While the narration starts in 1957, after the destruction by fire of the former home of Louis Comfort Tiffany, much of the action takes place in 1924 and even earlier. Painter Jenny Bell tells the story of the summer she and her best friend, rich socialite artist Mix Deering, spent in Laurelton Hall as part of a young artist’s intensive. During this eight week period, eight young artists have total artistic freedom, and at the end, the piece judged the best earns them a show at the Tiffany store.
Jenny has a hidden past and a big secret, but she doesn’t realize that she’s not the only one at the intensive with those. As she blossoms personally, so does her palette. A love affair, and the friendship of Louis Comfort Tiffany himself, make her feel that maybe, just maybe, all could be well. It soon becomes obvious, though, that someone is out to drive Jenny away, or worse
The author has a way with description. The Laurelton Hall was a gorgeous place, decorated within an inch of its life, with multiple water features inside and out, stained glass windows everywhere, Art Nouveau trim, and stunning gardens around it. Rose paints this setting for us in glowing detail, as well as the wonderful clothing and jewelry the women wore. It almost made me cry that this building (it was real, as was the summer artist retreat) is gone and that these descriptions are the only way I have to see it. It’s a suspenseful story, and I enjoyed the characters. The story does have a very slow place, though, I think because of the focus on the descriptions. But I was quite willing to move slowly through the world of wealth and art in 1924! Four and a half stars.
The above is an affiliate link. If you click through and buy something- anything- from Amazon, they will give me a few cents.
I received a free e-copy of this book from Net Galley in return for an unbiased review.
Neither of these things influenced my review.