Welcome to 1890s Belle Epoque Paris and to the story of Sandrine, a woman who flees her abusive husband to find a world of spellbinding mystery.
This was my second read by M.J. Rose (the first was The Reincarnationist) and I feel like Rose has really come into her own with this mix of historical fiction and fantasy. It had just the right amount of both to make for a very entertaining and unique read.
I loved the plot and immediately liked Sandrine and her grandmother and Julien. I liked how Sandrine's possession by her ancestor, a witch named La Lune, is gradual but also fascinating. I never felt like the story stagnated. I loved how there were stories within the bigger story - her love affair with Julien, her new obsession with the Ecole and painting, the underground occult scene, the historical facts of 1890s Paris, the enchanting and forbidden house, her escape from her husband Benjamin, her relationship with her grandmother and their ancestors- there were so many facets and layers yet they all blended seamlessly. That's true writing talent.
There have been reviews saying that they did not like the transformation of Sandrine's grandmother, but I think it demonstrates how powerful La Lune is and how terrifying what is happening to Sandrine is. It makes perfect sense to me. This story with her grandmother is a part of the very interesting take on women and power that was threaded throughout the book - sometimes power is given, sometimes it is taken.
I really recommend this book for anyone who likes their historical fiction with a twist of paranormal suspense.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from the story:
"The tubes were cool to the touch, and shivers of excitement traveled up my fingers, up my arms...Using these slithery paints, I would create something magical. Dipping my brushes into the luscious oils, I would bring forth visions that were going to change my life and fulfill the covenant of my heritage." - pg. 139
"All the mourners reminded me that loss was an inevitable reality. There was no escaping it. There were only ways to push it aside, hide it behind locked doors, but eventually it seeped out, its pain fresh and raw as if it were new." - pg. 150
"Freedom, when you've never really known it, is exhilarating." -pg. 162
Author M. J. Roseon Tour March 15-April 3, 2015 with
The Witch of Painted Sorrows(historical suspense / paranormal) Release date: March 17, 2015 by Atria Books/Simon & Schuster ISBN: 978-1476778068 Hardcover, 384 pages also available as ebook
SYNOPSISPossession. 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.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Visit each blogger on the tour: tweeting about the giveaway everyday of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time! [just follow the directions on the entry-form] 5 winners Open internationally $20 gift card