Girl in the Afternoon

“Edouard had taught her to paint the changing light, to capture a moment and let it go, to remember, always, that nothing is fixed or absolute.”

I received this as an advanced reader copy from St. Martin’s Press for an honest review.

As an avid reader of historical fiction, my thoughts on this book are biased. When I pick up a novel set in a different time period, I want to LIVE in it. I want to hear the sounds, see the sights, and literally step into the time period I’m reading. What are they wearing? What are they eating, and drinking? What is it like to walk through the streets? This book fell flat in that regard which led me to become disinterested in the story. If you like a complicated love story, this is the book for you!

We walk into a complicated family situation set into Parisian society during the Impressionist movement. I do not know a lot about art history, but it’s incorporated into historical romances frequently. We have a few art themes dropped into the story, but I felt the research was lacking on detail. There is love, betrayal, cheating, children, and the all-around classic forbidden romance. The main character is bold, and independent which really appealed to me. She is in love with her brother (not by blood), who runs away in the night for an unknown reason we all find out as the story unfolds. The storyline is easy to follow, but the author does the time skip approach throughout the novel skipping years to keep the story rolling. There is a lot of foreshadowing thrown throughout the novel to keep you on the right track, but at times I just wanted the author to just tell me already!

The family full of drama and twisted love is an interesting story, but I felt it could be set in modern times and nothing would have changed. This reads more as a romance, than any other genre. I hope to see more from this author with a richer sense of history.


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