Friday, April 1, 2011

Book Review: Passion of Artemisia

I recently read The Passion of Artemisia by Susan Vreeland. Susan Vreeland wrote Girl in Hyacinth Blue, which I loved, and Lucheon of the Boating Party, which I took some time to get into but ended up loving as well.

The Passion of Artemisia is similar to her other books in that it is a historical fiction about an artist. Unlike the others, this book is about Artemisia's adult life, and not just the story of one painting.
Synopsis: Artemisia lives during the late middle ages, is a woman, a painter, and her father is kinda an asshat and her husband is not much better.

There are some modern themes in here that are probably taking liberties with what Artemisia was actually thinking at the time, the work/life balance, certain feminist ideas about being a wife and having a passion for your work, etc. But the story is told really well, and it is an engrossing read, strangely I found it engrossing not because of Artemisia but because of her daughter. I wanted to see how her life would turn out, if she'd be like her mother or not and how her mother's past would effect her future.
Overall its a decent historical fiction but if Girl in Blue was a 5 star, Luncheon Party is a 4 star, I'd give this one 2 and a half stars, because I almost gave up on it mid way through because the main character is a little whiny and the story, while well told, has some boring parts.

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