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VINE VOICEon January 20, 2006
This book is no DaVinci Code. Rather, The Seventh Unicorn is part soap opera, part cozy mystery. The premise upon which it's based is intriguing, and well founded in art history, the most engimatic medieval tapestries being the Unicorn series in Paris and the other in NYC. What is disappointing about this plot is the ease with which everything falls into the heroine's lap, the transparency of the other characters, and the total absence of suspence. What's valuable and enjoyable about the plot is the information provided about the tapestries, their iconography and symbolism, and their possible provenance, as well as the glimpse into the art and museum world.
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on December 26, 2005
Above all, this is a delicious, pretty little love story. Actually, parallel love stories. One in the 15th century; one in the 21st.

In the lush tradition of art history mysteries, author Kelly Jones sets her evocative and sensually narrated tale amidst the cloistered world of museums and convents, specifically Paris' Musée National du Moyen Age (formerly the Cluny), and its exquisite set of six tapestries jointly known as The Lady and the Unicorn. And museums/nunneries is not the first set of mirrored circumstances in her debut novel. The entire story is full of wonderful reflective plot lines separated by hundreds of years.

Weaving established facts and accepted speculation as to the origin and meaning of the tapestries, Jones takes her heroine Alex to a Lyon convent, where construction workers have found a 15th century tapestry in the ancient walls. How did the priceless object come to be there? Is it indeed the seventh of the Lady and the Unicorn set? Alex finds herself in a race against time and ill-motivated competitors to establish the authenticity of the tapestry and acquire it for the Cluny. Along the way a former beau, Jake, magically arrives, and provides unexpected help and passion. Their love rekindles, yet remains illusive as Alex considers her roles of curator, mother, daughter, and woman; all of these roles seem mutually exclusive to her. But are they? Should they be compartmentalized?

Jones describes the daily circumstances of her characters with keen attention to the senses of sight, taste, smell, and touch, in homage to the tapestries famous themes. But what, the reader wonders, is "mon seul desir" of Alex? Of Jake? The path to uncover the truth about the seventh tapestry leads to discovery of Alex's own true nature and source of happiness, her own sole desire.
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I think it was A.S. Byatt's _Possession_ that got me addicted to the historical-interest mysteries that are in vogue lately. I've come to really love the sort of book where people hunt around looking for ancient artifacts or long-lost manuscripts. So I couldn't resist picking up _The Seventh Unicorn_, which tells the story of a (fictional) seventh tapestry in the (real) "Lady and the Unicorn" series, and two former lovers who rekindle their romance while trying to preserve it.

This book is not bad at all. It is, however, a first novel, and there are two things about it that just didn't work for me. First, the male lead, Jake, doesn't appeal to me as much as he's supposed to. Even if he was having problems with his fiancee before running into his former lover, he would have at least spared his fiancee half a thought in the course of several hundred pages. Instead, she seems to vanish for about two-thirds of the book and is much less important to the story than she should be.

Second, the author was perhaps a bit too easy on the characters. I'm used to novels like this having some conflict--some cutthroat tactics, some suspense, at least some interpersonal tension. Instead, the denouement of this book seems to be a series of things falling too perfectly, too easily, into place. Characters I thought were menacing turned out to be merely gruff but well-meaning. Exes who should have been bitter, instead smile and nod magnanimously. And the Deep Dark Secret that underpins the story was too easily guessed. I think the prologue telegraphed far too much of the plot.

Again, this book was not bad at all, and I did like it. However, I think it needed some more conflict. It was just a bit too placid.
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on March 15, 2006
I chose this book because it seemed like a nice easy-going read. All in all it was a great read. This book was kind of slow in the beginning but picked up towards the middle. The whole book is set in the fictional world of the undiscovered seventh tapestry of The Lady and the Unicorn.

The book starts in Medeval times with a rich girl named Adele Le Viste who falls in love with a common person. It then morphs into modern day Paris with a museum curator Alex Benoit and her ex boyfriend Jake Bowman. It is a nice love story but somewhat predictable. There are similarities between Adele and modern age Alex.

Even though this book has a slow start it is a great book and I would recommend it for some light easy reading.
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on September 24, 2013
I really enjoyed this book. I purchased it after reading The Woman Who Heard Color (even better!). Both books by this author were enjoyable, interesting, and well written. I read more non-fiction than fiction and this author grabbed my attention from start to finish. I recommended this author to other members of my family and they enjoyed it too.
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on January 6, 2013
As a youg girl I loved to read historical novels, getting the flavour of past ages while enjoying a good story. As an adult, started to discover art novels, that provide insights into the art world in a delightful way. This the Kelly Jones 2nd book I read and enjoyed.
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on November 14, 2013
Being a unicorn questor and having seen the Lady and Unicorn tapestries in the 1980s, I really enjoyed Kelly Jones novel about the possibility of a seventh tapestry. This novel is delightful.
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on March 31, 2007
What a pleasure to read Kelly Jones' Seventh Unicorn. The characters are believable, the premise interestly unusual. Mostly, the writing is superb.
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on August 7, 2008
This was a nice, light summer read. Even though the plot and characters were a bit predictible, I still enjoyed it.
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on February 4, 2013
The story is well written and holds one's interest. In fact I couldn't put it down. I highly recommend it.
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