'As intoxicating as the finest island rum’ Independent
From the bestselling author of The Dovekeepers comes a love story about one of history's most captivating 'invisible' women: Rachel, the mother of Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro.
Growing up on the idyllic island of St Thomas in the early 1800s, Rachel dreams of life in faraway Paris. Rachel's mother, a pillar of their tight-knit refugee community of Jews who escaped the European Inquisition, has never forgiven her daughter for refusing to live by the rules. But Rachel's fate is not in her own hands: in order to secure the future of her father's business, she is married off to a widower with three children. When her husband dies suddenly and his handsome nephew Frédéric arrives from France to settle the estate, Rachel seizes control of her life, beginning a defiant, passionate love affair that sparks a scandal affecting her entire family, including her favourite son, Camille Pissarro, who will one day become a founder member of the Impressionists and one of history's greatest artists.
Set in a world of lush, exquisite beauty, The Marriage of Oppositesshows Alice Hoffman at the height of her considerable powers. The marriage of Rachel and Frédéric is an unforgettable story of an extraordinary woman and her forbidden love.
Alice Hoffman is the author of more than thirty works of fiction, including The World That We Knew, The Rules of Magic, The Marriage of Opposites, Practical Magic, The Red Garden, the Oprah’s Book Club selection Here on Earth, The Museum of Extraordinary Things, and The Dovekeepers. She lives near Boston.
‘What is it that makes American authors excel at depicting marriage? Alice Hoffman’s The Marriage of Opposites is one of the best novels on the subject . . . not least because the opposites of its title embrace not just gender but race, class and religion . . . Hoffman’s sensuous prose is ideally suited to describing the landscape . . . As intoxicating as the finest island rum’
– Independent on The Marriage of Opposites
‘Hoffman is a master of evocatively described places . . . This captivating novel transports the reader to a sensual world of lush tropical landscapes, colonial opulence and conflicted passions’
– The Lady on The Marriage of Opposites
‘Alice Hoffman’s fictionalised biography of Rachel Pizzarro’s life is an evocative, sensitive and historically rich portrayal of a woman living ahead of her time’
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