Title: The Blue
Author: Nancy Bilyeau
Publisher: Endeavor Quill
Publish Date: December 3, 2018
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "In eighteenth century
London, porcelain is the most seductive of commodities; fortunes are
made and lost upon it. Kings do battle with knights and knaves for
possession of the finest pieces and the secrets of their manufacture.
Genevieve Planché, an English-born descendant of Huguenot refugees,
porcelain holds far less allure; she wants to be an artist, a painter of
international repute, but nobody takes the idea of a female artist
seriously in London. If only she could reach Venice.
Genevieve meets the charming Sir Gabriel Courtenay, he offers her an
opportunity she can’t refuse; if she learns the secrets of porcelain, he
will send her to Venice. But in particular, she must learn the secrets
of the colour blue…
The ensuing events take Genevieve deep into
England’s emerging industrial heartlands, where not only does she learn
about porcelain, but also about the art of industrial espionage.
the heart and spirit of her Huguenot ancestors, Genevieve faces her
challenges head on, but how much is she willing to suffer in pursuit and
protection of the colour blue?"
My Two Cents:
"The Blue" is the story of Genevieve, a feisty young woman who dreams of becoming an artist in 18th century London. During this time, women are expected to be homemakers and not independent but Genevieve is the kind of woman who won't take no for an answer. When she has an opportunity to become a real artist, she takes it even if it means doing the difficult and impossible. This is a great new story from Nancy Bilyeau and I really enjoyed it!
You all already know that I love historical fiction! I especially love historical fiction that has anything to do with art. The detail in this book about porcelain-making is fantastic. I had no idea how much of a craze it was. The name of the book refers to the central story line where Genevieve is embroiled in a mystery involving the blue color used for so much porcelain. It would have been easy for the author to overwhelm the reader with all of the detail and background behind porcelain and the color blue but she does a great job of weaving the detail into the story.
The characters in this book are great, especially our main character Genevieve. She is passionate and resourceful. I appreciated her drive to follow her passion. She is such an interesting character to follow as she tries to unravel the central mystery in the book. I wasn't ready to let go of her when the book ended!
Overall, this book has a lot of rich detail that made it a treat to read!