Day 3: Martina’s Pick
Paris Red by Maureen Gibbon
April 1, 2015.
Paris, 1862. A young girl in a threadbare dress and green boots, hungry for experience, meets the mysterious and wealthy artist Edouard Manet. The encounter will change her and the art world forever.
At seventeen, Victorine Meurent abandons her old life to become immersed in the Parisian society of dance halls and cafes, meeting writers and artists like Baudelaire and Alfred Stevens. As Manet s model, Victorine explores a world of new possibilities and stirs the artist to push the boundaries of painting in his infamous portrait Olympia, which scandalizes even the most cosmopolitan city.
Manet becomes himself because of Victorine. But who does she become, that figure on the divan?
Intense, erotic, and beautifully wrought, Paris Red evokes the unconventional love story of a painter and his muse that changed the history of art.”
Kirsten’s Pick (Book lover, but not a blogger):
A Pledge of Better Times by Margaret Porter
April 14, 2015
For generations Lady Diana de Vere’s family loyally served England’s crown. But after King Charles II’s untimely death, her father firmly opposes James II’s tyranny. Charles Beauclerk, Duke of St. Albans—the late king’s bastard son by actress Nell Gwyn—also rebels against his newly crowned uncle’s manipulation. Secretly pledging to wed Diana, he departs for the Continent to become a soldier.
Political and religious turmoil bring about revolution and yet another coronation before Charles returns to claim his promised bride. As companion to Queen Mary II, Diana has followed her de Vere forbears into royal service. She expects Charles to abandon his military career after marriage, but he proves unwilling to join the ranks of the courtiers he despises and mistrusts.
In palace corridors and within their own household the young duke and duchess confront betrayals, scandals, and tragedies that threaten to divide them. And neither the privileges of birth nor proximity to the throne can ensure their security, their advancement—or their happiness.