I’m not going to lie, the title and cover of this book drew my initial interest. The story involves a poor young artist in the city of Paris in the 1800’s. There is mystery, tragedy, art, romance and did I mention it takes place in Paris in the 1800’s? ‘Cause it does. And it was good. The writing was elegant, detailed and lovely. The protagonist is a young lady by the name of Maude Heighton and she is wonderful. She is tough, but kindhearted and I love that she is a fighter. The twist, while expected was still surprising, if that makes any sense. Basically, you know something horrible is coming, but you don’t know when, what, or how. The story was brilliantly constructed and I loved every minute of it. If you are looking for a darker novel full of intrigue, mystery and very great characters, read this. Loved it!
Description from Amazon:
There is but one Paris.
Vincent Van Gogh Maud Heighton came to Lafond’s famous Academie to paint, and to flee the constraints of her small English town. It took all her courage to escape, but Paris, she quickly realizes, is no place for a light purse. While her fellow students enjoy the dazzling decadence of the Belle Epoque, Maud slips into poverty. Quietly starving, and dreading another cold Paris winter, she stumbles upon an opportunity when Christian Morel engages her as a live-in companion to his beautiful young sister, Sylvie. Maud is overjoyed by her good fortune. With a clean room, hot meals, and an umbrella to keep her dry, she is able to hold her head high as she strolls the streets of Montmartre. No longer hostage to poverty and hunger, Maud can at last devote herself to her art. But all is not as it seems. Christian and Sylvie, Maud soon discovers, are not quite the darlings they pretend to be. Sylvie has a secret addiction to opium and Christian has an ominous air of intrigue. As this dark and powerful tale progresses, Maud is drawn further into the Morels’ world of elegant deception. Their secrets become hers, and soon she is caught in a scheme of betrayal and revenge that will plunge her into the darkness that waits beneath this glittering city of light.