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The Witch of Painted Sorrows by M.J. Rose

Source: France Book Tours
Hardcover, 384 pgs
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Sandrine Salome finds her world upended by her husband, Benjamin, and even as she flees to Paris from New York, she is haunted by her own ancestry in The Witch of Painted Sorrows by M.J. Rose.  Paris is the city of light and painting and art, and Sandrine has always loved art.  But her love of art is just one passion that drives her deeper and deeper into the mystical past of her courtesan ancestors, especially La Lune.  Arriving on her grandmother’s doorstep unexpectedly, we learn that she and her grandmother only met occasionally throughout the years after she left Paris with her parents at age 15.  Despite the distance, she is drawn to Paris as her home, and it is her sense of longing and desire for a new life that drives her closer to the edge of an abyss.

“I did not cause the madness, the deaths, or the rest of the tragedies any more than I painted the paintings.  I had help, her help.  Or perhaps I should say she forced her help on me.  And so this story — which began with me fleeing my home in order to escape my husband and might very well end tomorrow, in a duel, in the Bois de Boulogne at dawn — is as much hers as mine.  Or in fact more hers than mine.”  (page 1)

Her secretive grandmother may have unwittingly provided Sandrine and her father with the tools they needed to become blind to the magic around them and to willfully turn a blind eye to the dangers that stalk them.  But her warnings are stark and should not be ignored.  Rose is a gifted story-teller who infuses her historical fiction with ancient mystery, passion, and wonder.  Her characters love strongly and are often guided by things beyond their rational control, but at their hearts they believe they are doing right.  Sandrine is no different.  She has longed for a life free of constraint and to be immersed in art, and what she finds in Paris is more than she bargained for, but in many ways she’s afraid to give it up and to return to a lackluster life.

The Witch of Painted Sorrows by M.J. Rose is a story of love, passion, and ambition, but at its heart, it is about the quest for immortality — even if it is just being remembered as a great architect or artist.  Skeptics will enter this world and try to interject rationality, much like Julien does, but they will soon find themselves swept up in a story like no other and forced to re-examine their own conceptions of the spirit world.  Is art a divine gift or is it a talent that can be nurtured and shaped into legend?  Rose delves into these questions and more in her deeply layered world of artistry and passion.

About the Author:

New York Times Bestseller, M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother’s favorite books before she was allowed. She believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice … books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it. Please visit her website, her blog: Museum of Mysteries; Subscribe to her mailing list; and Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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