine uncovers her erotic nature as a lover and painter.

Then more ominous influences threaten -- her husband is tracking her down and something insidious is taking hold, changing Sandrine, altering her. She’s overcome by the spirit of La Lune, a witch, a legendary sixteenth-century courtesan, and an unsung artist in her own right, who exposes Sandrine to a darkness that could be 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, and not until she resolves a tragic love story and family curse will she be free of the ghost’s possession.

Effortlessly absorbing and richly imagined, with sumptuous detail and spellbinding suspense, The Witch of Painted Sorrows conjures the brilliance and intrigue of Belle Epoque Paris and illuminates the fine line between explosive passion and complete ruination.

My thoughts:

This book was spectacular, with rich historical detail and a spell-binding story that swept me along for the ride. I could feel Sandrine’s torment as she fought to regain herself and yet longed for the excitement that La Lune promised. As La Lune, she was so much more than her former self -- a brilliant artist, an enticing lover, a bold seeker of passion and all that life had to offer. And, yet, was this a better version of herself or was the real Sandrine being extinguished? The Witch of Painted Sorrows was absorbing all the way through, and the ending took me by surprise. Highly recommended.

Note: This book contains sexually explicit scenes.

2015 Witches &a Witchcraft Reading Challenge

Disclosure: I borrowed this book from the library. This post contains my Amazon affiliate link.

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