The Library of Light and Shadow (Daughters of La Lune 3) by M.J. Rose
In the wake of a dark and brutal World War, the glitz and glamour of 1925 Manhattan shine like a beacon for the high society set, desperate to keep their gaze firmly fixed to the future. But Delphine Duplessi sees more than most. At a time in her career when she could easily be unknown and penniless, like so many of her classmates from L’École des Beaux Arts, in America she has gained notoriety for her stunning “shadow portraits” that frequently expose her subjects’ most scandalous secrets. Most nights Delphine doesn’t mind that her gift has become mere entertainment—a party trick—for the fashionable crowd.
Then, on a snowy night in February, in a penthouse high above Fifth Avenue, Delphine’s mystical talent leads to a tragedy between two brothers. Devastated and disconsolate, Delphine renounces her gift and returns to her old life in the south of France where Picasso, Matisse, and the Fitzgeralds are summering. There, Delphine is thrust into recapturing the past. First by her charismatic twin brother and business manager Sebastian who attempts to cajole her back to work and into co-dependence, then by the world famous opera singer Emma Calvé, who is obsessed with the writings of the fourteenth-century alchemist Nicolas Flamel. And finally by her ex-lover Mathieu, who is determined to lure her back into his arms, unaware of the danger that led Delphine to flee Paris for New York five years before.
Trapped in an ancient chateau where hidden knowledge lurks in the shadows, Delphine questions everything and everyone she loves the most—her art, her magick, her family, and Mathieu—in an effort to accept them as the gifts they are. Only there can she shed her fear of loving and living with her eyes wide open. (publisher)
Delphine Duplessi is an artist who paints “shadow” portraits while blindfolded showing her subjects darkest secrets. After an accident involving one of her portraits, Delphine returns home to France vowing to never paint shadow portraits again. Her twin brother and manager Sebastian tries to get her into painting again and manages to cajole her into accepting a commission to search for a book about alchemy hidden in a mysterious château.
It’s been too long since I read the previous books since I’ve forgotten so much about those. In this book were many characters that I just know we’ve encountered before but have no recollection where or how.
I liked Delphine but at times I wished she would stand up to her brother who was so manipulative. They’re twins so of course she sees only the good in him, especially since Sebastian saved her life when they were children, but I thought he was just selfish.
I thought the ending was bit abrupt leaving more questions than answers. We see Mathieu mostly through diary of a kind and I would have liked to see him more in the present. I felt I didn’t really know him and that he forgave Delphine way too easily for leaving him.
This was a really quick read and I wanted to know what happens next. I really hope there will be a book about the 3rd Duplessi sister!
Published: Atria Books (July 18, 2017)