Friday, September 2, 2011

the flower to the painter

September is here, and with it a new edition of Halfway Down the Stairs!

See my Surviving History blog post for all my favourites and recommendations.

My contribution to Halfway Down the Stairs this time was a review of Gary Inbinder's new novel, The Flower to the Painter.

Gary is one of our previous authors. His story 'Her Reflection' was published in 'Time', our June issue of HDtS, and he kindly sent me a copy of his novel to enjoy and review.

It's the story of a young American woman in the late 1870s, who is left destitute in Italy after she is fired by the family which employed her as governess. Armed with nothing but her wits, she agrees to impersonate a man in order to apply for a job as an assistant to another American, an author called Arthur Wolcott.

As a woman, her artistic skills were never allowed to be more than "quite pretty", but when Wolcott discovers her talent, it becomes clear that her skills are much more valuable when she is disguised as a man. Wolcott leads her around Italy, France and England, introducing her to influential artists and wealthy patrons, and for a time it seems like she will become the "next big thing".

You can read my full review here.

I give the book three stars.

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