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The Witch of Painted Sorrows (Daughters of La Lune) Paperback – 29 Mar 2016
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"Mysterious, magical, and mythical...what a joy to read!"--Sara Gruen, New York Times bestselling author of Water for Elephants
"An elegant writer with a fine style."--Anne Rice
-An elegant writer with a fine style.---Anne Rice
About the Author
New York Times bestselling author M. J. Rose grew up in New York City exploring the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum and the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park. She is the author of more than a dozen novels, the co-president and founding board member of International Thriller Writers, and the founder of the first marketing company for authors, AuthorBuzz.com. She lives in Greenwich, Connecticut. Visit her online at MJRose.com.
Top customer reviews
I did manage to finish the book, because I was curious, even though at times my attention wandered and I kinda wanted to give up on it, it did have a certain element to it that made me want to persevere to see how it would all end up.
My main problem with the book was how slow it was, and how it was written, I just couldn't get on with it, the wording and everything just slowed down the pace and was so long winded, and I know it's the writing of the times and everything but still. I just found myself being bored.
My other problem was the fact that I didn't like the main character very much at all, I couldn't connect with her and that made the book even harder to read for me. I've been on a bit of a fantasy binge lately, so I'm accustomed to incredible worlds and strong, solid plots, the plot for me, was a bit weak and thin on the ground. I wasn't engaged at all, I was curious, but not fully invested.
The book was fantastically descriptive though, I got a feel for the time and the place, and I did enjoy that, however the descriptiveness of the fashions fast wore me down until I was a bit bored of it all. I was a bit disappointed by the supernatural element as well, I was expecting it to be present and quite strong, but it was very vague and wasn't all that impressive really.
There where many parts of the plot that I found hard to believe, and didn't seem to be well thought out or seemed like a bit of a cop out, like when someone died from being slapped. I couldn't buy it. I was expecting historical romance/supernatural but got neither unfortunately.
The romance wasn't strong and wasn't believable, it didn't seem developed properly. The plot was riddled with descriptions both good and necessary and some that where pointless and unnecessary and there where many continuity errors, so I got lost a bit in the story and was quite confused.
Overall, TWOFPS had a lot of potential, but I just found myself disappointed. The book wasn't at all fleshed out, it was more like a draft of the book, especially considering the amount of inconsistencies and errors in the main plot and story. Our main character is simpering and hysterical in equal measure, the book doesn't pick up until a good way in, it's slow and hard to read, and there's one too many descriptions, I found myself easily distracted and struggling to finish.
There is a certain scene that I was not okay with, but after the author calling out another reviewer about it and getting said reviewer a load of hate I'm not even going to mention it. But yeah. There's a scene that's making something bad look like it's okay because she's a female when it's not at all okay, it's that I have a problem with, making it seem okay, other than that, that's it.
Full review on my blog http://thebookbrief.wordpress.com
“Passion, for better or worse. It can keep a soul alive even if all that survives is a shimmering.”
I requested this book on NetGalley on a bit of a whim; I’d read very little about the book, but but it intrigued me. The cover is gorgeous, the title and short summary were enticing; a magical mystery set against the luscious backdrop of 1890s Le Belle Epoque Paris. I’m grateful for the review copy but - although I seem to be in the minority - this book didn’t really work for me.
Sandrine arrives in Paris one rainy night, turning up unannounced on her grandmother’s doorstep, looking for a new life and somewhere to take refuge from her cruel husband, whom she has left behind in San Francisco. She gets a surprise when she finds her grandmother is no longer residing at the grand mansion she remembers from her childhood, but instead is staying at a flat while the grand house is undergoing renovation work. But that’s just the beginning of her problems.
Sandrine’s grandmother evades questions about what is going on with the mansion, so Sandrine decides to investigate herself. Behind her grandmother’s back she meets handsome architect, Julien, who is working on the mansion, and the two embark on an affair. As Sandrine’s passion for Julien grows, she discovers a darker side to herself, gaining knowledge and skills she never knew she had, as she descends into the grips of possession by a dark, lascivious spirit.
For me, this novel kind of felt like it was trying to be too many things at once. There’s no doubt that M.J. Rose’s writing is beautiful, but the intense supernatural fantasy weaved in with mild erotica, and set against what I believe was supposed to be a realistic historical backdrop just didn’t quite gel. I’ve enjoyed historical fantasy before, but this novel felt like it was straddling between genres, unsure of its place. It required too much suspension of disbelief for me, even in the parts which weren’t rooted in fantasy. It’s kind of like the writer thought up loads of elements she thought would make a good novel - art, sex, ghosts, spells, Paris - and threw them all together in a big melting pot. The result was a story with lots of twists and turns, but it lacked a certain emotional depth and character development. I didn’t feel like I knew or understood Sandrine at all.
One character I did enjoy was Sandrine’s grandmother. A glamorous working courtesan who commands respect - Sandrine describes her saying “My grandmother inspired awe. She was like a rare jungle orchid.” Working in 1890s Paris, holding saloons in her lavish mansion and mingling with some of most revered and wealthy men of the time, I would have liked more of her story. Before all the ghost malarky came along, she really seemed to have her head screwed on, and I think I would enjoyed a novel which charted her life more than the flaky Sandrine. I know my difficulty associating with Sandrine probably has something to do with the fact that she was being taken over by someone else while I was getting to know her, but she was just so stupid and mean it made it hard to get along with and left me feeling frustrated.
Having said all this, I did enjoy some of the author's writing. Her descriptions, while a little over elaborate at times, were evocative and captivating. I enjoyed learning about the Ecole des Beaux-Arts - one of the finest art schools in the world, according to the author’s note - and fell in love with the Librairie du Merveilleux; a luxuriously decorated, mysterious home to followers of the occult; “This was not a store, not a library; it was a cave of wonders, its secrets waiting to be explored.”. And Le Belle Epoque Paris was definitely a gorgeous setting for a novel. But, I got a little tired of the flowery language, Sandrine’s self-indulgent manner and unrealistic plot developments. I wish I’d given this one a miss - but others may enjoy it.
She feels an intimate connection to the house her grandmother has suddenly vacated. That connection turns out to be something quite sinister and frightening. It awakens her passion, her emotional and physical needs, and her sensuality. But is it her or is it the house?
In the blink of an eye Sandrine becomes a completely different person. A whole new personality, which doesn't go unnoticed by her grandmother. Suddenly she is daring, brave, confident and ready to discover and embrace her newly found emotions.
The literary strength of this author is definitely more evident in the amorous scenes in the books. She has a talent for the pulse quickening sensual moments, I can't fault her for those at all. However the same can't always be said for the rest of the story.
Where the sensual scenes are full of emotion, prose and enticing imagery, the surrounding story is a little less stellar. It is as if two stories are mixed into one, but one of them is a slightly amateurish fantasy with continuity errors and superfluous information, and the other is more of a romantic and erotic nature.
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley.
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