My review of The Witch of Painted Sorrows by MJ Rose

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.

Hardcover, 384 pages
Expected publication: March 17th 2015 by Atria Books 
ISBN  147677806X 
 Endymion by G.F. Watts RA (1817-1904) 1872 private collection

Within the pages of The Witch of Painted Sorrows by MJ Rose you will find Sandrine Salome a married woman with no understanding or experience of romantic love who has lived a 'passionless' married existence. In order to understand her reasons for leaving New York City  to go to her grandmother's home in Paris, France, you will need to meet La Lune. I don't want to give away too much but Sandrine's journey of self-discovery will thrust her into a world of occult ridden Belle Epoque Paris. The question remains who does she become and will she survive?

If you enjoy the artists of Belle Epoque Paris, i.e. Gustave Moreau, Ecole des Beaux Arts, parisian mansions, sexy handsome men and a grandmother who is let's say anything but dowdy, then my friends you will definitely enjoy The Witch of Painted Sorrows. Sandrine's romantic suitor, Julien Duplessi is a fellow art lover, living in a parisian mansion with every interest in getting to know the beautiful and shy Sandrine. Against her grandmother's warnings, what follows is a tale so beautifully written with erotic scenes of lovemaking and what is thought to be true passion could be veiled by a sinister ghostly spirit named La Lune!  

The Witch of Painted Sorrows is the first in a new series, so you may have an open-ended ending and some situations might not be immediately explained or revealed enough to the reader's satisfaction. I say this because if you are expecting every question to have a solution or answer immediately, you might be frustrated.  However, for me I did not find this problem. Instead, the ending is fantastic and not predictable. It leaves you yearning for the next book in the series. I want to know what will happen to certain characters how their life evolves.  

I loved the scenes in those parisian mansions with Sandrine and Julien discussing art, artists, making love in that art studio, walking through Paris, eating in those beautiful cafes. Oh, MJ Rose brings adventure, lust, love, possession and occultism to you in the form of The Witch of Painted Sorrows and I hope every reader enjoys it as much as I have. 

My review is based on an ARC of The Witch of Painted Sorrows. The novel is due out on March 17, 2015 which happens to be my grandmother's birthday!


Kathleen Kelly said…
I look forward to reading this one soon...I love M.J.Rose's books! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Kevin Marsh said…
Hello Kimberly,

This sounds very interesting, art, love, witchcraft and Belle Epoque Paris. A heady mixture indeed.
Kimberly Eve said…
Hi Kathleen, so nice to see you here. Thanks for reading and commenting. I hope you love it as much as I do!

Hi Kevin,
This one I think you would enjoy for all the different elements you listed and the wonderful writing.
Thanks for commenting :)
Laura Morrigan said…
It sounds interesting!
Kimberly Eve said…
It is Laura! Thanks for commenting.