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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I am Rembrandt's Daughter, by Lynn Cullen

With her mother dead of the plague, and her beloved brother newly married and moved away, Cornelia van Rijn finds herself without a friend or confidante—save her difficult father. Out of favor with Amsterdam’s elite, and considered brash and unreasonable by his patrons, Rembrandt van Rijn, once revered, is now teetering on the brink of madness. Cornelia alone must care for him, though she herself is haunted by secrets and scandal. Her only happiness comes in chance meetings with Carel, the son of a wealthy shipping magnate whose passion for art stirs Cornelia. And then there is Neel, her father’s last remaining pupil, whose steadfast devotion to Rembrandt both baffles and touches her. Based on historical fact, and filled with family dramas and a love triangle that would make Jane Austen proud, I Am Rembrandt’s Daughter is a powerful account of a young woman’s struggle to come of age within the shadow of one of the world’s most brilliant and complicated artists.

Well, yes, the history is good. I have a penchant for historical fiction set in this time period. And I do think the story line is historically feasible and accurate. It’s very telling, and does show how one can triumph, in a way, over adversity and that the future doesn’t have to be what others would make for you.

However, I felt like this book trudged. And trudged. Parts of it felt like a teen romance novel—where you find yourself thinking “oh, get to the point already!”

1 thoughts:

Grendel said...

Interesting review. I usually like historical fiction from this time period. That's a disappointment, but I enjoy reading your comments on books for teens. Please keep them coming!

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