Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman

Book Synopsis(via Goodreads):

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Dovekeepers and The Museum of Extraordinary Things: a forbidden love story set on the tropical island of St. Thomas about the extraordinary woman who gave birth to painter Camille Pissarro; the Father of Impressionism.

Growing up on idyllic St. Thomas in the early 1800s, Rachel dreams of life in faraway Paris. Rachel's mother, a pillar of their small refugee community of Jews who escaped the Inquisition, has never forgiven her daughter for being a difficult girl who refuses to live by the rules. Growing up, Rachel's salvation is their maid Adelle's belief in her strengths, and her deep, life-long friendship with Jestine, Adelle's daughter. But Rachel's life is not her own. She is married off to a widower with three children to save her father's business. When her husband dies suddenly and his handsome, much younger nephew, Fr├ęderick, arrives from France to settle the estate, Rachel seizes her own life story, beginning a defiant, passionate love affair that sparks a scandal that affects all of her family, including her favorite son, who will become one of the greatest artists of France.

Building on the triumphs of The Dovekeepers and The Museum of Extraordinary Things, set in a world of almost unimaginable beauty, The Marriage of Opposites showcases the beloved, bestselling Alice Hoffman at the height of her considerable powers. Once forgotten to history, the marriage of Rachel and Fr├ęderick is a story that is as unforgettable as it is remarkable.

***Many thanks to Net Galley and Simon & Schuster for the advanced reader's copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.***

This insomniac's opinion: 

I adore Alice Hoffman. She is a wonderfully descriptive writer that has a way of weaving magic into stories as if it were real. I always request her galleys when I see them and own quite a few of her novels. 

This novel is full of strong female characters(one thing that I love about Alice Hoffman) and Rachel stole my heart right from the beginning. The story was epic in scope and followed Rachel through love and many episodes of deep heartache. 

If you love fiction based on historical characters, you would likely enjoy this novel. Hoffman always is a master of research and leaves you feeling as if you were there on St. Thomas island. 

Worth staying up all night to read?

I loved the novel, but it certainly is long and slower paced. So, not typical stay-up-all-night reading. 


4 stars. 

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