Review: The French Impressionist by Rebecca Bischoff
There's a lot to recommend this book. The premise is great, the POV is unique and compelling, and the characters are intriguing. Rosemary has a hyper-controlling mother and a communication disorder, and has concocted an elaborate lie that has her running off to Nice to pretend to be an artist for the summer. She's chosen a couple to stay with solely based on the fact that they lost their son and she thinks she can convince them to let her stay there with them forever. Her mother thinks she's in Arizona, her mother's boyfriend thinks she's in Paris, and only one person knows where she really is. She spends the summer trying to avoid talking, learn painting, and find out more about the closed-off apartment next to hers that's filled with old paintings, clothes, and mysterious letters. I was so excited to start reading this one! I respect Rosemary's passion to have the life she wants, and her ability to commit to whatever is necessary to achieve her goal, however misguided her actions often end up being. The scenic and sensory details are rich and vivid.
However, I kept putting the novel down over and over or just skimming many parts. I finally finished it, and am glad for it, but I almost stopped many times. I was either annoyed with it, or bored with it. The story telling gets convoluted and repetitive, most of it drags, and I found Rosemary annoying and immature a lot of the time. I admire the author for attempting to tell this story in first person, but it didn't work for me. There are things that the reader needs described or explained that Rosemary could not or would not tell us about, and this isn't fair to the reader.
On the plus side, the ending is a positive one, but, honestly, I'm not sure it's deserved.
*I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*