Monday, March 16, 2015

The Witch of Painted Sorrows by M. J. Rose

384 p.
Publisher: Atria Books
Published: 3/17/15
Source: NetGalley and publisher for review
Possession. Power. Passion. New York Times bestselling novelist M. J. Rose creates her most provocative and magical spellbinder yet in this gothic novel set against the lavish spectacle of 1890s Belle Époque Paris. 
Sandrine Salome flees New York for her grandmother’s Paris mansion to escape her dangerous husband, but what she finds there is even more menacing. The house, famous for its lavish art collection and elegant salons, is mysteriously closed up. Although her grandmother insists it’s dangerous for Sandrine to visit, she defies her and meets Julien Duplessi, a mesmerizing young architect. Together they explore the hidden night world of Paris, the forbidden occult underground and Sandrine’s deepest desires. 
Among the bohemians and the demi-monde, Sandrine discovers her erotic nature as a lover and painter. Then darker influences threaten—her cold and cruel husband is tracking her down and something sinister is taking hold, changing Sandrine, altering her. She’s become possessed by La Lune: A witch, a legend, and a sixteenth-century courtesan, who opens up her life to a darkness that may become a gift or a curse. 
This is Sandrine’s “wild night of the soul,” her odyssey in the magnificent city of Paris, of art, love, and witchery. 
Art, mystery, romance.... uh, yes please. I was totally taken in by this book. I loved reading about all of the paintings and even looked up a couple while reading. I was totally captivated by the background in this book and Paris in that time period (1890s).

What was really interesting is how the book progressed for me. It was at first a book about a woman leaving a bad marriage. Then it introduced a bit of magic and it felt like I may be in for a magical realism book. As time goes on it gets darker and darker. It turns into a haunted book and then twists into a horror book. It really made the book compelling.

I did have a few problems with the book. Her husband Benjamin was not a nice guy and in fact sounded abusive, but not in an over the top way we often get in these books. I thought that there would be more to him but there wasn't and I felt that it was a lost opportunity. He really was just background for her being in Paris and when we was reinserted into the story it felt a bit forced. If this was my only problem, the book would have gotten very high marks from me. I loved the mystery, atmosphere and romance. What I hated was the ending.

The ending.

One thing I hate more than cliffies are abrupt endings. In one way I actually can see how it works here. It keeps you thinking about it and wondering about all the unanswered questions. If you are like me, then you will not like the ending at all. Too much left open and the last chapter wasn't to sum up but more like an epilogue that happened a couple days after the big finish. I just need a wee bit more information to be satisfied. Just at least one more question (but an important one) to leave me with a smile.

I've been debating about what I will score this one. I think I'll give it 3 1/2 stars. I loved most of the book. I had a hard time putting it down, but that ending? For me it was a killer. I'm certain that for others they will like the way it ended because it kept in in your mind pondering things and turning things over. I do recommend this book to those that love a story that seems to transform. I know I'll be reading more from this author.

28 comments:

  1. The ending scares me now, do not like

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  2. Oh man. I was thinking that sounds really awesome but the ending would probably really bother me. I like having some closure. Hope the next one rocks all the way through for ya.

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  3. I know I'm like you with regard to abrupt endings Melissa - I need a bit more in order to be satisfied with the overall story. I understand why some stories work better with open endings, but it's the rare one that works for me. I like my answers!!!!

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    1. I do get it. I think it was meant to make it dwell in my head. It did the job but... I need a solid ending!

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  4. Does sound like it has readability but the ending might not sit with me best either

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    1. I don't think everyone will feel the same way I do. :)

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  5. I hate open or abrupt endings. I need closure so I can move on lol

    Karen @For What It's Worth

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  6. A title that for some reason speaks volumes to me. I was hoping to be super excited about this one and yet reading the synopsis I feel a bit underwhelmed. Glad you enjoyed it enough to want to read other books by this author despite what sounds like a bit of a disappointing ending.

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    1. The bulk of the book was excellent. That is why I would read another book by her!

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  7. That ending would have made me scream (and you are nicer would have bumped it to a 2 for me) :)

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    1. I think I did scream. LOL If the rest of the book wasn't good it would have gotten a 2 at best from me as well. I was just thrilled with the twists.

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  8. I'm not sure I can go into a book knowing the ending won't work for me. Endings make or break a novel so this may not be fore me but I'm glad you found aspects to enjoy within it, Melissa!

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    1. The ending might actually work for you. You may not see it as I do but it really bothered me.

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  9. I was tempted to pick this up, but my last witch book was such a disappointment. I am not up for another open/abrupt ending either. I had a couple of those on the blog last week.

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    1. The bulk of the book was excellent. She might be the one to read but perhaps a different book?

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  10. Thanks for the review. This book is not for me, but the cover is pretty!

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  11. I've seen this book all over the place, but this is the first review I've read. I've only read one of her books, and while I enjoyed it, it wasn't anything that compelled me to read her further.

    I think I would have the same issue with the ending. The only thing I dislike as much, is a rushed ending.

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  12. Her books tend to be open-ending. This was one i wanted to accept but my load is too heavy at the moment. Despite some issues I am glad you enjoyed it overall.

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  13. Oh I also like Paris at this period so it's quite fun!ell, I have some difficould have bothered me as well, I have some difficulties with open ends.

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  14. I'm a bit nervous about that abrupt ending. Those bug me too! I'm always left wanting much more, even if the ending makes sense in the scheme of the story. Glad you enjoyed it up until then. Lovely review!

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  15. Great review, Melissa. I'm not sure this one is for me but I absolutely love its cover. So gorgeous!

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  16. I was offered this one and really considered it because I love the setting and time period and how it sounds. I just couldn't fit it in. I'm thinking that might be good cause that ending would kill me!

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  17. Such a stunning cover. Sounds like it has ups and downs. *sigh* Thanks for sharing.

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  18. I saw this on Net Galley awhile back and was disappointed that it said not ready to request ARCs yet. Then I forgot about it. Now from your review, I think I am glad I didn't get it. Thanks for a thoughtful and detailed review :)

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Thanks for commenting! I ❤ comments!