Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Very Picture of You – Isabel Wolff

Ella Graham is a portrait painter who has begun to gain lots of recognition for her touching portraits. Her sister, Chloe, is about to get married to Nate and for a wedding present she has asked Ella to paint his portrait which she intends to give him as a gift on the eve of their wedding. Ella is unhappy about this as she doesn’t much like nor trust Nate, even though she has only met him once. However, as she spends more time with him during their sittings, her initial opinions begin to change significantly.

Ella also has other clients she is getting to know more about, too: there is a beautiful French woman whose husband wants her to have a portrait painted as a fortieth birthday present, although she is reluctant; a lonely, elderly widow and a popular politician with a secret. There are many secrets floating around in Ella’s life, not least of all those her mother kept from her about her father so as Chloe’s wedding draws closer and preparations become more frantic, Ella is surprised to receive an email from her father, John, who she hasn’t seen or heard from for more than thirty years.

The Very Picture of You is a lovely story and an easy read. I almost inhaled it in during two big sittings it was so enjoyable. There are many things I love about Isabel Wolff’s writing and this book did not disappoint. She always draws such a full landscape of characters; this and all of the previous Isobel Wolff books I have read are not in the least bit confusing even though they are filled with more than one storyline; and she always provides great insight into the topic she is writing about, in this case, the life of a portrait painter. I particularly loved learning about the lives of the sitters through the eyes of Ella as she got to know them better. I had not realised how intimate a relationship a portrait painter can have with their clients.

If you enjoy an interesting story with a little romance thrown in then this is the book for you.


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