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Literary Friday: The Very Picture of You

Friday, April 27, 2012


Sorry I am getting this post up so late.  It has been an extremely busy day! This week I read The Very Picture of You by Isabel Wolff.  This is an excellent beach/lake read, and the main character is a portrait artist, so I enjoyed it immensely.  I did like it better than A Vintage Affair because I was not crazy about the ending.

Gabriella Graham (Ella for short) is an up and coming portrait artist in London.  She recently painted the Dutchess of Cornwall for the National Gallery, and she is being featured in an upcoming radio program featuring London artists.  As her career is taking off, her younger sister, Chloe, is planning her wedding to a handsome American named Nate.  Chloe bids on and wins a portrait painted by Ella at a charity auction.  She requests that Ella paint Nate. During Nate's portrait sittings, Ella begins to develop feelings for Nate that are totally inappropriate toward her sister's fiance.

Ella is known for her ability to capture the true essence of her subjects.  While painting five different portraits, Ella begins to learn more about herself than her subjects.  Several of their life experiences and current situations reflect similar situations in Ella's life.  As a birthday present to herself, she decides to hold an exhibit of the portraits in a gallery and invite the subjects, friends, and family as guests.

It was fun as an artist to read some of the technical aspects of portraiture. Ella's creative process was fascinating to me, and her interaction with the other characters both in the studio and out were fun because I appreciate Ella's spirit.  Family secrets, a mystery, a tragedy, and a meddling mother all contribute to a rich, well-written story.

Until next time...

Ricki Jill


  1. I just finished reading this book too. I really enjoyed it and I also really enjoyed her previous book A Vintage Affair. I liked the well defined characters in both books and found that I looked forward to getting back to the book whenever I would have to put it down. Yes, the perfect summer read.

  2. Excellent excuse to put my feet up at a lake or beach (still a little chilly at our family's camp, but I could bundle up)!


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I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.

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