Monday, 3 April 2017

Following Ophelia by Sophia Bennett

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 400
Publisher: Stripes Publishing 
Released: 9th of March 2017 

When Mary Adams sees Millais’ depiction of the tragic Ophelia, a whole new world opens up for her. Determined to find out more about the beautiful girl in the painting, she hears the story of Lizzie Siddal – a girl from a modest background, not unlike her own, who has found fame and fortune against the odds. Mary sets out to become a Pre-Raphaelite muse, too, and reinvents herself as Persephone Lavelle. But as she fights her way to become the new face of London’s glittering art scene, ‘Persephone’ ends up mingling with some of the city’s more nefarious types and is forced to make some impossible choices.

Will Persephone be forced to betray those she loves, and even the person she once was, if she is to achieve her dreams?

What I Have to Say 

I feel this book really captured the feel of the Pre-Raphaelite spirit for me. Having had a small interest in the paintings and general history of the Pre-Raphaelites, I'm far from an expert, but I know a bit about them and I just felt that this was a good introduction to the artistic movement. 

Though I did feel that the whole scandal of it was a little tamed down. Obviously for younger readers, a lot of the things the brotherhood got up to would have been too much, but Mary was engaging in her own scandal as if it was nothing. For any girl to become and artist's model was a hugely massive scandal.Yet Mary was more worried about getting found out and losing her job. Her reputation was a small worry in her mind, but she didn't seem to think about the fact that even if she didn't do anything, people would assume she had. 

Aside from this one thing, the book was brilliant. I loved the story, I loved Mary's character and I loved the adventures of Persephone Lavelle. It was well told and had the right balance of the history, historical figures and pure fiction. 

This is definitely a great introduction to the world of the Pre-Raphaelites. 

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

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