- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd (Sept. 26 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1554688566
- ISBN-13: 978-1554688562
- Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 2.7 x 21.6 cm
- Shipping Weight: 408 g
- Customer Reviews: 96 customer ratings
Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
#1,478,318 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #87249 in Historical Fiction (Books)
The Very Picture Of You Paperback – Sept. 26 2011
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About the Author
ISABEL WOLFF began her successful career as a freelance broadcaster and journalist writing for the Spectator, Evening Standard, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and Independent on Sunday. She has also presented radio programs on the BBC World Service and on Radio 4. She is the author of eight bestselling novels, which are published in twenty-nine languages. She lives in London with her family. Visit her online at isabelwolff.com.
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Thirty-five year old Ella Graham is a portrait painter in London who has been gaining steady fame with her work. As the elder of two daughters of a retired ballerina, she has fairly good relations with her family. The man that has raised her was her mother's second husband; Ella's father had run off to Australia when she was four yeas old and her mother had been bitter over his desertion. Her younger sister, though, is engaged to a man who Ella does not approve of and of whom she is asked to paint a portrait. She's also working with several other subjects. Wolff's book is a good take on what happens between artist and subjects and the secrets that can come out during sittings.
Even though the reader can see the ending coming from far away, Wolff does an excellent job of tying up the various plot lines. Her book is a very satisfying read.
Top international reviews
I loved this book. It reminded me of Oscar Wilde's Dorian Gray in the fact that as the painter paints each subject, they capture a piece of their character forever. Indeed, as the old cliche says, every picture tells a story. It was beautifully written and I was very sad to end it. I will definitely read more of this wonderful author's work.
Besides being a well written book about portrait painting in oils, this book shows how a mother can bring chaos into her daughters' lives through manipulative behaviour. Plenty of romance which keeps the reader guessing as to the final outcome.
I also enjoyed reading about the steps of painting portraits, and the need to paint live rather than from photos.
Of course everyone has their own tastes; for me I was irritated by the excessive use of italics in speech. It made for an uncomfortable read.