Vreeland's characters remind us, through their love of the mysterious painting, how beauty transforms and why we reach for it, what lasts, and what in our lives is singular and unforgettable.
©1999 Susan Vreeland; (P)2001 Highbridge Company
"Intelligent, searching, and unusual...filled with luminous moments...it has a way of lingering in the reader's mind." (The New York Times Book Review)
"One of the best books of the year." (Publishers Weekly)
I am really not in to romance.. I like historic writing the are fiction but follow closely to historic time lines.
I read the book but found it dull.
no not at all wish i had skipped it
not at all confusing and left hanging in many places
i would not recommed
This story could have been much better if just one story had been focused on. I understand completely that this isn't about any of the mini-stories, really... it is about the painting and the people who owned it and their own little sagas surrounding the painting. I felt that the very last story, about the actual girl in the painting, should have somehow been longer or more explicit. Each story wasn't long enough for the reader to get a real grasp of the characters and their lives or to really begin to care about them before being whisked off to another story. The exception was the story of the mother who takes in the baby and painting. If all of the stories had been like this, I would have enjoyed it a great deal more.
This is a terrific book. I usually transfer 3-4 audiobooks to CD yearly for a listen down the road and this made the grade. It is quite simply, enthralling in its ability to communicate feeling, content and style as only a studied pro in the arms of a loving muse could do. I took time off from grad school to learn Dutch and travel through the Lowlands viewing Flemish art. This book is the closest thing I know to any device that can effectively give one the feeling I got during that wonderful period. It captures mood exquisitely. It transports one back in time as great lit should. The pacing, the words chosen, the phrasing -- all of it, subtle, yet powerfully effective. It doesn???t scream ???look how wonderfully I???ve done this,??? but it does. If this is new terrain for you, it may take awhile to ???get there.??? Given that ???there??? doesn???t exist anymore, it is worth the effort at 10x the price.
This book is listed in the Audible kids section, so you can imagine my shock when two of the short stories included very graphic, adult sex scenes, one very short but one that is long and detailed. This is completely inappropriate for kids and for any adult who is not interested in reading or listening to such things (one would assume a children's/young adult novel would be free from such things). I'm extremely disappointed that this author felt it necessary to include such a thing in a book about a painting. I will never read another work by Susan Vreeland. And I'm disappointed that Audible chose to list this in the Audible kids section. I would have hoped that they would choose to use a bit more discretion.
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