Friday, January 27, 2012

Review: "The Very Picture of You" by Isabel Wolff

Ella Graham is a portrait painter whose career is just starting to take off. When she donates a portrait, to be painted by her, to a charity auction she is appalled to learn that her sister has won and that her sister would like the portrait to be painted of her fiance, whom Ella can't stand.

Ella reluctantly begins to paint Nate, her sister's fiance, and is horrified to find out that once she gets over her initial dislike of him, she finds herself falling for him. Ella also finds herself becoming involved with the lives of the people who she is painting, including an elderly woman, a woman having a hard time with the fact that she is turning 40, and a local political figure with a secret to hide.

As Ella finds herself falling deeper for Nate she is torn about what she should do. Remaining silent will ensure that her family remains intact, but will it destroy her instead?

The Very Picture of You was just okay for me. I found that I had a hard time connecting with Ella, our main character, on any kind of a personal level and that usually dooms a book for me. Ella seemed one-dimensional and I found the fact that she becomes involved personally with almost every one of her subjects irritating. It made the plot jump around quite a bit, and although it wasn't confusing, I did wish that there could have been more focus.

That being said, this was not a horrible read. I read the whole thing through and found some enjoyment in reading it, but at the end I discovered that this book is not one that will continue to resonate with me.

My thanks to HarperCollins and Netgalley for providing me with this review copy.

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