by Alice Hoffman
Simon and Schuster
Buy from Indigo
Description: a forbidden love story set on the tropical island of St. Thomas about the extraordinary woman who gave birth to painter Camille Pissarro; the Father of Impressionism.
Growing up on idyllic St. Thomas in the early 1800s, Rachel dreams of life in faraway Paris. Rachel's mother, a pillar of their small refugee community of Jews who escaped the Inquisition, has never forgiven her daughter for being a difficult girl who refuses to live by the rules. Growing up, Rachel's salvation is their maid Adelle's belief in her strengths, and her deep, life-long friendship with Jestine, Adelle's daughter. But Rachel's life is not her own. She is married off to a widower with three children to save her father's business. When her husband dies suddenly and his handsome, much younger nephew, Fréderick, arrives from France to settle the estate, Rachel seizes her own life story, beginning a defiant, passionate love affair that sparks a scandal that affects all of her family, including her favorite son, who will become one of the greatest artists of France.
Building on the triumphs of The Dovekeepers and The Museum of Extraordinary Things, set in a world of almost unimaginable beauty, The Marriage of Opposites showcases the beloved, bestselling Alice Hoffman at the height of her considerable powers. Once forgotten to history, the marriage of Rachel and Fréderick is a story that is as unforgettable as it is remarkable.
The Good Stuff
- The perfect book for me, especially after struggling through On the Road
- Once again Hoffman has created an engrossing story laced through with a hint of magic
- Has brought to life a relatively unknown (Especially to me) historical character and created a fascinating tale of forbidden love, family, betrayal, art and history
- Hoffman has a true gift for storytelling, I always become lost in her stories and don't want to put them down. Her words are lyrical and poetic
- Enjoyed Rachel's love for her father's library and his books - I truly understand
- Learned a lot about the fascinating history of St Thomas
- Each and every character felt so very real to me
- Hoffman's description of St Thomas is so beautiful, I feel the need to jump on a plane and head there right now
- Will be putting my Staff Pick sticker on it tonight
The Not So Good Stuff
- As always horrified by the prejudice against Jews and the restrictions
- As a Mom, I really didn't understand Rachel's attitude towards her son and his choices, especially after her childhood. Probably realistic, but it irritated me
"The colours I used might not have been of this world; instead they showed what lay below the surface of this world, the spark of colour at the deepest core."
"Then I understood that when someone begins to tell you her story, you are entwined together."
"We're likely to see our children as we wish to, not as they are."
"The night world was blue and black; a hot velvet curtain dropped down from the branches of the trees."
I received this from Simon and Schuster in exchange for an honest review