Dad of Divas' Reviews: Book Review - I Always Loved You

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Book Review - I Always Loved You

I Always Loved You
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About the Book
A novel of Mary Cassatt and Edgar Degas’s great romance from the New York Times bestselling author of My Name Is Mary Sutter

The young Mary Cassatt never thought moving to Paris after the Civil War to be an artist was going to be easy, but when, after a decade of work, her submission to the Paris Salon is rejected, Mary’s fierce determination wavers. Her father is begging her to return to Philadelphia to find a husband before it is too late, her sister Lydia is falling mysteriously ill, and worse, Mary is beginning to doubt herself. Then one evening a friend introduces her to Edgar Degas and her life changes forever. Years later she will learn that he had begged for the introduction, but in that moment their meeting seems a miracle. So begins the defining period of her life and the most tempestuous of relationships.

In I Always Loved You, Robin Oliveira brilliantly re-creates the irresistible world of Belle Époque Paris, writing with grace and uncommon insight into the passion and foibles of the human heart.

My Take on the Book
Though this is a fictionalized story, the characters are two very identifiable ones Mary Cassatt and Edgar Degas. The book itself is set in the beautiful backdrop of Paris and the author does a wonderful job of building the world for her characters. As a reader you are transported to Paris with descriptions of sights and sounds and more.

The book was an enjoyable read and one that will make you want to learn more about the non-fiction lives of the characters in question. For me the author has written a greatly enjoyable historical fiction that is beautiful and wholly satisfying. The interesting thing that you come to find is that as you get into the book the author slowly unveils layer upon layer that is added onto the book itself. It reminded me much of the layering of a painting with each layer clarifying and making the whole of the work clearer. The author uses words to create this same effect to wonderful results.

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