The Witch of Painted Sorrows
by M.J. Rose
My rating: 4 stars
Publication Date: March 17, 2015
Publisher: Atria Books
Genre: Adult Fiction
Print Length: 384 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Possession. Power. Passion. New York Times bestselling novelist
M. J. Rose creates her most provocative and magical spellbinder yet in
this gothic novel set against the lavish spectacle of 1890s Belle Époque
Sandrine Salome flees New York for her grandmother’s
Paris mansion to escape her dangerous husband, but what she finds there
is even more menacing. The house, famous for its lavish art collection
and elegant salons, is mysteriously closed up. Although her grandmother
insists it’s dangerous for Sandrine to visit, she defies her and meets
Julien Duplessi, a mesmerizing young architect. Together they explore
the hidden night world of Paris, the forbidden occult underground and
Sandrine’s deepest desires.
Among the bohemians and the
demi-monde, Sandrine discovers her erotic nature as a lover and painter.
Then darker influences threaten—her cold and cruel husband is tracking
her down and something sinister is taking hold, changing Sandrine,
altering her. She’s become possessed by La Lune: A witch, a legend, and a sixteenth-century courtesan, who opens up her life to a darkness that may become a gift or a curse.
This is Sandrine’s “wild night of the soul,” her odyssey in the magnificent city of Paris, of art, love, and witchery.
The Witch of Painted Sorrows by M.J. Rose
Darkly enchanting, M.J. Rose’s The Witch of Painted Sorrows follows a young woman’s escape from a loveless marriage to the home of her courtesan grandmother’s mansion in the dazzling and magical city of Paris in the late nineteenth century. But has she traded one danger for another? In an era where the occult flourishes, the arts are the rage and women are still banned from a venerable artist’s college, Sandrine will find her true self, true love, true passion and true terror. Are the tales of LeLune true? Is there a witch among her ancestors? Has Sandrine been possessed by her or has the bohemian lifestyle she embraces simply shattered her finely honed façade and revealed the earthy woman she is meant to be? When unexplainable things happen, Sandrine fears that the tales her grandmother has only told her portions of as she admonishes her never to fall in love, may be more fact than dark fancy. Unless she learns to believe and determines what the past is trying to tell her, she may be the next victim lost to LeLune as she dares to explore love and life on her own terms.
M.J. Rose has filled her tale with a veiled atmosphere that almost breathes darkness and turmoil. Her Characters are deep, passionate and are free-spirits bound only by the era’s social acceptance, rarely daring to step too far outside the box of propriety unless it is veiled beneath the current rage. Very dark, this tale has a raw magnetism that will draw the reader in and hold them until that very last page. If you are serious about literature that teases your imagine and pulls it onto a shadowed path, the rich eloquence of M.J. Rose’s words will resonate in your soul as part of an era long gone in a city that holds its own magic.
I received this ARC edition from Atria Books in exchange for my honest review.