Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Review: Girl in the Afternoon by Serena Burdick

Title: Girl in the Afternoon
Author: Serena Burdick 
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publish Date: July 12, 2016 (Today!)
Source: Publisher

What's the Story?:

From Goodreads.com: "Born into a wealthy Parisian family at the center of Belle Epoque society, 18-year-old Aimée Savaray dreams of becoming a respected painter in the male-dominated art world; and secretly, she also dreams of being loved by Henri, the boy her parents took in as a child and raised alongside her.

But when Henri inexplicably disappears, in the midst of the Franco-Prussian war, the Savarays’ privileged lives begin to unravel. Heartbroken, Aimée tries to find him, but Henri doesn’t want to be found—and only one member of the family knows why.

As Aimée seeks refuge in the art world, mentored by the Impressionist Édouard Manet, she unwittingly finds her way back to Henri. With so many years gone by and secrets buried, their eventual reunion unmasks the lies that once held the family together, but now threaten to tear them apart."

My Two Cents:

"Girl in the Afternoon" is the story of Aimee and Henri, two artists who are interlinked by their families. Both of them dream of being artists in the Belle Epoque time period set in Paris. Their family secrets threaten to unravel their relationship and everything they think they know is turned on its head. Add an appearance by Edouard Manet as Aimee's tutor who has designs on her and you have a twisting historical fiction filled with romance and secrets.

I am such a sucker for any book that has both historic and artistic elements. I love reading about artists and the things that they create and how they are inspired. You get a strong dose of that is this book. Aimee and Henri are both artists. They are inspired in very different ways but their art seems to bring them closer together. I loved reading the rich detail that the author included on the art. I also really liked the addition of Edouard Manet. I love his paintings but did not know much about his life. This book really whet my appetite to find out more about him. His appearance in the book set off a lot of the twists in the book that kept me reading rapidly.

Between the time period and the setting, I was whisked away by this book. I love reading about Paris and the detail that the author added really made me feel the time and the place. It also made the characters stand out more for me as you could picture exactly what their lives were like back then. Overall, this is a good story that will hook my fellow histfic fans!



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