Odelle Bastien’s heart is in her throat as she climbs the stone steps of the Skelton gallery in London, this job could change her life. The sophisticated Marjorie Quick takes her under her wing but when Odelle’s new boyfriend brings an inherited artwork into the gallery which turns out to be a lost masterpiece, secrets are threatened with exposure.
30 years previously in rural Spain, Olive Schloss and her boyfriend the revolutionary Isaac Robles are both painting. Only Olive’s paintings are a secret thing whilst Isaac’s are being sold abroad to much acclaim to help fund the Spanish communists. Apart from Isaac, only one person knows about Olive’s art – his sister Theresa, a young girl who loves Olive with the passion of a first real friendship. But passion is dangerous, and knowledge more so.
This book examines the creative urge and how love can inspire it and destroy it. It looks at the search for love, for the ability to communicate and it also looks at the love present between female friends.
Jessie Burton’s characters are all well drawn and most of them are vivid, some of the men pale a little by comparison with the female characters but then they are the supporting acts rather than in the spotlight so this is as it should be.
Not that this is a ‘book for wimmin’, there is plenty of action and mystery in here too so it’s very well balanced.
The descriptions of the art itself are so compelling I was convinced it was real and hurriedly googled the Isaac Robles to correct my ignorance! I also enjoyed othe the settings, her descriptions of Spain in the 1930’s put me in mind of Laurie Lee’s As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning and the descriptions of London in the 60’s felt very authentic (not that I was there then unfortunately!)
NB I received a free copy of this book through NetGalley in return for an honest review. The BookEaters always write honest reviews