I love reading art fiction – whether it is about bringing a work of art to life or showing us the lives of artists in a novel setting. Anne Girard brings us the life of Pablo Picasso as seen through the eyes of one of his mistresses, Eva Gouel. At the same time, we are treated to learning about this little known woman in his life, Belle Epoch Paris, and the little group of artists that came together at that time.
This was not my first introduction to this group of artists – I have seen this little band in a couple of films – but I thought that Girard did an excellent job of representing these characters. The actresses at the Moulin Rouge were entertaining and enjoyable, while I found myself disliking pretty much all of the women moving within the art circle – maybe with exception of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas. The rivalries and tensions between the different groups (artists and the actresses) were palpable and great fodder for fiction.
Anne Girard crafted characters that you could totally love and feel for. I can honestly say that I cried as the end of the novel arrived. It has been a little while since a novel has made me cry. It was a great way to end the novel, even if I found it to be a tear-jerker.
This is the first novel being published under the name of Anne Girard, however she has published many novels under the name Diane Haeger. You can visit Girard’s website for additional information about the book. If you would like to preview the story before reading it, why not try out this excerpt of the book?
This review is of a book that I received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Review originally posted at The Maiden's Court on September 4, 2014.