Friday, April 8, 2011

Review - The Arrow Chest by Robert Parry

TITLE:    The Arrow Chest
AUTHOR:    Robert Parry
INFO:    Paperback, Fiction, 332 pages
SOURCE:   Received from Author for Review

  London, 1876. The painter Amos Roselli is in love with his life-long friend and model, the beautiful Daphne - and she with him - until one day she is discovered by another man, a powerful and wealthy industrialist. What will happen when Daphne realises she has sacrificed her happiness to a loveless marriage? What will happen when the artist realises he has lost his most cherished source of inspiration? And how will they negotiate the ever-increasing frequency of strange and bizarre events that seem to be driving them inexorably towards self-destruction. Here, amid the extravagant Neo-Gothic culture of Victorian England, the iconic poem 'The Lady of Shalott' blends with mysterious and ghostly glimpses of Tudor history.  Romantic, atmospheric and deeply dark.

MY TAKE:    This was a fascinating book that draws upon various connections with the past.  These include the Tudors and Anne Boleyn as well as Tennyson and his legendary written works.  The artistic and literary influences on the characters and the plot itself are well blended.

I enjoyed the dark and mysterious story of a painter, his housekeeper and his artistic muse/life-long friend.  The characters were well written and full of depth.  I think my favorite is the housekeeper Beth.  It was interesting to watch her grow and see her blossom, especially under the tutelage of Lady Daphne and the attention from her employer Amos.  Daphne's husband Oliver is a truly horrible, pretentious man who just gets worse as the story progresses.  It is very easy to despise him as much as it is to care deeply for the others.

The settings are richly detailed and very easy to visualize.  I found myself wanting to join in the walks over the hills with Amos and Alfred Lord Tennyson.  The author made it all come alive for me.

There were a few bumps in the story when it came to the mysterious visitors Amos entertained, but the story was very well thought out and enjoyable.  It was an engrossing read that kept me turning the pages.  I think this book will appeal to a wide range of readers.

Out of 5 JEWELS, I give it:

WHERE TO BUY IT:    Amazon and The Book Depository

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~~~~~ Disclaimer:  All opinions expressed on this blog are 100% my own.  I do not receive monetary compensation for my reviews but do utilize affiliate links.  I may receive books in  order to facilitate a review, but this does not guarantee a good review - only a completely honest one.  Each review post denotes how I obtained the book.


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