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Dem

Dem

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Sargent's Women: Four Lives Behind the Canvas

Sargent's Women: Four Lives Behind the Canvas - Donna M. Lucey
2.5 Stars

Really wanted to love this one as it had all the elements I was looking for in a good book but unfortunately it fell flat for me and I will try to outline my reasons why.


I love reading books about painters and their muses and was really excited when I read the premise for this book. A multi-layered biography, based on actual letters and diaries, “Sargent’s Women” presents biographies of four American ladies whose lives intersected with John Singer Sargent’s. I was fully aware that this wasn't a book on Sargent himself but on the women that sat for his paintings and I loved the idea of getting to know these ladies. Set in the Gilded age and full of descriptions of the wealth, mystery and intrigue of this time, this really should have had all the ingredients of a 5 star read for me but I just didn't connect with the book.

I think the main reason is that I listened to this one on audio and it fell flat, The narrator was good, but for me the book didn't work well on audio as all the information became too detailed and thus too diluted and I just couldn't stay focused or connect to any of the women. The research is excellent and sense of time and place should have had me captivated but I found myself zoning out and if asked when finishing to do a summary on each of the women I am not sure I would be able to complete the task.
I do think I would have gotten way more from this book had I read it as opposed to listening to it. Perhaps the hard copy has images which by listening to I missed out on.