Thursday, 26 April 2012

Book Review: Tulip Fever - Deborah Moggach

Synopsis - 17th century Amsterdam, a city in the grip of tulip mania and basking in the wealth it has generated.  Cornelis, an ageing merchant, commissions a talented young painter to preserve his status and marriage on canvas.  At the sittings, as a collector of beautiful things, Cornelis surrounds himself with symbols of his success, including his young wife, Sophia.  But as the portrait grows, so does the passion between Sophia and the artist; and as ambitions, desires and dreams breed an intricate deception, their reckless gamble propels their lives towards a thrilling and tragic conclusion.

Review - Another book group choice and following last month with the same author, but a very different story.  I voted for this one, both, because I liked the storyline and I was intrigued to see how different Moggach's writing could be.  Having not particularly liked Seesaw, for me, this was a much better read.

A similar subject to Tracey Chevalier's Girl With A Pearl Earring, the storyline held an interest for me.  However, in my opinion, Chevalier is the better writer and Girl With A Pearl Earring a better story.  This was a light read, it did not take me long to finish the book because there was no real depth.  Yes, I got it!  The rich merchant and his young second wife, having their painting commissioned by an upcoming artist Jan van der Loos.  You guessed it, the young wife falls for the artist - after all he is closer in age.  However, there is deceit, treachery and innocent victims caught up in all of this.  Moggach tackles this well but I would have preferred more depth to the characters and the story.  For me, it was a bit glossed over.  This is something I am finding with this author's style, that she does not develop her subject enough.  3*
ISBN 978-0-099-28885-5

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