The Library of Light and Shadow

The Library of Light and Shadow

A Novel

Book - 2017
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"In this riveting and richly drawn novel from "one of the master storytellers of historical fiction" (New York Times bestselling author Beatriz Williams), a talented young artist flees New York for Paris after one of her scandalous drawings reveals a dark secret--and triggers a terrible tragedy. In the wake of a dark and brutal World War, the glitz and glamour of 1925 Manhattan shine like a beacon for the high society set, desperate to keep their gaze firmly fixed to the future. But Delphine Duplessi sees more than most. At a time in her career when she could easily be unknown and penniless, like so many of her classmates from L'École des Beaux Arts, in America she has gained notoriety for her stunning "shadow portraits" that frequently expose her subjects' most scandalous secrets. Most nights Delphine doesn't mind that her gift has become mere entertainment--a party trick--for the fashionable crowd. Then, on a snowy night in February, in a penthouse high above Fifth Avenue, Delphine's mystical talent leads to a tragedy between two brothers. Devastated and disconsolate, Delphine renounces her gift and returns to her old life in the south of France where Picasso, Matisse, and the Fitzgeralds are summering. There, Delphine is thrust into recapturing the past. First by her charismatic twin brother and business manager Sebastian who attempts to cajole her back to work and into co-dependence, then by the world famous opera singer Emma Calve, who is obsessed with the writings of the fourteenth-century alchemist Nicolas Flamel. And finally by her ex-lover Mathieu, who is determined to lure her back into his arms, unaware of the danger that led Delphine to flee Paris for New York five years before. Trapped in an ancient chateau where hidden knowledge lurks in the shadows, Delphine questions everything and everyone she loves the most--her art, her magick, her family, and Mathieu--in an effort to accept them as the gifts they are. Only there can she shed her fear of loving and living with her eyes wide open"--
Publisher: New York, NY :, Atria Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc.,, 2017.
Edition: First Atria books hardcover edition.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781476778129
Branch Call Number: FIC ROSE
Characteristics: 355 pages ; 24 cm.


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I accidentally read this book first (the third) but it didn't matter in the end and I am glad of the order I did read them. They seem to be fine as stand alone reads.
It was a thrill to have famous musicians, artists and poets of the 1920's brought to life within the story. I couldn't put this book or the others down! it took me a week to gobble them up!

Magical, romantic and exciting!

SPL_Robyn Aug 25, 2017

reviewed in the Stratford Gazette August 2017 (see summary)


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SPL_Robyn Aug 21, 2017

Post WWI, New York. The jazz era is in full swing, and bright young things are doing their best to forget the horrors of the First World War. Besides music, gin and fringe dresses, the occult is also a hot trend, which makes Delphine Duplessi the artiste au courant of the society set. Her talent is painting haunting portraits – quite literally. Delphine warns her subjects that they may not like what she captures on canvas; while she is blindfolded, she paints their innermost secrets, some secrets which should never see the light of day.

When one such painting leads to an immediate tragedy, Delphine cloisters herself in her studio, disturbed not only by the tragedy but also her own talent that has driven others to near madness and herself away from the one man she is sure is her true love. When she spirals down a dark path, her family – her twin brother Sebastien and her mother Sandrine, another famed artist - bring her back to the family home in Cannes, France, to rediscover the magic of her talent.

And magical it is – Delphine, her sisters and her mother are all descendants of the witch La Lune, her female descendants all inheriting both a gift and a curse as they reach adulthood.
A close family friend urges Delphine to use her gift once more; not to paint a person but rather an archaic chateau dating back to the 13th century. The owner is certain it contains hidden rooms, one of which will hold a book on ancient alchemy and the secrets of the stars. Although reluctant, Delphine agrees for the sake of her dear twin, a decision that reveals so much more than anyone could have predicted.

A highly descriptive, lush, and at times steamy novel that is an extension of the author’s other works in the Daughters of La Lune series (though it can be read alone), The Library of Light and Shadows is just the kind of gothic-light book to read on a languid, late summer afternoon. Fans of Katherine Howe and Santa Montefiore should be delighted with this series. ~RLG


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