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The Witch of Painted Sorrows Hardcover – March 17, 2015
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The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
“Rose's new series offers her specialty, a unique and captivating supernatural angle, set in an intriguing belle epoque Paris—a perfect match for the author's lush descriptions, intricate plot and mesmerizing storytelling. A cliffhanger ending will leave readers hungry for the next volume. Sensual, evocative, mysterious and haunting.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“A haunting tale of possession.” (Publishers Weekly)
"Rose expertly builds suspense as Sandrine gives into her deepest desires and La Lune’s influence, and the twist ending sets up the next entry in this gothic trilogy." (Booklist)
“The New York Times bestselling author returns with what is being heralded as ‘her most provocative and magical spellbinder yet.’ It’s been a while since I dug into a can’t-put-it-down novel of thrills and chills, and this one–a gothic historical fiction set in 1890s Belle Époque Paris–promises to be just that. The tale involves a haunted Parisian mansion, the legends of a fabled sixteenth century French courtesan, a twisted love story, and witchcraft…sign me up for this wild ride!” (Huffington Post)
"An elegant tale of rare depth and beauty, as brilliantly crafted as it is wondrously told....melds the normal and paranormal in the kind of seamless fashion reserved for such classic ghost stories as Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw." (Providence Journal)
"[MJ Rose] stirs her readers' curiosity and imaginations, opening their eyes to the cultural, intellectual, and artistic excitement that marked the Belle Epoque period. Rose's unforgettable full-bodied characters and richly detailed narrative result in an entrancing read that will long be savored." (Library Journal (Starred Review))
"Layered with historical information is the strange and haunting story of two women. The book must be savored slowly to appreciate the skill of the author to tell a great story." (Fredericksburg Newspaper)
"Provocative, erotic, and spellbindinglyhaunting...will have the reader totally mesmerized cover-to-cover.A captivating supernatural read that will keep you enthralled… a‘must-have’ novel." (Suspense Magazine)
"Rose has a talent for compelling writing, and this time she has outdone herself. Fear, desire, lust and raw emotion ooze off the page." -- New York Times
"An elegant writer with a fine style." (Anne Rice)
About the Author
New York Times and USAToday bestseller, M. J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park, and reading her mother's favorite books before she was allowed. She is the author of more than a dozen novels, the co-president and founding board member of International Thriller Writers, and the founder of the first marketing company for authors: AuthorBuzz.com. She lives in Greenwich, Connecticut. Visit her online at MJRose.com.
Top customer reviews
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Rose explores Sandrine's hungry desire for identity in the same way that she depicts the angst of her character Jac L'Etoile in The Book of Lost Fragrances: A Novel of Suspense,Seduction: A Novel of Suspense and The Collector of Dying Breaths: A Novel of Suspense who is plagued by dreams and images of reincarnation until she finds her ultimate happiness. Perhaps, Rose's theory consists of a simple premise: humans are tortured by thoughts of the unknowable until they find an all-consuming purpose. With such purpose, the need to squelch melancholy and thoughts of death and sadness are forgotten--an immunity is created. The darkness, the sadness as represented and evoked by La Lune cannot take hold. Like Jac L'Etoile, Sandrine becomes prey to the sad strength of La Lune, an ancestor of the Verlaine family who suffered greatly.
With that in mind, the tone of "Witch" replicates the tone of Rose's other novels--the sadness permeates the reader with its sense of loss and its desperate need for vanquishing in a way that may not be appealing to many readers. Those expecting a joyful, triumphant resolution, realize beforehand that as the first in a new series, this novel acts as an introduction to installments of cautionary tales. After the novel's conclusion, Rose provides an excerpt to "The Jeweler of Stolen Dreams" which, although not labeled as the second book in the series, most likely is, as it begins in Paris in 1918.
Rose's first person voice is fraught with the same mixture of innocence and pressing motivation as her characters from her other novels. She relies upon the intimacy of this voice to compensate for a lack of excessive detail that would bring the Belle Epoque to life from the perspective of a historical novel. Instead she envelopes the reader in the events of the narrator's life as they occur, describing events and places as Sandrine experiences them rather than constantly remind the reader that the novel takes place in another era where sensibilities, styles and protocols were much different. It works.
Nevertheless, there is a deadness to the character that fails to make her likeable; as I tumbled towards the last page of "Witch," I wasn't necessarily rooting for Sandrine. Perhaps, I had already realized that she was the introductory vessel for an entity that would make its appearance known in the other La Lune novels. Even Sandrine's engagement in lustful acts with the lover of her dreams does not succeed on the level that one would expect; something is missing but, these only detract a little juice to the story which is, otherwise, an entertaining albeit melancholy read.
Bottom line? In "The Witch of Painted Sorrows," M. J. Rose returns to what she is best known for--a novel of human longing, disappointment and a turning to the occult to find answers to staunch the pain. Good read. Recommended.
Diana Faillace Von Behren
Sandrine Salome is a young Jewish woman from New York who descend matrilineal from La Lune, a courtesan witch. She built the La Lune mansion and it has been inherited from mother to daughter for generations. Sandrine is fleeing from a bad marriage and a family tragedy. Upon arriving in Paris she discover that her grandmother is turning the mansion into museum and is living in an apartment. During her sojourn in Paris she explores, with architect Julian, the bell tower where painting are stored and old grimoires of magic. The grandmother warns her that danger is lurking and Sandrine must leave. Meanwhile she falls in love with Julian, wears La Lunes jewelry and pretty soon a change come over. Slowly she becomes more artistic and seductive. Tragedy also ensues. Deaths occur and accidents. The danger come from La Lune. One of the deaths comes from a rabbi trying to banish the ghost of La Lune. The grandmother’s conditions worsen and the husband comes to Paris looking for her. Might be good to know that her father is the son of the grandmother.
There is a pleasant ending to this book and magical seekers will enjoy some of the insights. The reading is very entertaining and I would recommend this book for adults over 18 due to some of the sensual content. Many details have been left out but I would not wish to spoil the plot now would I?
I loved Sandrine's journey from estranged wife to artist. I enjoyed reading about her obsession with Julian, and how art, history, lust, and the paranormal were such big elements in this story. I couldn't resist being "creeped out" by La Lune and all the accidents and other incidents that were happening.
An amazing, amazing book!
I did really like the book even though the ending was predictable- I did hope for a different outcome.
The story line became somewhat drawn out. For how smart Sandrine is, she sure is dense when it comes to that necklace. After all that she goes through she figures it all out at the end? I found that frustrating. There were so many obvious instances for her to figure it all out. I liked her at first, but then I became irritated by her.
This is a cool read, don't get me wrong. Just know you may get annoyed by the main character.