The young Mary Cassatt never thought moving to Paris after the Civil War to be an artist was going to be easy, but when, after a decade of work, her submission to the Paris Salon is rejected, Mary’s fierce determination wavers. Her father is begging her to return to Philadelphia to find a husband before it is too late, her sister Lydia is falling mysteriously ill, and worse, Mary is beginning to doubt herself. Then one evening a friend introduces her to Edgar Degas and her life changes forever. Years later she will learn that he had begged for the introduction, but in that moment their meeting seems a miracle. So begins the defining period of her life and the most tempestuous of relationships.
- ISBN 9780670785797
- 352 Pages
- 4 Feb 2014
- Viking Books
"Paint Love, He once said to her, You must always paint love."
La Belle Epoque France is brought surrealistically to life. One feels as if they are walking down the street alongside these great Impressionist painters as in Caillebotte's, Paris Street, Rainy Day (1877). I Always Loved You brings us these struggling young artists during the years 1877 through the aging of Degas and Cassatt who both live to see their elderly years; sadly, outliving their dear friends. The chapters bounce around covering important years in the artists lives 1881-1883 specifically. It is not a chronological love story in the retelling, so if you want the sweeping love story you will be disappointed.
Author, Robin Oliveira has done a very brave thing with her novel, I Always Loved You. She has written about the love of art itself, the love of painting on a blank canvas itself, the love of life from an artistic perspective, the friendship of these artists is not always brought to life with affection but it is realistically told with jealousy, fighting, sickness and death that real life human beings experience and reflect back on in later years.
There is nothing but love written about within these pages, passionately expressed, heartbreakingly told and impeccably researched. This is the novel I love; it is not a revisionist novel where you destroy the real lives and history to selfishly satisfy and write the novel to suit your needs.