Author: Julie Hearn
Year of Publication: 2008
First Line: "When she was born her father took one look at her and spat into a corner."
Summary: Ivy is used to being overlooked. The youngest in a family of thieves, scoundrels, and roustabouts, the girl with the flame-colored hair and odd-colored eyes is declared useless by her father from the day she is born. But that's only if you look at her but don't see. Fore Ivy has a quality that makes people take notice. It's more than beauty -- and it draws people toward her.
Which makes her the perfect subject for an aspiring painter named Oscar Aretino Frosdick. Oscar is dtermined to make his mark on the art world, with Ivy as his model and muse. But behind Ivy's angelic looks lurk dark secrets and a troubled past -- a past that has given her an unfortunate addiction to a dangerous drug. And when treachery and jealousy surface in the Eden that is the artist's garden, Ivy must learn to be more than a pretty face if she is to survive.
Source: Back/Inside of book
Review: I was drawn into this book from the beginning but as it went on, I became less interested. Ivy's character is not very interesting. In fact, there are other characters I'd prefer the book to be centered on because they were more interesting than the main character. This, as you can imagine, as a failing. Despite that, the novel is written with an air of knowledge and it's clear that the research was well done for this historical novel. I appreciated this immensely as it is something I struggle with in my own writing. The dialect was fairly consistent, which helped to keep it from being jarring. The story was interesting but I think parts of the plot were kind of forgotten at different parts of the book and then ignored for the rest. The end was somewhat strange and kind of confusing. I was not really sure where the author got the idea to end it like that, as there was nothing leading up to it suggesting it would end that way and not in a good way.
Worst part: How the second half of the book had less quality than the first.
Best part: The idea was really interesting and I appreciated the note after the novel that explained where the idea came from.
Other Books by This Author: The Minister's Daughter and Sign of the Raven
14 / 100 books. 14% done!