The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman
What’s it about?
This book begins in the early to mid 1800’s on the island of St. Thomas. It follows the life of Rachel Pomie and her family. It is a work of historical fiction based loosely on the life of Rachel Monsanto Pomie Petit Pizzarro. In real life, Camille Pissarro is a famous painter and the son of Rachel Pizzarro. He begins painting in his youth in St. Thomas and eventually makes his way to Europe where he is a contemporary of Cezanne, Degas and Renoir, among others. This is the imagined story of his family.
What did I think?
I loved “The Dovekeepers” and think Alice Hoffman is a gifted writer. This novel does not disappoint. It was less complex and easier to read than “The Dovekeepers”. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I learned so much about the island of St. Thomas- its’ customs and traditions. Her descriptions of the island were enchanting. The Pizzarro family is Jewish, and that fact played a significant role in the book. This just adds another layer as the story progresses.
Should you read it?
This is a great book for those of you who like historical fiction. Alice Hoffman is so well thought of, that on the cover of my book her name is 5 times as big as the actual title of the book. For an author this must be the ultimate compliment.
"I no longer cared if my mother disliked me. I didn’t understand that when I closed myself to her, I took a part of her bitterness inside me. It was green and unforgiving, and as it grew it made me more like her. It gave me my strength, but it gave me my weakness as well.”
Did you like the character of Rachel?
If you like this try-
Land of Love and Drowning by Tiphanie Yunique
Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende
Molokai by Alan Brennert
favorites from 2020
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best of winter/spring 2017-18
best of spring/summer 2017
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on my nightstand
edge of your seat
― Charles William Eliot
3 to 4- I found some aspect of this book redeeming but would not recommend it.
5 to 6- I really enjoyed something about this book (characters, plot, meaning etc.) but it was uneven. Some aspects were stronger than others.
7 to 8- It was a good book. I liked lots of aspects of this book. I would recommend it.
9 to 10- I was sorry to turn the last page. I highly recommend this book!