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The Very Picture of You
Format: Paperback|Change
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on 28 February 2017
Having read "A Vintage Affair", which I enjoyed very much, I decided to buy "The Very Picture of You".
Besides being a well written book about portrait painting in oils, this book shows how a mother can bring chaos into her daughters' lives through manipulative behaviour. Plenty of romance which keeps the reader guessing as to the final outcome.
I also enjoyed reading about the steps of painting portraits, and the need to paint live rather than from photos.
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on 11 March 2012
I picked this up from my local library and is the first Isabel Wolff book which I have read. It was stunning. The premise of the novel centres on Ella, a painter who specialises in portraits. Ella is abandoned by her Father at 5 which has repercussions for her as she progresses to adulthood. As the novel progresses, the reader learns why Ella is a portraitist artist. The novel centres on Ella and the way her character has been shaped by her Father's seeming rejection. Ella is asked to paint her sister's fiance as a wedding gift. At first she loathes Nate because she thinks he is cheating on her sister. As her sister was cheated on in the past, understandably she is very wary of him but gradually she realises this is not the case and she becomes increasingly attracted to him. As her feelings grow, this coupled with Ella being contacted by her Father, sets off a whole chain reaction of events which threaten Ella, her family and their happiness; the culmination of which is played out on her sister and Nate's wedding day! Secrets from the past are revealed which literally rocks their whole worlds apart. Interweaved in this, there are also subplots with the sitters who relay their stories to Ella as she paints them.

I loved this book. It reminded me of Oscar Wilde's Dorian Gray in the fact that as the painter paints each subject, they capture a piece of their character forever. Indeed, as the old cliche says, every picture tells a story. It was beautifully written and I was very sad to end it. I will definitely read more of this wonderful author's work.
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on 28 September 2013
This is the first Isabel Wolff novel I've read, but I'll definitely read more. Its a gentle sort of novel, but covers some interesting and disturbing facts. The main character, Ella is a portrait artist, but has unresolved probelms from childhood. As she becomes very successful as an artist, this leads to resolving those earlier problems. Her mother is manipulative, and this has disastrous effects on Ella's younger sister Chloe. I was sorry to finish this on my Kindle. Highly recommended.
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on 18 October 2017
I enoyed this book. Although It was easy to see where the plot was going from quite early on, the characters were well written and I got drawn into the story
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on 27 February 2018
Another brilliant book by the author. Well worth reading.
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on 17 December 2015
Another amazing book, I've loved all of her books. Can't wait for more
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on 24 July 2017
Extremely stiff writing. there is an un happy instead of unhappy and simpatico instead of simpatica, quite irksome. The story is totally absurd and reads like an advert for the shops on the King's road.
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on 4 August 2017
very good l shall read more from this author
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on 27 July 2014
I enjoyed this story, although some of the plot was fairly obvious from the onset. Wolff's latter books are a considerable improvement on her earlier work, but I found the italics for emphasis in speech really irritating and unnecessary.
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on 21 January 2012
Nothing is black and white about Isabel's characters - they are flawed and human - so observing the nuances of light and shade as illumination was cast on dark old secrets was very pleasurable.
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