Title: I Always Loved You
Author: Robin Oliveira
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Historical Fiction
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: A beautiful, poignant love letter to the golden era of Belle Epoque, I loved I Always Loved You--I loved the intimate peek into an artist's life--and even better, a fictionalized account of Edgar Degas and Mary Cassatt!
This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I Always Loved You chronicles the life of Mary Cassatt, the prominent female artist of the Belle Epoque era, and her relationship with other male artists of that time--in particular, Edgar Degas. The novel offers a fictionalized, but intimate view into the life of a female artist--and just how far she went for the love of her craft.
What I enjoyed:
-I loved the beautiful, flowing prose of this novel--it sucked me in right away
-I liked the pacing, too, smooth and almost gentle as the author spanned throughout the characters
-Mary, and her fierce desire to stay true to herself and her art, while at the same time yearning for passion and love
-Edgar, at times hilarious, at others insufferable, but undeniably human
-Each character was beautifully rendered by the author, unmistakably human and flawed--it really made me wonder what each was like in real life
-I especially loved the tempestuous, mercurial relationship between Cassatt and Degas, the way it wavered from friendship into something less easily defined--and you never really find out in the novel definitively
-I especially liked the way the author portrayed the setting--it really felt like I was back in Paris with the greats
-I enjoyed the ending--I think it fit perfectly with the mood of the novel
What could've been better:
-At times it was hard to follow the narrative, jumping from each artist with wild abandon
I really enjoyed I Always Loved You--anyone looking for a good piece of art fiction, or historical fiction, should pick it up! Next on deck: The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen!