Sometimes an offer for fortune is too good to be true. For Gastien the dream of painting for the rest of his days is too strong to run from any chance at potential success. Leaving the family farm Gastien seeks his painting glory, and future, in the city of Paris. Many trials wait as Gastien encounters the hard truths of being on one’s own with no money, connections, or help beyond the raw talent and knowledge he possesses.
This story was definitely gripping at times, and there are a lot of lessons to learn from the trials and tribulations of Gastien Beauchamp. Rowland does a good job of conveying emotions and painting a setting that readers can connect with. At the same time this story has a rollercoaster of events that play out, similar to the highs and lows of one suffering from depression. For Gastien, ‘when it rains it pours’ is the best way to describe his good times and bad. Definitely a coming of age story, and appears to be a tale of reflection or a character biography.
Ultimately I found that I did not like Gastien, and by the end of part 1 his character had grown very little. Part 1 only covers about 3 years of Gastien’s life; so additional character growth may be coming in part II. He seemed a bit too perfect and lucky, but then some of his poor choices helped to balance the character. I couldn’t get emotionally involved with this character. I think what baffled me the most was the end of this book. The last hundred pages left me a bit a shell shocked. I was caught off guard, and I applaud Rowland for having the element of surprise.
Additionally, head jumping was disjointed and jarred me from the story with each occurrence; I found this more frequently towards the end. For me the ‘nay’ consists with personal preference in writing styles and dialogue. When reading I felt that in many instances the dialogue was forced, but to others this may be just a difference in speaking from French to English. As Cate recommended, I would concur that a sample read is best when considering this book for purchase.
*This book is for adult readers and does contain graphic scenes of sexual acts, which may offend those sensitive to such topics.