M J Rose is known for her haunting stories. Witch of Painted Sorrows lived up to all I had read about the novel before I picked it up and opened to the first page. With the first words, I found myself compelled by the story of the young woman who the novel revolved around. Betrayed by her husband, abandoned in death by her beloved father, and finally desperate to understand and unravel who she truly was, the story moved from New York to Paris of the mid-1890s. Pure genius of story and plot took the reader to the Ecole des Beaux Arts, the great Parisian arts academy, as Sandrine applied to study there under the guise as a male, to the oddities of living under the shadow of one of Paris’ greatest horizontals.
This reader felt the tugs of insanity pulling from the pages and the wet stickiness of the paint dripping from the words, as Sandrine’s world continued to turn on end. I could not get to the end fast enough, for I had to find the answer that would save the family, and Sandrine’s sanity. The attention to detail that M J paid to the era’s worship of the occult, the details of some of the art work in the books, and to the art itself was magnificent.
Net Galley provided a copy of Witch of Painted Sorrows for review.