Louise had a tough life from the very beginning. Her mother died whilst giving birth to her and because of this her father not only didn’t want to look at her but she wasn’t even allowed to live in her own home, and so she was raised by their housekeeper. Her brother eventually left, so later on when their father died she was expected to take care of their business. Thanks to her strong character not only she manages but makes it even more successful. Yet this wasn’t enough for Louise; she wanted to live and discover other places, and so she travels to Paris. Many men were captivated by her beauty, she even attracts the famous opera composer Karl Meyer. Their relationship lasts for two years with Karl giving her a very extravagant life, but Louise wasn’t content with being just a mistress and so she embarks on a new journey… Being a classics/literature lover I am always skeptic about new books, but I was intrigued by Mistress Mine because it is set during the 19th century and I’ve read that its author was just as fond of those times. This is very obvious in her book, you can tell she did a lot of research by the descriptions of the dresses, the art, the music and how people lived. You become attached to the characters, especially the free-spirited Louise. She had her doubts just like everybody else but still she let nobody decide anything for her. I am surprised by how much I liked this book. It’s almost 400 pages but it’s fast page-turner and I didn’t want it to end. I know Gabrielle is working on the next in series but this has a good enough ending to keep you happy.
And of course I had to include Monet in the picture since he is mentioned several times in this book. This painting is one of his Water Lilies series (this one 1903). Monet did a lot of work on his own garden at Giverny. He used to change flowers for inspiration and did a lot of work on the famous pond, which was the inspiration behind 250 oil paintings. He worked on this series for the last 30 years of his life. In 2014 one of these painting sold for $27 million.